Ultimate guide to Vitamin D – Introduction, benefits, deficiency, sources

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Like how vitamin C and E continue to be the wonders of many supplement lovers, they also share some throne with vitamin D, which has finally started to gain some attention it may have always deserved. No doubt, you could be familiar with the role it has to offer in promoting healthy bones, calcium but you are not deliberately taking care of the amount of intake you require, are you?

Vitamin D is very essential for strong bones because it helps the body use calcium from a balanced diet. Usually, vitamin D deficiencies are considered to be severe and are associated with rickets, diseases such as those affecting the bone tissues. The importance of vitamin D in protecting against a host of health problems has today become a universal subject of matter. Many of you ignore the fact of the sun is bad for your skin, but the fact is that it helps you in absorbing the vitamin D you deserve. Not just this, there are plenty of sources of foods that can help you keep intact for this vitamin. Read on to find out more.

So, for a starter, know that this so-called sunshine vitamin is very different from other nutrients you take. This functions as a hormone that occurs when your body absorbs the vitamin. This fat-soluble means that your body can consume foods that contain fat like chicken, avocado or peanut butter. If there is trouble in absorbing fat it may, in turn, be a vitamin D deficiency that carries its own set of risks. Understanding the underlying factors of risks caused by vitamin D can be very critical for building and maintaining strong bones, get sufficient calcium and your health will be intact for the long-run.

Benefits of vitamin D

This sunshine vitamin has its own benefits and here’s what you need to know.

1. Fights Diseases

It helps in reducing the risks of multiple diseases such as sclerosis and also bone-related diseases. It drastically decreases your chances of developing heart disease and also help in reducing your chances of catching a cold, the flu.

2. Reduces Depression

If you happen to notice how your mood changes often, you would be surprised! Vitamin D plays a very important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. If you are currently experiencing depression, it could be the lack of this vitamin. Thus, taking some vitamin D supplements will help in improving the symptoms that cause it. Moreover, the deficiency of vitamin D is more common in those who suffer from anxiety too.

3. Boosts Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose weight or avoid heart diseases, consider adding vitamin D supplements to your diet. Taking a daily dose of calcium and vitamin D supplement will help you lose more weight than just taking a placebo supplement. Moreover, if you are overweight and took a daily vitamin D supplement, it will improve the risk of heart disease.

Deficiencies of vitamin D

It is crucial that you understand the symptoms before it’s too late! Symptoms such as bone pain, muscle weakness can mean a vitamin D deficiency. While, for many people, these symptoms are subtle, it can get serious too. Yet, even without these symptoms, too little vitamin D in your body can pose health risks resulting in the following:

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Severe asthma
  • Cancer

Deficiencies of vitamin D can be caused by:

There are many reasons why you may get a vitamin D deficiency:

1. Low consumption of vitamin over time

If you are not consuming the recommended levels of vitamin D, it can be that you are following a strict vegan diet, because most of the natural sources of vitamin D is found in fish and fish oils, egg yolks, fortified milk, and beef liver.

2. Your exposure to sunlight is limited

This is because the body needs vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. If you are not doing this, you may be at risk of deficiency if you are completely homebound or even have an occupation that prevents sun exposure.

3. You may develop dark skin

Lack of vitamin D in your body will lead to pigmentation reducing the skin’s ability to absorb vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure.

4. Your digestive tract cannot absorb vitamin D properly

Lack of vitamin D can affect your intestine’s ability to absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat. This can cause certain medical problems such as Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, etc.

4. You are obese.

With the lack of Vitamin D, your fat cells will not release blood properly and it may hamper the circulation. If your body mass index is 30 or greater, you may have low blood levels of vitamin D.

Sources of vitamin D

Few foods contain vitamin D naturally and this is why you can consider including them in your diet. Foods that contain vitamin D include:

  • salmon
  • egg yolk
  • shrimp
  • milk (fortified)
  • cereal (fortified)
  • yogurt (fortified)
  • orange juice (fortified)

It can be difficult to get enough vitamin D every day by just exposing yourself to the sun and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements can help.

Zigreads Team
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