The Importance of Vitamin D for Physical and Mental Health
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that is essential for various bodily functions. It is found in a few foods and synthesized in our body when exposed to sunlight's ultraviolet (UV) rays. However, most people don't get enough sun exposure due to their lifestyles, making vitamin D deficiency extremely common. The Food and Nutrition Board recommends a daily intake of 400–800 IU of vitamin D, but very few foods have enough vitamin D to meet this requirement. Manufacturers often fortify packed foods such as cereals, eggs, and fruit juices with vitamin D, while it is also recommended to take supplements.
Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D has several crucial functions in our body. It maintains healthy bones and teeth, improves muscle strength, regulates calcium levels and the absorption of other minerals, boosts our immune system, regulates blood pressure, speeds up wound healing, and helps maintain body weight. Additionally, it can cure several skin conditions like psoriasis by increasing the rate of cell turnover.
Vitamin D and Mental Health
Vitamin D plays a significant role in maintaining mental health. Studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between low vitamin D levels and depression, anxiety behavior, and chronic fatigue. Vitamin D deficiency symptoms are often diagnosed during routine blood tests. Brittle and fragile bones that cannot withstand normal weight-bearing functions, painful bones, and low immunity are some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency.
Can Women be More Prone to Vitamin D Deficiency?
Women, especially those over 65 years of age, pregnant and breastfeeding women, stay-at-home parents, those who cover their bodies for cultural reasons, and people with darker skin tones, are more likely to experience vitamin D deficiency.
How to Fix Vitamin D Deficiency?
It is essential to identify vitamin deficiency with the help of lab results. Once diagnosed, consult a physician for an opinion. Vitamin D supplements are prescribed based on individual requirements.
Foods Rich in Vitamin D
Salmon, egg yolks, and mushrooms are excellent sources of Vitamin D. Those who don't consume fish can opt for Cod liver oil soft gel capsules. For the highest content, opt for eggs from free-range chickens as against those raised indoors. Wild mushrooms like shiitake, maitake, and morel are rich sources of vitamin D.
In conclusion, Vitamin D is essential for physical and mental health. While sunlight is the best natural source of vitamin D, it is often challenging to get enough sun exposure due to our lifestyles. Therefore, it is crucial to include vitamin D-rich foods in our diet and take supplements to maintain the recommended daily intake of this crucial nutrient. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in regulating various functions of the body, improving overall health and well-being.