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Vitamin D and eggs: Let the sun shine this winter

Vitamin D and eggs

(Vitamin D and eggs):
The below article was issued for the South African Poultry Association (SAPA) by Protactic Strategic Communications

The COVID-19 pandemic fuelled a work-at-home culture, to curb infection rates especially during infection spikes. In winter, we also stay at home more, and socialise less. But does that mean we are missing the very important nutrient that we get from being outdoors in the sun: vitamin D?

If you think vitamin D deficiency is not of concern in sunny Africa, think again. As many as two in 10 Africans may be vitamin D deficient, suggesting that our continent may have the highest levels of severe vitamin D deficiency in the world.1

Enter the humble egg. Eggs are one of only a handful of foods that naturally contain this sunshine vitamin. One large egg (60 g) contains about 190 IU (international units) of vitamin D, almost one third of our daily needs. And did you know that most of the vitamin D is in the egg yolk? Tossing the egg yolk may mean you miss out on zinc and selenium, two other nutrients important for supporting our immune system.

Remember, too, that scientists think there may be a link between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of COVID-19 infections. In a new 2022 study,2 Israeli researchers found that those with a vitamin D deficiency were 14 times more likely to have severe or critical disease than those with normal vitamin D levels.

So why not serve up eggs whilst catching some rays at a picnic and get a double whammy of vitamin D? Whether simple and sunny side up, or sandwiched in a bagel with scrumptious smoked trout (recipe below), include eggs as part of your healthy and balanced diet this winter.

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  1. Boullion, R., 2020. Vitamin D status in Africa is worse than in other continents. The Lancet Global Health (1), E20-21. Available from:
  2. Dror, A.A., Morzozov, N., Daoud, A., Namir, Y., Yakir, O. et al., 2022. Pre-infection 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels and association with severity of COVID-19 illness. PLoS ONE 17 (2), e0263069.


Egg & Smoked Trout Bagel

Serves 4


  • 500ml boiling water
  • 30ml vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 bagels, toasted
  • 100g smoked trout, thinly sliced
  • 200g baby spinach, blanched
  • 2 dill fronds, chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Pour the 500ml boiling water and vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat to low. Crack open the eggs one at a time into separate ramekins or egg poaching cups.
  2. Drop the poaching cups into the water. For a firm white and runny yolk, you’ll want to poach for 3-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon once done to your liking and set aside.
  3. Slice bagels in half, and toast.
  4. Layer blanched spinach onto the bagel halves, followed by the smoked trout and poached eggs, and top with chopped dill.
  5. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the assembled bagel. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Read more about health benefits for children, here.

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