How to get your vitamins this festive season

The Christmas season can be a time of excess, but it’s also a time to try new foods and be merry! Here’s our favourite Christmas foods containing winter essential vitamins - Vitamin C and D.

Why Do I Need Vitamin C and D During the Winter Months?

Vitamin C helps to protect our cells, working to maintain healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage in the body, while vitamin D supports the maintenance of healthy bones. Both vitamin C and D contribute to the normal function of the immune system, which helps to fight infections in our body1 Good to know at this time of year!

During the summer months, most people will get all the vitamin D their body needs from sunlight. Yet, between October and early March, the UK doesn’t generate sufficient sunlight to provide enough vitamin D.

As vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, a daily healthy and balanced diet is needed to meet the recommended guidelines. This is especially important in winter, as cold weather can make some health problems worse.2

Vitamin D is found naturally in a small number of foods, including oily fish; red meat; liver and egg yolks, alongside fortified foods such as breakfast cereals and fat spreads.3

The NHS advises “everyone (including pregnant and breastfeeding women) should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the autumn and winter”.4

However, if you are interested in what festive feasts also contain vitamin C and D, here’s a few of our favourites:

Salmon and Eggs Make For A Healthy Christmas Breakfast

You will need:

  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Cranberries
  • Toast

Egg yolks are a good source of vitamin D and taste GREAT on toast. They taste even better with when they’re poached with salmon (oily fish is a good source of vitamin D).

If you consume a vegan diet, portobello mushrooms and cranberries on toast are an excellent alternative for a festive breakfast.

A three-ounce serving of portobello mushrooms contains an impressive 10 micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D, the same amount the NHS advises UK residents to consume throughout winter (between October and early March).5

Christmas Dinner Ideas to Support Your Vitamin C & D Intake

You will need:

  • Beef, or another red meat
  • Cranberries/cranberry sauce (again)
  • Oily fish, such as salmon or tuna steak
  • An array of in-season vegetables: brussels sprouts, broccoli and potatoes6

Beef (and other red meats), contain vitamin D. As a tasty complement, cranberries or cranberry sauce provides that added Christmassy hit of vitamin C.

If you are a pescatarian, or prefer fish for your main course, fatty fishes that contain omega 3 are excellent sources of vitamin D.

Tuna with a sweet, tangy marinade made with orange juice, garlic and parsley served with a generous helping of veggies, would make a delicious alternative to turkey.

Healthy (ish) Christmas Evening Snack Ideas

You will need:

  • Chestnuts
  • Strawberries
  • Chocolate (lots of)

Chestnuts are made to be roasted by the fire, but they are also brimming with vitamins.

Portuguese researchers found 100g of raw chestnuts included the NHS’ daily recommended allowance of vitamin C.7 Swap your mince pies and crisps for chestnuts and relax with a Christmas movie marathon.

Strawberries are a great vitamin C source and can be dipped in chocolate for an indulgent treat with added goodness.

During the winter months, Public Health England recommends UK residents considers vitamin D supplements.

VÖOST effervescent vitamins and minerals are available online and in-store at Boots, Superdrug, Waitrose and Ocado in the UK. You can also find our effervescents in your local in-store Tesco! Supplements should not replace a balanced diet and active lifestyle.

[7] Barros, A.I., Nunes, F.M., Gonçalves, B., Bennett, R.N. and Silva, A.P., 2011. Effect of cooking on total vitamin C contents and antioxidant activity of sweet chestnuts (Castanea sativa Mill.). Food Chemistry, 128(1), pp.165-172.

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