Now the clocks have gone back (boo!), make sure you vit D levels good...

It’s darker these days and the sun DEFINITELY is not as strong. Sadly, this means our intake of essential vitamin D is on the decline. Nutritionist Rob Hobson speaks to Now about the foods we NEED to be eating…

How much?

Public Health England recommends that everyone gets 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day. This is something that’s easily achieved during the summer sunny months, but a lot harder when the clocks go back and suddenly it’s dark at 4pm. Plus, the sun in the UK simply isn’t strong enough between October to April.

A womand on a beach at sunset

Why do we need it?

Rob explains: ‘Vitamin D is crucial for bone health. People who are at a particularly high risk are cultural groups that cover up. It’s also essential to keep your immune system in shape, which in turn means you’re less likely to get poorly. In fact, people who have asthma tend to have low levels of vitamin D. As well as this, manypeople suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during winter, whereas if your vitamin D levels are up, you’ll find that your mood improves.’

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Get outside!

Along with eating foods rich in vitamin D, Rob says it’s crucial to spend time outside unprotected, even if it’s just your bare hands and face. Try taking a 20 minute speed walk on your lunch break; not only will it clear your head and burn some cals, it will lift your mood and help banish any stress.

girl-walking

Nutritionist recommends…
Get More Vitamin D 500ml, £1.25, Sainsbury’s.
Rob explains: ‘You can’t get your full vitamin D requirements through food alone. The rest has to come from sunlight, which can be difficult in winter.’ Winter sun holiday, anyone?

Chomp on…

Make sure these foods play a big role in your daily diet…

SALMON

Oily fish is rich in vitamin D, so a smoked salmon salad is perfect for lunch. Add some veg and brown rice.

Helen Flanagan fish | Now magazine | pictures | photos | celebrity news

FORTIFIED FOODS

These include breakfast cereals (try a bowl of Bran Flakes) and fortified plant milks. Rob explains: ‘In a 30g serving, you’ll find a substantial amount of vitamin D.’

RAW MUSHROOMS

‘If you put them in the sun, they’ll turn the sunlight into vitamin D,’ says Rob. Opt for a mushroom stir-fry with chicken and colourful veg for dinner.

EGGS

Try poached eggs on toast for breakfast or whip up an easy mushroom omelette for a quick dinner.