Vitamin D (Sunshine Vitamin) is a nutrient that your body produces when your skin is exposed to sunlight. If you don’t stay out in the sun for the optimum amount of time or if you are not eating right, then your Vitamin D levels could plummet. And since it has heaps of benefits for your body, low count of this nutrient could really hurt you.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble Vitamin. In our bodies, two of the most important compounds of Vitamin D are Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3.
The most trustable source of Vitamin D is sunlight. Doctors suggest 10-30 minutes of sun exposure a few times a week. The darker your skin, the longer your exposure has to be. But you should also keep skin sensitivity in mind and it should determine how long you stay out in the sun.
Vitamin D is also present in a few foods such as fatty fishes (tuna, salmon, mackerel, hilsa), beef liver, egg yolks, and cheese. So if you are vegan with limited sun exposure, there are high chances of your Vitamin D levels dwindling.
What happens if you have a Vitamin D deficiency?
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, which is instrumental to bone health. So children, when they are growing up need calcium to strengthen their developing bones and teeth. Similarly, throughout your life, you will require calcium to ensure your bones stay strong. But calcium alone doesn’t help. You may be taking in the requisite amounts of it, but without Vitamin D, your body will not be able to utilize it.
Vitamin D can toughen up your body. Your immune system relies on it and this means that the more Vitamin D you take in the less likely you are to contract illnesses. It can also improve your cognitive abilities and stave off memory loss.
One of the most important reasons why you shouldn’t let your Vitamin D levels drop is because it can regulate the function of insulin. So when Vitamin D levels drop you also become vulnerable to diabetes.
Pregnant women need Vitamin D in their diet for their own as well as their child’s health. Without this nutrient, risks of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and bacterial vaginosis go up.
Vitamin D is linked to the prevention of cancer, heart diseases, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and chronic pain. So if you don’t consume sufficient amounts of it, you could contract any of these ailments.
Vitamin D deficiency symptoms
You can know that your Vitamin D levels are deficient from these telltale signs:
- Frequent sicknesses
- Pain in different parts of your body
- Slow healing of wounds
- Clumps of hair falling off
- Rapid weight gain
- Extreme fatigue
If you notice these signs, you should visit a doctor who may prescribe Vitamin D supplements and suggest dietary changes.
Vitamin D is something you cannot ignore if you want to stay fit and healthy.