6 tips on how to get vitamin D, even in winter

It’s called the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because we mostly get it from the sun – and it’s important for our health. Here’s how to get vitamin D, even in the cooler months.

From supporting bone strength to maintaining healthy immune system function, vitamin D is like a daily dose of sunshine in a bottle.

However, getting this vital nutrient isn’t always straightforward, especially in winter.

Here are some easy ways to get the D vitamin to support your health.

1. Spend time outdoors

Our main source of vitamin D comes from skin being exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun[1] (hence the nickname, the “sunshine vitamin”).

In Australia, we need to balance our need for vitamin D with sun-safe practices to limit the risk of damage to the skin.[2]

In summer, many people get vitamin D through incidental exposure to the sun.

To get vitamin D in autumn and winter, spend time outdoors in the middle of the day[2] – a walk at lunchtime is a great idea.

Remember to use sun protection when the UV Index is three or higher, or when spending extended periods of time outdoors.[2]

2. Say yes to oily fish

Oily fish is among the richest natural food sources of vitamin D.

Think salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines and anchovies.

Easy ways to eat oily fish include sardines with a squeeze of lemon on toast, anchovies in tomato-based pasta sauces, and tinned salmon in salads.

3. Eat more mushrooms

Are you vegetarian or vegan? Dig into mushrooms.

Just like humans, mushrooms can make their own vitamin D upon exposure to UV light.[3]

Mushrooms are perfect for curries, risottos or simply sauteed with tomatoes and spinach.

Remember to obtain mushrooms from a reputable source, such as a supermarket or greengrocer.

4. Embrace eggs

Boil them, scramble them, poach them or fry them – sunny side up or however they come!

Eggs are another good source of vitamin D and are easy to incorporate into your diet, from scrambled at brekkie to topping a stir-fry at dinner.

5. Add fortified foods to your grocery list

Some manufactured foods are fortified with vitamin D, making them a convenient way to consume the vitamin through diet.[4]

Look out for margarine, milk, yoghurt, soy milk and powdered milk, among other foods with vitamin D fortification.

6. Consider vitamin D supplements

Taking a vitamin D supplement can be a great option when dietary intake is inadequate or sunshine is scarce.

Ostelin Vitamin D3 1000IU 300 Capsules maintain vitamin D levels in the body, support bone strength and maintain healthy immune system function and general health and wellbeing.

Just take one small, easy-to-swallow capsule daily and prepare to d-light in your day!

* This post is brought to you by Ostelin Vitamin D3 1000IU 300 Capsules. Always read the label and follow the directions for use. 

[1] Health Direct, Vitamin D and your health, retrieved May 2024 from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/vitamin-d-and-your-health

[2] Cancer Council, Vitamin D, retrieved May 2024 from https://www.cancer.org.au/cancer-information/causes-and-prevention/sun-safety/vitamin-d

[3] Cardwell et al, 2018, A Review of Mushrooms as a Potential Source of Dietary Vitamin D, Nutrients, 10(10), 1498. L.J.B. is supported by a Multiple Sclerosis Western Australia Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Curtin University Research Fellowship. Retrieved May 2024 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6213178/

[4] Dietitians Australia, Vitamin D, retrieved May 2024 from https://dietitiansaustralia.org.au/health-advice/vitamin-d