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Public health advice for the UK now recommends everyone should consider taking vitamin D supplements in autumn and winter, as official estimates suggest one in five adults and one in six children in England may have low levels.
This is why we’re offering you the chance to win a freezer-full of Claudi and Fin frozen Greek yoghurt lollies, as they contain 30% of your Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)! They’re also made from 100% natural ingredients, have the lowest quantity of sugar of any lolly in the supermarket and have the same calories as an apple. Making them the perfect snack for you and your little ones!
So what is vitamin D and why do we need it
Vitamin D is essential for overall health and the normal development of bones and teeth – without it we can’t absorb calcium properly. It also plays an important role in cell development and helps to support a healthy immune system.
Where do we get it from?
Our main source of vitamin D is from sunlight, which is why it’s also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’. It’s the only vitamin that your body can actually make itself. You can find vitamin D in foods such as oily fish, egg yolks and some dairy products, however, It’s very hard to get your RDA through food alone. This is why exposing yourself to regular sunlight is essential.
How much do we need?
It’s recommended that you go out in the sun two or three times a week for at least 15 minutes (before applying sunscreen) in order for your body to make enough vitamin D. People with darker skin tones will need to spend three to six times longer.
For young children it’s a bit trickier, as although they are seen as one of the high risk groups for vitamin D deficiency, they also have very delicate skin so should not be exposed to long periods of sunlight without protection. This is why it’s strongly advised that they take a supplement.
During the winter it’s much harder to get what we need so it’s also advisable that adults take a daily 10 mg supplement to ensure they’re topped up!
What are the health problems associated with vitamin D deficiency?
If you thought rickets was a thing of the past, think again. Doctors have started to see an increase in the number of children with the disease, which causes bone deformities as a result of vitamin D deficiency. The NHS is so alarmed by the increased number of rickets cases that it’s recommending free vitamin D supplements to all children under 4.
In adults vitamin D deficiency causes Osteomalacia. Symptoms include skeletal pain and muscular weakness. In addition, there is a growing body of research which links vitamin D deficiency to a range of illnesses from multiple sclerosis to depression and dementia.
Top tips for getting more vitamin D
Take a 10 mg daily supplement to ensure you are always topped up. Don’t worry about getting too much much vitamin D, as your body only makes as much as it needs.
Spend between 15-30 minutes (depending on age and skin tone) in sunlight without sunscreen during April to September.
Eat foods rich in vitamin D, like a Claudi and Fin frozen Greek yoghurt lolly, as they will give you 30% off your RDA. You should also include eggs and fatty fish such as mackerel, herring and salmon in your diet. Some margarines and low-fat milks have added vitamin D, however they only makes a small contribution (approximately 10%).
Above all, remember to take a balanced approach to sun exposure, as too much can increase your risk of skin cancer, so always stay safe in the sun!
Enter our competition to win a freezer-full of Claudi and Fin frozen Greek yoghurt lollies. Closing date is Friday, 19th August 2016.