Long Read

Can Vitamin D in Food Help Beat Colds and Flu?

Can Vitamin D in Food Help Beat Colds and Flu?

Vitamin D could help protect us against dreaded winter colds and flu, a new study claims.

Research from the British Medical Journal suggests the sunshine vitamin could not only combat SAD’s and help build healthy bones and muscles; it could actually help protect vital aspects of your immune system, sparing millions of us each year from serious sniffles.

The article published this week, states that rather than supplementing our diets with vitamin pills, we should be aiming to consume foods that naturally contain or are fortified with the vitamin.

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin of which there are three main types; D-1, D-2, and D-3.

Simply put, our bodies need vitamin D to absorb calcium and protect and promote bone growth.

The most vital type D3, the active form of vitamin D which is absorbed by the kidneys and helps control calcium and phosphate levels in the body which in turn helps protect your immune system.

Natural levels of the vitamin are absorbed by the skin in summer, leaving many of us deficient in the darker winter months.

What are the benefits of vitamin D?

Vitamin D could help:

  • Fight depression – Research published by Public Health England in 2016 showed the importance of vitamin D in warding off feelings of anxiety or depression, specifically linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD’s).
  • Protect your immune system -Your body uses D3 to make antimicrobial weapons that puncture holes in bacteria and viruses, decreasing symptoms and increasing your resistance to further attacks.
  • Protect against cancer- Studies have shown those in cases of women diagnosed with breast cancer, those suffering from Vitamin D deficiency were 73% more likely to die over a 10 year period when compared with women consuming sufficient levels.
  • Lower your risk of heart disease – according to 2008 findings published in a US medical journal.
  • Slow weight gain– In a Women’s Health study of 36,000 postmenopausal women, findings indicated that those who consumed adequate levels of the vitamin showed decreased rates of weight gain, compared to those who were deficient.

How should I get more vitamin D?

Vitamin D naturally occurs in foods such as tuna, mackerel, salmon, eggs and cheese. Researched released this week however, reinforces the argument that we should be consuming foods fortified with the vitamin, in order to mos efficiently absorb vital nutrients in our everyday diets.

Did you know?

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Enjoy delicious Exante products a day from our range of bars, shakes, soups and meals for 100% of your RDA of vitamin D as well as the following powerful vitamins and minerals. Taking your vitamins has never been more delicious!

Potassium (mg) 2186 1114.86 109/56
Calcium (mg) 660 336.6 82/42
Magnesium (mg) 275 140.25 80/37
Phosphorus (mg) 574 292.74 82/42
Chloride (mg) 685 349.35 86/44
Biotin (µg) 36.1 18.41 72/37
Chromium (µg) 26.8 13.67 69/34
Copper (mg) 0.78 0.4 78/40
Fluoride (mg) 2.34 1.19 67/34
Folic acid (µg) 171 87.21 86/44
Iodine (µg) 120 61.2 80/41
Iron (mg) 11.78 6.01 84/43
Manganese (mg) 1.54 0.79 77/39
Molybdenum (µg) 33.34 17 67/34
Niacin (mg) 12.4 6.32 78/40
Pantothenic acid (mg) 4.53 2.31 76/39
Selenium (µg) 49 24.99 89/45
Vitamin A (µg) 601 306.51 75/38
Vitamin B1 (mg) 0.81 0.41 74/38
Vitamin B12 (µg) 2.2 1.12 88/45
Vitamin B2 (mg) 1.46 0.74 105/53
Vitamin B6 (mg) 1.24 0.63 89/45
Vitamin C (mg) 59 30.09 74/38
Vitamin D (µg) 4.34 2.21 87/44
Vitamin E (mg) 8.11 4.14 67/34
Vitamin K (µg) 50 25 67/34
Zinc (mg) 7.9 4.03 79/40


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Sophie Angell

Sophie Angell

Writer and expert

Lover of running and baking. Not necessarily in that order.

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