How do I get more vitamin D?
Vitamin D is very important. It is crucial in maintaining healthy bones because it facilitates the absorption of calcium into our bodies. Calcium is a mineral which hardens our bones so, without it, our bones become brittle and weak.
It is particularly vital for menopausal or post-menopausal women to ensure that levels of vitamin D are maintained, as the changes in oestrogen levels associated with menopause can cause brittle bones.
All it takes is about 20 minutes of sunlight with your arms and face exposed (even on a cloudy day!) to meet your daily requirement of vitamin D.
Low vitamin D levels have also been found to be linked to high blood pressure. While we’re not sure yet if increasing vitamin D intake actually lowers blood pressure, the preliminary results are promising.
Vitamin D has also been hypothesised to help protect our bodies from certain cancers.
Vitamin D is sometimes difficult for the body to come across, as it isn’t contained in many foods. Our bodies have the ingredients to make vitamin D, however we need sunlight to kickstart the chemical process that changes these ingredients into an active form of the vitamin.
Now that spring is here, there’s no excuse for us to be lacking in our sunlight exposure. All it takes is about 20 minutes of sunlight with your arms and face exposed (even on a cloudy day!) to meet your daily requirement of vitamin D.
While sunlight will help boost your levels of vitamin D, you can also try to kickstart your intake with the following recipe. Egg yolk and oily fish are about the only naturally occurring food sources of vitamin D – and this salad is so yummy!
The other benefit of this dish is that it’s low in kilojoules and processed carbohydrates, and contains about 60 per cent of your daily recommended calcium intake. A double whammy of goodness!
- 2 tbsp red-wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1/4 tsp dried tarragon
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- 2 large hard-boiled eggs
- 5 cups mixed salad leaves
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- Large tin of tuna in spring water, drained (tinned or fresh salmon would work too!)
- Dollop of natural Greek yoghurt
- Whisk vinegar, oil, mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add garlic and set aside.
- Bring 4cm of water to a boil in a medium pot. Add asparagus, stirring to submerge if necessary, and cook until bright green and crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and place under cold running water until cooled.
- Peel and slice eggs. Divide salad greens between two plates and top with the eggs, asparagus, tomatoes and tuna. Remove the garlic from the dressing, stir to combine and drizzle over the salads. Place a dollop of Greek yoghurt on top and enjoy!
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