3 reasons to supplement with vitamin D this winter

Check out my latest blog post for the Ottawa Mommy Club!

3 reasons to supplement with vitamin D this winter


Stock image purchased from Dreamstime.com

Stock image purchased from Dreamstime.com

Essentials for a Healthy Winter Season

Check out my latest article in Healthy Directions Magazine:

Essentials for a Healthy Winter Season.


Have a happy winter!

Foods to keep you warm this winter

Warm up this winter with a delicious meal!

According to the traditional Chinese medicine philosophy, it is important to eat with the seasons.  As the weather turns colder, it is important to balance the external coldness with warming foods to support your health in the winter.

The temperature of food is also important, so having more cooked meals in the form of soups, stews and chilli rather than cold, raw salads is essential to optimizing winter health.

Eat more foods that warm the body: ginger root, cinnamon, cumin, anise, caraway, garlic, onion, fennel, cloves, rosemary, basil, black beans, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, parsnip, sweet potato, squash, leeks, kale, beef and lamb.

Minimize foods that cool the body: peppermint, cilantro, marjoram, cucumber, celery, lettuce, radish, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, eggplant, zucchini, seaweed, citrus fruits, apple, pear, watermelon, tomato, banana, sprouts, mung beans, wheat products, millet, tofu.

Spicy squash and parsnip soup recipe

Feel free to share your warming winter recipes!

3 reasons to take vitamin D this winter

Winter is approaching which means it is time to start thinking about supplementing with Vitamin D.  Of course, getting all your vitamins and minerals through food is ideal, however vitamin D is the exception and I recommend everyone should supplement with it for the following reasons:

1. Vitamin D is not available in food in the required daily amounts to maintain good health.  As an adult, you need 2,000-4,000 IU of vitamin D per day.  A 100 mg serving of tuna or salmon only contains 200 IU.  Certain foods like cereals, milk and orange juice are fortified with extra vitamin D, however the amounts are still minimal.  And we have all heard of cod liver oil, it contains vitamin D but doesn’t have the most pleasant taste. Incorporating these foods into your diet will prevent a deficiency, but may not be enough for optimal health.

2. Do you live in North America? Then you live far, far away from the equator and your amount of exposure to the sun in the winter is limited.  Are you familiar with waking up and going to work before the sun rises? And then leaving work and it is already dark outside? Even if you go outside on your lunch break, you will be all bundled up due to the frigid weather that the only part of your face exposed to the sun will be your face! Sunlight stimulates your skin to produce vitamin D, and limited exposure to the sun during the winter months can easily lead to a vitamin D deficiency.

3. Do you suffer from seasonal affective disorder, depression, anxiety, frequent colds and flus, autoimmune conditions, eczema, psoriasis, asthma or allergies? Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to these conditions and people who have them often need higher therapeutic amounts of vitamin D to help improve their condition.

As always, taking a new vitamin or mineral supplement should be discussed with your primary health care provider before starting to make sure it is right for your individual situation and to determine what amount is best for you.

Have a happy winter season!