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Nutrition + Sunshine + Vitamins = Healthy Living

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When it comes to overall health, few things beat vitamin D. Study after study has suggested it can strengthen bones and reduce the risk of ailments, such as colon, prostate and breast cancers.

Vitamin D is produced by a substance in our skin when exposed to sunlight. No wonder it's called “the sunshine vitamin.”

“You'd be surprised at how much vitamin D your body needs. Our Northern latitude during the winter months and our use of sun screens in the summer make getting enough vitamin D a challenge,” says registered dietitian, Diana Steele. “The good news is there are several ways to increase your vitamin D intake through diet. Sources include milk, some yogurts and cheese, margarine, fatty fish, and Country Harvest Plus bread.”

Are you getting enough? A recent Australian study found that 42% of office workers were vitamin D deficient at the end of winter—and one in three had insufficient levels even in summertime. Canadians typically experience long work hours, so with our short days and dark winters, we can be especially at risk.

A simple blood test, done by your doctor, can tell you whether or not you're getting enough vitamin D. If you're eating the right foods, you're well on your way. Dairy products like cheese, margarine and milk, are all rich in vitamin D, as are fortified cereals, fatty fish, like salmon, and beef liver. Check labels. One new product, Country Harvest Plus bread, contains whole grains and omega–3, along with the added benefits of vitamin D, calcium and iron. Each slice contains 25% of your daily value of vitamin D, along with four grams of fibre. How do you know you're choosing sensibly? By the shining sun on the Country Harvest Plus label, naturally.

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Nutrition + Sunshine + Vitamins = Healthy Living