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  • Writer's pictureStacey Murtagh

How to boost your Vitamin D intake

Vitamin D is a much needed nutrient that plays a key role in almost all of our physiological functions. As an immune system regulator, vitamin D is absolutely vital to good health. It’s the only vitamin your body makes itself (and it’s actually a hormone!). Although there are many forms of vitamin D, the two most common types are vitamin D3 and vitamin D2. It supports your immune system, nervous system, mood, bone growth and overall health, therefore it is vital. It's the most undervalued nutrient in the world as most people think they get enough from the sun. However, sunlight is only one source of vitamin D, and there are very few individuals who get enough exposure to sunshine to benefit from the levels of vitamin D it provides. Additionally, excessive time in the sun can increase the risk of skin cancer. Vitamin D provides protection from:

  • Osteoporosis

  • Hypertension

  • Cancer

  • Autoimmune disease

Whilst it's important to absorb Vitamin D there is some controversy over how. Vitamin D is naturally present in very few foods. Exposing your body to sunlight is the simplest way to get vitamin D – your body makes it naturally. However, the amount of sun you need to meet your vitamin D requirements varies hugely, depending on your location, the season, your skin type, the time of day, air pollution, body parts exposed, and age. While some say exposure to the sun is enough, others say the sun is not reliable and therefore encourage a supplement. It's important that if you wish to take a supplement you should always check with your GP and perhaps have a blood test to determine if you are deficient in vitamin D. Easy ways to boost your Vitamin D:

  • Food First: High in Vitamin D foods such as mushrooms, eggs, oily fish, carrots and butternut squash.

  • Sunshine: a walk in daylight for at least 30 minutes can help boost your vitamin D levels.

  • Take a Vitamin D supplement - consult with your GP before taking to ensure it doesn't impact other medications or health concerns.

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