By Bonnie Dixon

Today let’s talk about the “happy vitamin”, vitamin D. Did you know that vitamin D is a crucial fat-soluble nutrient that plays a vital role in maintaining overall health and well-being? The importance of obtaining an adequate supply of vitamin D is essential for various bodily functions, including bone health, immune system support, and mood regulation. 

Due to the limited sunlight in the winter in Merritt, it may be challenging to meet the recommended vitamin D levels solely through sunlight exposure. Most of us are bundled up head to toe and hang out in the house more so not exposed to the sun. 

How to get more vitamin D? Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish (salmon and sardines)  and cod liver oil, beef liver, egg yolks, cheese, and mushrooms. Certain foods, like cow’s milk, non-dairy milk, breakfast cereals, and orange juice, are also frequently fortified with vitamin D. 

My favourite way is drizzling lemon cod liver oil over popped popcorn instead of butter and a sprinkle of no-salt herbs. Another is a delicious mushroom omelet with a sprinkle of cheese. 

Vitamin D supplements are available in various forms, including pills and liquid, making it convenient for individuals to choose the option that suits them best. Because it is fat soluble do not overdo it as it stores in our fat cells.  Consider having your vitamin D levels checked before using a supplement. 

Regular vitamin D levels contribute not only to physical health but also to mental well-being, potentially influencing mood and reducing the risk of conditions like seasonal affective disorder (SAD) common in this latitude. 

Whether through outdoor activities, food choices, or supplements, maintaining optimal vitamin D levels is crucial, particularly in regions like ours with reduced sunlight during the winter months.

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Bonnie Dixon is a Health and Wellness Consultant in Merritt.