Vitamin D Rich Foods for Winter Months -
Written by Fitness Expert Julie Germaine and photo by

Did you know that your body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on your skin when exposed outdoors? That means that from about late May to the end of September, most of us should be able to get all the vitamin D necessary from sunlight. However, those who live in climates with long winters can be left at risk for being low in this important nutrient, so closer attention should be paid to your food choices.

Why do we need vitamin D? Our bodies must have vitamin D to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Insufficient vitamin D could cause soft bones in children (rickets) or fragile, misshapen bones in adults (osteomalacia). It could more commonly mean a loss of bone density in older adults (osteoporosis), which can lead to fractures, or even more easily broken bones.

We all need vitamin D for other important body functions, as well as for mental health improvements, such as reducing depression. Dark, cold days and reduced social activities due to the pandemic can leave many people feeling down.

Here are some great foods to add to your weekly grocery list to help you amp up your supply of vitamin D and keep your family happy and healthy:

  • Fish, especially fatty types such as salmon, not only contain adequate amounts of vitamin D per serving, but also offer essential omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Mushrooms contain the pro-vitamin ergosterol which converts to vitamin D during growth in sunlight, similar to how we humans create it.
  • Milks labeled as vitamin D fortified.
  • Cereals blends fortified with vitamin D, such as whole grain.
  • Orange juice that has been fortified with vitamin D is a great addition to your breakfast.

As you’ve learned, the benefits of the sunshine vitamin are no secret. Besides boosting mood and promoting calcium absorption, studies have indicated that vitamin D could also help you with weight loss goals. Particularly important for people with extra belly fat, a vitamin D supplement may be beneficial.

Coach Julie Germaine; NASM Certified Nutrition Coach, NFLC Registered Personal Trainer, 2x International Pro Fitness Champion. She has helped tens of thousands of men and women improve their health since 2005. Improve your health with coach Julie: or book a FREE DIET CONSULT today: Julie Germaine is an NFLA-registered personal trainer and prenatal fitness expert, and an NASM-certified nutrition specialist
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She is also a world-class fitness champion who has been featured in and contributed to numerous fitness, fashion, and lifestyle magazines and other media.
Germaine published her first book, "The 90-Day Weight Training Plan," in fall 2020, and her health-related cookbook releases in March 2021. Germaine also offers a virtual online body transformation program called Sweat with Julie.
Her passion for bodybuilding began early, when she self-educated to start lifting at age 17. Today, her mission is helping men and women around the world lose weight, build muscle, and achieve better health.
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