By Athlete's Care on February 09, 2018
We all know that Canadians do not get enough sun during the winter time. Some of us wake up too early to see the sun, some of us are indoors most of the time because of the cold, and others get home too late from work to see any sun. We get Vitamin D from the sun and shorter days mean less natural vitamin D. Vitamin D is most known for keeping your bones and teeth healthy. It also prevents osteoporosis in the elderly.
Although very few foods contain Vitamin D, there are many household food staples fortified with Vitamin D in Canada. According to Abedi from Global News (2018, para. 17), “in Canada, cow’s milk and margarine must be fortified with vitamin D. Goat’s milk, certain soy beverages, cheese, yogurt and orange juice are also often fortified.” Egg yolks, fatty fish like salmon, and canned tuna also contain Vitamin D.
The fact that Canadians are too far north can make it harder for us to receive a sufficient amount of Vitamin D from the sun. According to Splitzer (2016), those who have Vitamin D deficiency may get sick and infected often, feel fatigued and tired, experience bone and back pain, feel depressed, have impaired wound healing, bone loss, hair loss, and muscle pain.
The best way to know if you have Vitamin D deficiency is to speak to your doctor and get your blood levels measured. Therefore, it is important (especially during the winter time) to increase your sun exposure, eat more foods rich in Vitamin D, or take a Vitamin D supplement, if you know you are not getting enough sun and not eating enough foods with Vitamin D. You can also talk to a dietitian and show them your food journal to check if you are getting enough Vitamin D in your current diet.
Nutrition tip provided by Registered Dietitian and Sports Dietitian, Ben Sit. On top of being a Sports Dietitian, Ben previously worked as a Personal Trainer, which allows him to practically understand exercise and nutrition in combination. This combination of the world of Nutrition and Dietetics along with Physical Activity and Exercise is what makes Ben's interventions truly unique and customized.
Abedi, M. (2018). Vitamin D and winter: How Canadians can get the nutrient without sunshine. Global News. Retrieved 8 February 2018, from https://globalnews.ca/news/395
Spritzler, F. (2018). 8 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency. Healthline. Retrieved 8 February 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/nut