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Are you getting enough of vitamin D? Think again! Vitamin D is an essential vitamin required for strong bones, strong muscles and overall health. And a deficiency of this vitamin could lead to rickets, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes. In this article, we will discuss about how to overcome a vitamin D deficiency naturally.
When your body is exposed to the sunlight, your body makes vitamin D, often called the sunshine vitamin. Sunlight provides vitamin D and has the powerful ability to fight depression, lower blood pressure and support a healthy immune system.
The groups prone to vitamin D deficiency are people who are above 50, and overweight or obese people. For people who are above 50 years of age, their skin's ability to produce vitamin D decreases. Because the kidney's ability to convert vitamin D in the body also decreases with age.
Interesting Facts About Vitamin D
- Vitamin D can cut the risk of breast cancer.
- Vitamin D deficiency is linked to autism.
- Low levels of vitamin D can increase the risk of dementia and premature death.
- The International Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that 80 per cent of people across urban India suffer from Vitamin D deficiency.
- Too much of Vitamin D is dangerous to bone health, leading to bone loss and in extreme cases, it can also damage the kidney as well.
The vitamin D Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for males and females aged 1-69 is 600 IU, and people who are above 70 years is 800 IU. People who are at a risk of vitamin D deficiency are elderly folks and children, individuals with diseases like Crohn's disease, individuals with conditions affecting the kidney or liver.
Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
There is enough evidences to prove that people with vitamin D deficiency are at an increased risk of developing health complications such as metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, various types of cancer, immune disorders, etc.
These are the symptoms which can be linked to vitamin D deficiency.
- Heart disease.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- High blood pressure.
- Chronic Pain.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Weak/broken bones.
- Weakened immune system.
- Inflammation and swelling.
How To Overcome A Vitamin D Deficiency Naturally
Below are a few ways to overcome vitamin D deficiency:
1. Spend A Few Minutes In The Sun
It is essential that you spend a few minutes in the sun approximately 10-15 minutes from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. This is the time when the sun is strong, ideally it is recommended that you soak in the morning sunlight. Do not apply sunscreen, and do this twice a week. Jogging, sitting on your terrace or porch where the sunlight comes in will do the trick.
2. Load Up On Food
If you live in a place where there isn't enough sunlight. Then, consuming vitamin D foods is the only option. Load up on antioxidant-rich foods and healthy fats that will not only strengthen your skin cells, but also will protect them from sun damage. Include vitamin D-rich fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates, orange juice, yogurt, cheese, beef liver, egg yolks, fatty fish like tuna, mackerel and salmon.
3. Take A Vitamin D Supplement
During winters, it is also essential that you expose your body to the sunlight. But, if you live in an area where there is minimal sun exposure, take in vitamin D supplements. If you think you require a supplement, check with your doctor. Have your vitamin D levels checked regularly to ensure you aren't getting more than what you need.
4. Apply Little Sunscreen
If you are worried about not applying sunscreen, and fear that direct sunlight can harm your skin. Then, try applying it to your face and hands but not your limbs. This will leave enough unexposed skin to properly create enough vitamin D you need.
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