Often your doctor advises you “Make sure you are getting enough sunlight!” We all know that the most natural source of Vitamin D is sunlight but seldom do we get time to expose ourselves to the sun. The sun beside giving you an adequate supply of Vitamin D also helps to support a healthy immune system. But due to the climatic and environmental changes, Vitamin D deficiency has become a global health problem and affects around a billion people worldwide.
What role does Vitamin D play in our body?
As contrary to the belief that Vitamin D only strengthens our teeth and bones, it has a number of functions to keep us physically and mentally healthy.
What happens when our body does not get enough Vitamin D? Since the exposure to the UV rays of the sun has been notoriously publicized as the reason of skin cancer, it has lead to people wearing protective sunscreen lotions and covering themselves up whenever out. But has anybody ever told you how important it is for our overall health? I still remember how my grandmother used to say this to me all the time to sit with her in the sun to soak its rays for a healthier & stronger me. They infact used to massage all the infants during morning sunlight only as they knew its importance. Nowadays, healthcare professionals are also identifying the importance of Vitamin D as it protects our body from many life-threatening diseases.
Some real dangers of Vitamin D deficiency are:
- Certain Cancers
- Cardiovascular disease
- Autoimmune diseases
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
- Psychological disorders
- Cognitive disorders
How to cope up with Vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D supplements are very important if you stay in a region that does not get enough sunlight. It is advisable that you can go for a Vitamin D test and get a prescribed Vitamin D supplement from your doctor. Medications like Supradyn tablets and Calcium supplements with Vitamin D are commonly prescribed.
Food sources of Vitamin D:
There are a number of natural food supplements that will give you enough Vitamin D like salmon, mackerel, sardines, shrimp, cod, mushroom, egg yolk, almond milk, fortified cow milk, and yogurt. These are very rich sources of Vitamin D and even if you reside in a cold, swampy place, these food sources are enough to supply you with Vitamin D.
Some other ways in which you can get your adequate supply of Vitamin D are –
Take a stroll in the sun:
Walking out in extreme sunlight might be difficult in the summer months; so the best time to get your skin exposed to sunlight would be the early morning sun. Try to take a morning walk or a few minutes during your lunch break. Such walking activity will not only give you Vitamin D from the sun but will also serve as a short physical exercise.
The winter sun serves a great option for Vitamin D if you don’t prefer the sunlight during summer months. The sunlight is soothing but grabbing the sunshine for some minutes makes a great difference. It will also make you a little toasty relieving you from the cold.
There are a number of sunscreens available in the market but all are not as effective. Many sunscreens are designed to block sun exposure altogether. But your aim is to look for a sunscreen that blocks just the harmful UVA and UVB rays. This is one reason why people these days are suffering from Vitamin D deficiency related diseases.
Despite adequate sun exposure on the Indian subcontinent, Indians are suffering from bone loss diseases at an epidemic rate. According to a study, 88% of Delhi residents are Vitamin D deficient. Visit a doctor and ask for a Vitamin D test. Consider taking supplements to stay in the peak of health.