Vitamin D has a number of key roles to play in keeping you healthy and is probably best known for its part in regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body which, in turn, is important for healthy bones and teeth.
Increasing amounts of evidence however are revealing a wide range of other important roles that vitamin D plays in the body, including insulin production, immune health, neuromuscular function - and as an inhibitor of cancer cell growth.
You make much of your vitamin D yourself - just beneath the surface of your skin in response to direct sunlight during the summer. You still need to top this up, however, especially during the winter so it’s important to eat vitamin D-rich foods as a regular part of your diet.
Taking a vitamin D supplement is not usually necessary but there are some groups of adults who may benefit from supplementation, including:
pregnant and breastfeeding women
people with limited exposure to direct sunlight
people aged over 65 years
Unless you fall into one of these groups, a varied, balanced diet should be all that you need to ensure you have healthy vitamin D levels - here’s a list of some top dietary sources of this amazing vitamin:
cod liver oil
dairy products fortified with vitamin D
tofu and tofu products
cereals fortified with vitamin D
oily fish such as trout, salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna and swordfish