You’d think that with a scorching sun burning our backs through most of the months, we’d be getting our fair share of vitamin D, aka the sunshine vitamin that our skin manufactures when exposed to the sun. But no! Here’s another thing that we lack in!
Quite a few of us suffer from vitamin D deficiency. According to a study, about 69% of Indians in India are deficient in this important nutrient. Now, that is not even the main concern. The bigger problem is that most of us don’t even know that we are deficient. (I for one did not!) And the few that do know, don’t know the grave consequences it can have.
So here’s all you need to know about Vitamin D deficiency- it’s symptoms, causes and how we can ensure that we get enough of it:
Causes of Vitamin D deficiency:
Limited exposure to sunlight:
The main cause is, yes you guessed it, not getting enough exposure to sunlight, and the right kind of sunlight at that. It is best to soak in the early morning rays for 15-30 minutes a day.
A strictly vegan diet, or avoiding foods that contain vitamin D, like egg yolks, fish, oranges, or fortified milk can cause the vitamin D levels to drop in our body.
Having dark skin:
Tsk tsk… Even Mother Nature is being racist to us! Melanin reduces the skin’s ability to make vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure
Why you need it:
According to Harvard Doctors, having the right quantity of vitamin D in the body helps prevent cancer, heart problems, diabetes, hypertension, and bone fracture.
Since vitamin D helps the body use calcium from the diet, its lack can cause rickets and osteoporosis.
Vitamin D also contributes to breast milk. New born babies are more prone to infections, asthma and difficulty in breathing if the mother has vitamin D deficiency. So pregnant ladies, show some love towards your baby and get some sunshine!
Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency:
- muscle/joint pain and weakness.
- bone pain.
- tiredness or fatigue.
- back pain
How you can avoid Vitamin D deficiency:
- Consume foods rich in the nutrient, like fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks,fortified dairy and grain products.
- Some mushrooms which grow in sunlight also contain Vitamin D in large quantities.
- Do not miss opportunities of sun exposure.Don’t use sun-shields in car glasses.
- Sunlight coming from glasses of multi-storey buildings is good for sun exposure for Vitamin D production.
- Use oils on body parts which could be exposed while in sunlight.
- Infants and toddlers should be exposed to the sun for 15 mins to half an hour after oil massage.
- And then of course, you can always take supplements.
Now that you know why it is so important for you, go give your body some vitamin D!
Comment below if you have any further queries or suggestions.