Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for health and immunity. However, lockdowns and working from home leave us little opportunity to get enough sunlight. If you don’t know, our bodies can make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Interestingly, many people in western countries suffer from vitamin D deficiency as they don’t get enough sun exposure.
The situation is not that great in India too. According to NDTV, 70% to 90% Indians lack healthy levels of vitamin D. So, how do you ensure you get enough vitamin C when locked indoors?
Find Sunlight in Your Home
Staying indoors doesn’t mean we can’t get any sunlight. Your windows, balconies, and terraces are wonderful places to get a tan or soak yourself in some sunlight. It’s almost winter, and you can definitely get warm under the sun after your bath. 20 -30-minutes is enough to let our bodies make the vitamin D we need.
During summer, you can try to get some sunlight during the morning.
Stay Away from Midday Sun
It’s best not to expose yourself under the hot midday sun that exposes you to UV rays. Avoid spending time under the sun between 10 am and 4 pm. This is the time the sun sends more UV rays rushing towards the earth.
UV rays are responsible for a lot of harm. You can hurt your eyes, harm your immunity, and damage your skin. Too much sun exposure may also cause skin cancer. Moreover, you may also begin to show signs of ageing.
Don’t spend too much time outdoors during summer afternoons.
Eat More Vitamin D Rich Foods
This should come as a no-brainer. Increasing your intake of vitamin D will definitely get you enough of the nutrient. Some experts also suggest to get your vitamin D from food and not sunlight. Let’s check out the most potent sources of vitamin D-
Eggs are by far the easiest means of getting your vitamin D. The transparent part of the egg is rich in vitamin D, and you can easily have some eggs with your meals.
Salmons, sardines, and other fatty fish contain a heavy dose of vitamin D. But these fishes are not cheap and available only in selected places. Also, it’s best not to go for canned fish as they may contain preservatives.
So, what do you eat instead?
We guess it’s time to eat more macher jhol (fish curry) and skip the burgers and rolls! You can also eat crabs or animal liver to get enough vitamin D.
Milk, cheese, and yoghurt are good sources of vitamin D. You can also get some vitamin D in mushrooms. However, you get vitamin D in mushrooms that grow under the sun or are exposed to UV light.
Unfortunately, vegetables don’t contain enough vitamin D.
Many food items in the market come with added vitamin D. Products like fruit juices, milk, cereals come with vitamin D added by the manufacturer. They are also ideal options to fulfil your vitamin D requirements.
Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D tablets and pills are suitable for people who don’t get enough from diets. You can consult your doctor and get a vitamin supplement prescribed. Online stores also sell vitamin supplements you can get sitting in your home, just like Shakers Daily!
Focus on Vitamin D3
Vitamin D exists in two forms – D2 and D3. Our skin produces vitamin D3 when exposed to sunlight. The vitamin D we get from fish and dairy products is also D3. However, the vitamin D found in mushrooms and plants is D2. What is the difference between the two?
Research shows vitamin D3 to be a better choice than D2. The reasons are as follows-
Provides More Vitamin D
Vitamin D3 and D2 both increase the levels of vitamin D in our body. But studies show D3 to do a better job of increasing our vitamin D levels. Or in other words, vitamin D3 helps us produce more vitamin D in our body compared to D2.
Vitamin D2 pills and supplements made from plant sources may lose their effectiveness over time. Factors like heat and humidity may reduce the potency of vitamin D available in the market. So, taking vitamin D3 is better due to its superior quality.
D3 is Natural
Like we said before, our skins make vitamin D3. So, it’s more close to how our body works.
Try eating more fish and dairy products. If you can’t, then you may consider taking vitamin D supplements. However, always talk with a medical professional before taking any supplement.
Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
We said earlier how a majority of Indians don’t get enough vitamin D. So if you think you’re one of them, get tested at a medical facility. There is a test that measures your vitamin D levels to find out if you are deficient.
Additionally, you may experience some symptoms like-
- Muscles feel weak
- Pain in bones
Not getting enough vitamin D increases your risks of many diseases. You may become prone to heart diseases, asthma, diabetes, and cancer. Older adults may experience cognitive impairment.
Moreover, some studies also found vitamin D to be beneficial for coronavirus patients. So, make sure you get adequate vitamin D every day.
How Much Vitamin D do You Need
Requirements of vitamin D may vary based on many factors. The recommended dosage may vary between 15mcg to 50mcg. Additionally, older people need more vitamin D, especially over 70-years of age.
Consult your physician or dietician for a safe dose. They will assess your health conditions and advise the best dose for your needs.
Getting enough vitamin D is crucial to stay healthy. Focus on your diet or consider a supplement to fulfil your vitamin D requirements. Additionally, try to spend some time outdoors in the morning to make your vitamin D.