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We may recollect reading in our textbooks that a deficiency of Vitamin D causes rickets. But that’s like looking at the tip of the iceberg. Simple symptoms of fatigue, general muscle pain, restless sleep, poor concentration, headaches can be important indicators of this deficiency. In fact, today research is revealing the importance of vitamin D in protecting against a whole host of health problems.
(image courtesy: Easy Immune-Health.com)
The sunshine vitamin, as it is called,
•Is essential for calcium absorption and hence pivotal in the healthy growth of bone growth and development (Did you know about 40% of bone mass of your child is built during his adolescence?)
•boosts the immune system and is known to prevent cancer and autoimmune disease
•vital for neurological functions, brain development and protection against psychological disorders.
However, in a country like India with abundant sunlight, it's shocking to see Vitamin D deficiency prevails in epidemic proportions. Here is a quick tip to check if you are making vitamin D
Let’s look at 4 reasons why you may be Vitamin D deficient NOW
1- Overuse of sunscreens
In addition with growing awareness about UVA and UVB radiations, we often slather kids with sunscreen even before they step out to play in the sun or beach ( Assuming, they are not busy going to classes, of course.. but more on that later). While there is no denying the need protection from the harmful effect of the sun’s rays, especially at midday, at least 20 minutes exposure without the sunscreen is needed for vitamin D generation
Obesity is another big problem kids today are battling with less time to play, extra classes, addition to technology and gadgets and junk foods. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble, hormone-like vitamin, which means body fat acts as a "sink" by collecting it. If you're overweight you will need more vitamin D than a slimmer person.
3- Vegetarian Diet
If you eat a largely vegetarian diet, you may lack the sunshine vitamin if as Vitamin D is found primarily in animal products such as dairy foods, liver, eggs, fish and fish oils
4- Darker Skin Tone
Did you know darker skin people require more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D as a person with pale skin as your skin pigment acts as a natural sunscreen
And here are 4 easy ways to fix that today
1. Ensure 10-15 minutes of sunlight 2 to 3 times a week (Recommended before 10 am in the morning to avoid damage to the skin)
2. Include a whole egg thrice a week. Remember vitamin D3 is concentrated in the yolk. Other breakfast aids to boost Vitamin D include Cheese and soy milk.
3. Place mushrooms in direct sunlight for an hour (winter) will generate your daily needs of vitamin D in a serve. Much like our skin, mushrooms transform ultraviolet light from the sun into the vitamin and continue to do so even after they have been harvested!
4. Include Vitamin D fortified foods:
Fortification of staple, essential foods with vitamin D offers a viable solution to address the vitamin D deficiency. Start your day with some fortified orange juice. Kid friendly drinks like Bournvita, Horlicks Junior offer some added vitamin D. Fortified oils like Sunny have also given an easy way to include a dose of Vitamin D, along with some other vital vitamins in one shot.
As parents, we know nutrition is the most important cog in the holistic all round development of our child. Let’s make sure we do not neglect this very important and often overlooked Vitamin D. #SahiKhilaoFutureBanao!