Vitamin D is often referred to as “the sunshine vitamin”, as the skin naturally produces it in response to the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. However, as the strength of UVB rays from the sun decrease during the UK winter, people may have to turn to food for sources of the vitamin.
Though vitamin D occurs naturally in a number of foods, scientists and food producers are finding even more ways to pack in essential nutrients into foods that they might not otherwise occur in.
These are known as fortified foods, which are meant to improve nutrition and add health benefits.
Vitamin D is added to an array of foods, from breakfast drinks to vegetables.
However, it is important to check the nutritional information of the foods you buy as not all brands fortify their foods with Vitamin D.
Here are five fortified foods which could reduce your risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency this winter.
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Increasingly, certain producers are fortifying mushrooms with vitamin D.
Most mushrooms don’t normally contain vitamin D because they’re grown in the dark, but some suppliers have started exposing their mushrooms to UV light to produce ‘vitamin D mushrooms’.
Dr Justine Butler of Viva! Health told Express.co.uk: “One supermarket says that 100g of their mushrooms (roughly 14 button mushrooms, four to five chestnut mushrooms or one to two Portobello mushrooms) contain at least 10 micrograms of vitamin D.”
Some breakfast cereals
Although some breakfast cereals are notorious for being an unhealthy way to start the day, certain low-sugar, fortified options might pack an added nutritional punch.
Popular brands including Quaker Oats, Kellogg’s Special K and Multi-Grain Cheerios are fortified with vitamin D.
In 2018, Kellogg’s ramped up the vitamin D contents of many of its cereals to include up to half of an adult’s recommended daily intake.
Tofu is a great vitamin D source, particularly for those who can not get their daily intake from animal products.
The amount of vitamin D in tofu will vary depending on the brand.
However, generally speaking, a one-fifth block of fortified raw tofu has 120 IU of vitamin D.
Tofu is also a great source of protein.