Nutrition Tips with Mary:
Vitamin D has several important functions. For example, it helps regulate the amount
of calcium and phosphate in the body. These substances are needed to keep bones
and teeth healthy. Vitamin D is extremely important in immune function.
Presently, vitamin D deficiency is most notable in the elderly and in individuals who
do not receive enough sunlight stimulation.
Vitamin D conversion in the body is aided by several organ systems such as the
skin, liver and kidneys. The important functional interactions of vitamin D may help
in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and
persistent non specific musculoskeletal pain.
Good sources of vitamin D:
Most of our vitamin D comes from sunlight on our skin. The vitamin forms under the
skin in reaction to sunlight. The best source is summer sunlight. However, if you are
out in the sun, take care not to get burnt. Currently we are not getting enough
sunlight. Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods. Good food sources are:
oily fish, such as salmon, sardines, tuna and shrimp
Eggs on wholegrain toast with butter
Tinned salmon or sardines with salad
Sunflower seeds added to porridge
Dinner with salmon
Shrimp stir-fry with added mushrooms
Liver, mushrooms, grilled tomato, scrambled eggs
Tuna and egg salad (recipe below)
How much vitamin D do I need?:
You do not need vitamin D in your diet every day. This is because any of the vitamins
your body does not need immediately is stored for future use as it is a fat soluble
Vitamin D3 is the preferred form of the supplement.
Taking high doses of vitamin D for long periods of time could weaken your bones.
Most people should be able to get the vitamin D they need by eating a varied and
balanced diet and by getting some sun. If you take vitamin D supplements, it is
advisable to take them as part of a multi vitamin. If you feel you require more vitamin
D due to certain symptoms then you should have your levels tested first.
Tuna and Egg Salad
Handful of mixed greens
1 Boiled egg, sliced
½ Red onion, finely sliced
1 Ripe tomato, diced
1 Can tuna
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well.
Season with freshly ground black pepper.