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Vitamin D Boosting Foods To See You Through The Winter

by Valentino Perrina

Vitamin D is vital in creating happy and healthy humans. It helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, and supports immune function and heart health, while protecting bones and muscles. 

Often referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, because from March to September most people get all of the vitamin D that they need from sunlight. It’s no wonder then that during the fall and winter months, as the days get shorter and colder, our intake is lower. 

How much vitamin D do I need? 

Age – 1-70: 600 IU

Age – 71 and older: 800 IU

Boosting your vitamin D intake will help to keep you fit and healthy through the colder seasons, and can even help you to avoid catching seasonal colds and flus. Reports have even shown that vitamin D could be effective at reducing the risk of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Helping your body and mind to adjust to the changing seasons starts from within, try to include a mix of some of these vitamin D boosting foods into your diet:

Fatty Fish – such as tuna, mackerel and salmon. This vitamin D supplier is also the best source of two of the three most important omega-3s (EPA and DHA). As well as boosting your vitamin D levels, oily fish can deliver huge health benefits for your heart, brain, lungs, and circulation. 

Three ounces of cooked salmon has about 570 international units (IU), and it’s an ingredient we love to work with at Nutre. Our salmon is delicious, whether it’s maple glazed, blackened, or stuffed. 

Egg Yolks – the whites of an egg often dominate the plates of health-conscious eaters, however the yolk actually contains most of an egg’s good stuff! The yolk supplies the body with iron, folate, vitamins and nutrients and has been found to support eye and brain health. 

The Nutre breakfast quiche is a tasty way to get your egg yolks, but as our menu refreshes often look for ‘Eggs Liquid Whole’ in the ingredients list. 

Mushroom – this superfood is a rich, low calorie source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They have also been found to lower the risk of developing serious health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

There are many varieties of mushrooms, so your vitamin D intake will depend upon the type and amount. No matter how often we update our menu, there will always be a meal that features mushrooms on offer. Check out our Swiss & Mushroom Beef Burger or the Creamy Mushroom Parmesan Chicken with Spinach – perfect for cold evenings in. 

Red Meat – such as beef, lamb and pork. It’s a source of protein, vitamins and minerals, and can be incorporated into a balanced diet. 

Let’s put it into numbers – one 25g steak will contain around 15 IU of vitamin D, and 100g of braised beef ribs will contain approximately 27 IU. Steak and beef can both be bought in our Bulk options, to help hasten the meal prep process at home. Recipes using beef and steak are widely popular in our Nutre Meals.

Fortified Foods – since the 1920s, U.S. food producers have been fortifying foods to prevent nutrition-related illnesses. Which simply means that nutrients are added to foods to help you to easily get what you need in your diet. The added nutrients are all found in other foods, like meat and vegetables. 

Fortified foods include some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals. These food items are typically fortified with: folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, and iodine.

Try adding fortified plant milk to your Nutre smoothie, or adding a glass of orange juice to your morning routine. 

Remember, even though it is colder outside, getting outdoors will still provide your body with a top up of the sunshine vitamin. It can be tricky to get the suggested amount of vitamin D through food alone, so supplements are a worthwhile option. If you are concerned that you are vitamin D deficient, please consult a doctor.