Vitamins are the vital micronutrients essential for the proper functioning of our body. They help in the normal functioning of the body, such as appropriate metabolism and cellular repair. There are 13 essential vitamins that help to keep our body healthy. Lack of sufficient vitamins can increase the risk of cellular diseases. Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins that has multiple functions in the body.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D, also known as calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin. Our body produces vitamin D naturally when exposed to sunlight. Although a few food sources can provide vitamin D, sufficient vitamin D is provided to the body only with exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin”. Our skin synthesizes vitamin D in the presence of sunlight. It is ideal for getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D by direct exposure to sunlight. To ensure adequate vitamin D levels in the body, most people take supplements to avoid its deficiency.
Vitamin D is found in some food sources like mushrooms and fortified foods. Along with including essential vitamins in the meal, adding immunity boosters to the food we prepare can boost our immune health.
Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is essential to maintain proper bone and tooth health. Some of the benefits of vitamin D are as follows:
Strengthens bones: Vitamin D is key for bone-building and strengthening. It promotes the absorption of calcium and helps mineralize the bones. Vitamin D prevents the bones from becoming brittle and also reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Reduces depression: Vitamin D plays a crucial role in regulating the mood of people with depression. People with anxiety and depression were found to have low levels of vitamin D. People with depression who received vitamin D supplements were able to find significant improvement in the symptoms.
Boosts immune system: Vitamin D helps build immunity and fight infections. Vitamin D supplementation has shown effective results in those suffering from flu, influenza, and other respiratory illnesses. It is also helpful to prevent seasonal influenza.
Aids weight loss: People taking enough calcium and vitamin D supplementation could notice weight loss. This is because calcium and vitamin D supplements have an appetite-suppressing effect, which makes a person consume less food than usual.
Strengthens muscles: Not just strengthening the bones, but vitamin D also strengthens the muscles. Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of weak muscles, increasing the risk of falls, especially in older adults.
Reduces cancer risk: Adequate levels of vitamin D levels are known to reduce the risk of cancer. The death rate for certain cancers is lesser in people living in southern latitudes, where a specific correlation could be sufficient exposure to sunlight.
Reduces the risk of diabetes: Although the studies are not conclusive, vitamin D intake can reduce the risk of diabetes. It was found that combined supplementation of a daily dose of calcium and vitamin D can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Vitamin D deficiency
If you are restricting yourself to the shade or following a vegan diet, you are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency is closely associated with the risk of developing bone and skeletal problems.
The common signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are:
- Muscle cramps
- Back pain and joint pain
- Bone loss
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Mood changes
- Hair loss
Foods rich in Vitamin D
Although the sun is the main source of essential amounts of vitamin D, certain foods in our daily diet provide us vitamin D. The foods rich in vitamin D are as follows:
- Oily fish (sardines, salmon, mackerel)
- Egg yolks
- Cod liver oil
- Fortified foods (cow milk, soy milk, breakfast cereals)
Consult our nutritionist today
Intake of a balanced diet can help you avoid the risk of developing various illnesses and diseases. Do not neglect the intake of the right amount of vitamin D in your regular diet.
Our nutritionists at Ayu Health Hospitals are highly experienced and provide you with the right diet plan that suits your body. Dial us at +91 6366100800 to book a consultation with our nutritionist and get a perfect diet plan.