It's a well-documented, but disappointing, truth about the holidays: They're not all they're cracked up to be. There's a disproportionate amount of stress associated with holidays; the sun tends to linger behind a thick veil of clouds, and many of us end up getting sick or depressed. If that weren't enough, unhealthy foods are at the ready at holiday parties and we end up gorging ourselves on sweets, fats and oh-so-many carbohydrates. A single vitamin -- vitamin D -- can help.
Vitamin D is important for the development and maintenance of strong bones, it's believed to potentially play a part in fighting off sickness and disease, and new research indicates it's probably a component of weight loss. Not only that, but there's evidence it keeps the brains of middle-age to elderly people working properly [source: Medical News Today]. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to heighten the emotional symptoms of premenstrual syndrome; it leads to sluggishness and can create depression by altering brain chemicals [source: Moms Who Think].
Vitamin D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin because rays from the sun produce it. You only need to get a quarter hour of sunlight twice a week to receive enough vitamin D for good health [sources: Hand; Medical News Today]. In the winter, though, that may be tough. And since there aren't many foods that contain vitamin D, you have to know your stuff [source: Office of Dietary Supplements].
Click ahead to learn about some tasty foods that'll help you meet your body's vitamin D needs during the trying holidays.