There is no doubt that we are all living in a time when our bodies are more susceptible to contracting diseases. Apart from the external factors, the reason for this is also that we are leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles, and this has led to the increased prevalence of obesity and its related health concerns. One such vital component which women tend to lack is Vitamin D and we have grown up listening to its many virtues.
Since this vitamin is not produced by the body naturally rather, it must be taken through diet or supplements. This is why so many people with desk jobs risk developing vitamin D deficiency if they don’t take proactive measures. Read on further to know the many reasons why you should increase your intake of vitamin D:
What Is Vitamin D?
You might have often heard your mum say to go out and sun yourself and get some Vitamin D! Well, Vitamin D is actually a chemical compound found in certain foods and also produced in our bodies. It has a long history of assisting the body retain and absorb calcium and phosphorus, both of which are necessary for bone strength, density and overall health.
Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient that helps maintain a healthy body weight and healthy skin. It is also an essential nutrient that helps regulate body temperature and immune function. Being the main component in a variety of metabolic processes, including the breakdown of carbohydrates and fatty acids. One of its most significant roles is to keep calcium levels in the body stable. Since calcium is a necessary element for healthy bones and teeth, as well as muscular contraction, it plays an important role in the growth, development, and maintenance of our body.
Pro Tip: Having enough vitamin D in your system may help you deal with the inflammatory symptoms of acne. Taking vitamin D supplements may also be an option for treating recurring acne that is red and irritated.
Nutrition Source of Vitamin D
Like many nutrients, vitamin D is found in both natural and artificial sources.
- Eggs: Both the yolk and the white are packed with this nutrient.
- Fish: The flesh of fatty fish and fish liver oils are the richest sources especially Salmon, Swordfish and Tuna fish.
- Milk: The easiest food to get your hands on is cow’s milk. However, you can also get it from soy and almond milk.
- Vegetables: A rich source of vitamin D is found in vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower and leafy greens like Lettuce, and also Beans.
It is tricky to get enough vitamin D through diet, taking a supplement is the easiest choice for the majority of people. Vitamin D supplements are classified into two types: vitamin D2 (also known as ergocalciferol or pre-vitamin D) and vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol). Both of these found natural forms are referred to as “the sunshine vitamin” when subjected to ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation from the sun.
Pro Tip: Though certain foods have been enriched with vitamin D, very few foods naturally contain it.
Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
If you’re not getting enough vitamin D, you may notice a number of symptoms. These might include:
- Muscle spasms: When vitamin D is deficient, it can cause muscle spasms, including those in the face and stomach.
- Low blood pressure: If you don’t get enough vitamin D, your blood pressure may decrease, which can lead to an increase in blood pressure in other parts of your body. This can be harmful if it occurs during high-stress times, such as during childhood sports.
- Cholesterol and triglyceride levels: If you don’t get enough vitamin D, your cholesterol and triglyceride levels may increase, which can lead to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Weight gain: If you don’t get enough vitamin D, your body will send extra calories to your muscles, which can lead to weight gain.
Vitamin D is therefore of vital importance to maintaining healthy body weight and preventing conditions such as obesity, osteoporosis and an increased risk of developing conditions such as multiple sclerosis. In fact, the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D offers the daily amount needed to maintain strong bones and proper calcium metabolism in healthy individuals. It suggests relatively little exposure to the sun.
Pro Tip: Numerous factors, including sun exposure, skin pigmentation, the skin covering, age, sunscreen use, dietary habits, and supplement use, seem to be involved.
How Can You Increase Your Intake of Vitamin D?
The sun is the finest source of Vitamin D, but this does not imply exposing oneself to UVB rays and risking sunburn. The majority of us typically rely on supplements, but it’s crucial to appreciate what they are and how they perform. Supplements, as the name indicates, serve to supplement, assist, and enhance. They should not be taken in place of your regular diet.
Here are a few ways you can improve your Vitamin D intake:
Maintain a healthy diet: Given that Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, you must be eating high-quality fats. Avoid eliminating all fat from your diet in favour of large additions of desi ghee, home-churned butter, kacchi ghani oils, nuts, dried fruits, and local cow dairy products. It is also essential to maintain a healthy weight. Focus on eating a variety of healthy fats, such as avocados and olive oil.
Drink plenty of water: Water helps in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from the diet. Get enough sun exposure: The more sun exposure you get, the more vitamin D you will be able to absorb.
Limit alcohol intake: Alcohol can lower your vitamin D levels, making you at risk of developing osteoporosis.
Pro Tip: Those with darker skin are more likely to be vitamin D deficient, as they naturally absorb fewer UV rays.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What is Vitamin D good for?
A. Vitamin D is good for your body as it absorbs minerals that strengthen your teeth and bones and also your muscles, neurons, and immune system.
Q. Is it good to have Vitamin D every day?
A. Too much calcium can accumulate in the body if you take too many vitamin D tablets over time (hypercalcemia). The heart, kidneys, and bones may also be harmed by this. The majority of individuals only need 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day if they decide to take supplements.
Q. What Foods have high Vitamin D?
A. Foods that are rich in calcium, such as orange juice, oatmeal, and breakfast cereal, Kale, Okra, and Spinach. Some fish, like sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout, etc are great sources of Vitamin D.
Q. What is the best time to take Vitamin D?
A. The optimal time to take vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins is just after eating a meal high in fat for maximal absorption. In addition, few people are aware that only the early morning light — from 7 am to 9 am — contributes to the production of vitamin D.
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