A reminder to boost your Vitamin D over winter and how much to take…


Vitamin D is one of the key nutrients that can drop low over winter as the Earth turns hemispherically away from the strong summer sun. Ideally you boost the Vitamin D with a trip somewhere warm, closer to the Equator, or Northern Hemisphere. Otherwise a  daily boost for adults of around 2000-5000 units per day of Vitamin D3 is fine. 

There are formulas you can use to calculate Vitamin D dose ideally taken per kilogram of weight, but you won’t get toxic by using a daily dose of around 2000 units.

Low Vitamin D can create sore shoulder muscles when you sleep, low mood, poor sleep, slow gut motions and poor absorption of calcium and minerals from the gut and more infections likes colds and chest infections.

Vitamin D3 capsules or spray or drops are available from healthstores or online health stores or practitioner nutritional supply companies. There are some that include a balance of co-factors and Vitamin K and have around 1000 units Vitamin D3 per capsule or others are plain Vitamin  D3. For a winter boost you can use either, but the ones with other items like Vitamin K in the capsule just stick to the recommended dose.

If you are feeling tired and getting more infections than usual it is safe to simply boost some Vitamin D daily over winter. The blood test for Vitamin D costs money and you can self refer to Labtests to check, but you can also simply boost levels using sunshine as you travel over winter or supplements. Especially consider this if you spend a lot of time working indoors throughout the year.

Foods don’t naturally contain big doses of Vitamin D. There is a little in butter for example or cod liver oils. Sunshine is the main way we make Vitamin D.

Immune boosting foods to consider over winter are the orange vegetables like carrots, orange kumara and pumpkins rich in betacarotene. Zinc rich foods like pumpkin seeds  or meat if you eat meat.

Onions and garlic, whilst creating some strong odors during cooking, do help ward off viral and bacterial infections when eaten and can be included in soups, stir fries and many dishes.

Selenium and iodine are found in seaweed which can be cut up and added to warm winter dishes or sprinkled on foods.  Dulse, wakame, kelp are all forms of seaweed you can buy and add to foods. I enjoy the Pacific Harvest online seaweed shop for learning about a variety of seaweed foods.

Justine Laidlaw
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