Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for our health, even more so in special populations such as pregnant women and growing children. It is a crucial nutrient that helps incorporate calcium from our food, strengthening the bone system.
Vitamin D for fertility and pregnancy
This vitamin is vital before pregnancy; it is fundamental to improving fertility and preventing abortions. During pregnancy, vitamin D is essential for the baby’s bones, and a recent study has shown that it may help reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes. For its part, a deficit of this vitamin during pregnancy is related to low birth weight and language problems in children.
Vitamin D and Iron in infants and children:
The latest WHO recommendation (based on a scientific review on vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy ) does not recommend that pregnant women take vitamin D supplements, as “there is insufficient data to directly assess the benefits and harms of using only Vitamin D supplements. It recommends a balanced diet that includes foods rich in Vitamin D.
Vitamin D in infants and children
According to a review by the European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), many healthy European children and adolescents (including Spanish children) would have vitamin D deficiency. This severe problem could cause associated diseases.
Source of Vitamin D
It is recommended to guarantee a minimum exposure of 15 minutes to the sun three or four times a week or 10 minutes of face and hands daily. If we suffer from vitamin D deficiency or are at risk, the ideal is to bet on healthy foods rich in this micronutrient to guarantee adequate levels in the body.
Foods that provide Vitamin D
Vitamin D is fat-soluble, which is why it is concentrated in many foods with fat. The fish with the highest vitamin proportion are oily (also rich in Omega 3 ), especially salmon, herring, horse mackerel, sardines and anchovies. Freshwater fish such as trout or carp also stand out.
We can thus add vitamin D with fatty fish through a herring salad, pasta with sardines, pickled horse mackerel, salmon en papillote or a warm salmon and prawn salad.
Milk and its derivatives, such as yoghurts and cheeses, are an essential source of vitamin D, so they cannot be lacking in the diet.
In addition to having this vitamin itself, we can currently find many dairy products enriched with vitamin D. It is preferable to choose whole dairy products over skimmed ones since fat favours the intake and assimilation of the vitamin.
We can add milk and dairy to breakfast through porridge, yoghurt in a smoothie, fresh cheeses, a yoghurt cake or at lunch and dinner as tortellini salad with creamy yoghurt dressing: recipe to gives more variety to pasta salads or potato and Greek yoghurt salad: recipe for forgetting mayonnaise.
Eggs cannot be missing from the diet. Above all, egg yolk is a good vitamin D. Although it used to be included late in the baby’s diet, it has not reduced the risk of allergy. However, it is recommended to include it in complementary feeding from six months due to its nutritional value.
We can include them in various recipes, from omelettes to pancakes for breakfast, deviled eggs, omelettes or a Mediterranean frittata for dinner time.
Cereals are a Non-animal source of vitamin D, with a good dose of this nutrient (57 mg/100g), making them ideal for breakfast. Whole grains are preferable, and avoid those that contain added sugars. They can be wheat, spelt, oats, rye, corn, or rice, both whole and in flakes.
Including mushrooms and fungi in your dishes will also increase the contribution of vitamin D to the diet. Those exposed to ultraviolet light are a good source of this nutrient. Therefore, it is essential that we always buy them in authorised establishments, with all food safety measures, and not take wild mushrooms collected by us if we are not experts.
If you eat pâté, it is essential to verify that it has been pasteurised and processed adequately for its preservation and discard homemade or natural pâtés that have not been cooked (over 70 degrees). It is good for children to include in the diet, both in homemade pâté (pregnant women avoid) and in prepared dishes such as liver with onions.