As the clocks across the UK went back this weekend, this was welcome news for those looking for an extra hour in bed under their duvet. However, as the nights draw in and the days become shorter, many of us start to notice a drop in mood.
Experts believe that low mood can be linked to reduced exposure to sunlight and decreased levels of vitamin D in the body. Shortages of vitamin D in the body can affect mood, sleeping patterns, and appetite.
Often referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin’, vitamin D is naturally produced within the body when skin is exposed to sunlight. As we move into the winter and the sun becomes weaker and days shorter, our bodies can struggle to produce enough of this wonder vitamin.
Leading nutritionist, Jenna Hope, highlights a range of vitamin D packed foods that can complement the body’s natural production of vitamin D and help to regulate low mood during the winter months.
1. Oily Fish
Oily fish such as salmon, anchovies, sardines, herring, and mackerel have some of the highest quantities of vitamin D found in food sources. It is worth noting that whether salmon is wild or farmed can make a big difference. On average 140g of salmon contains around 10.2µg of Vitamin D. This equates to just over 100% of the recommended daily intakes. However, salmon would need to be consumed on a daily basis to obtain adequate amounts. It’s recommended to consume around 2 portions of oily fish per week.
2. Egg Yolks
Egg yolks can be high in vitamin D, especially if the chickens are free-range. For example, a dish of scrambled eggs using two large hens’ eggs contains 15 per cent of a person’s RDA.
These are a great option for vegetarians and vegans. Mushrooms such as Portobello and the white varieties that have been exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light can contain vitamin D.
4. Fortified Foods – Linwoods
Specifically formulated foods such as Linwoods Milled Flaxseed with Bio Cultures & Vitamin D blend or Linwoods Immune Support provide a convenient way to add a nutrient-packed vitamin D boost to your diet. The versatile blend can be easily added to your favourite dish, from breakfast yoghurt and smoothies to soups and salads.
Jenna adds, “Whilst it’s ideal to consume a balanced and varied diet in order to obtain as many nutrients as possible from food sources, it’s also recommended to consume a supplement of 10µg per day. Individuals on medications should always seek personalised advice from their healthcare provider before supplementing.”