D Vitamin-.the lesser known facts
Vitamin D is as essential as any other vitamin, in our body. It helps in calcium absorption of our body and helps in strengthening of bones and teeth. Its deficiency leads to many medical conditions like rickets in children, osteo arthritis, osteomalacia, bone pain etc. We look for food products rich in vitamin D to fulfill or requirements but not many are aware that it is synthesized in our body when our skin absorbs sunlight every day. Therefore sun exposure is essential for about 20 mins every day .
The phobia of getting tanned is so high that we forget about the health benefits of natural sunlight. Covering ourselves up with sunscreen also reduces sun absorption. The solution is to go out in the sun for 15 to 20 mins every day without applying sun screen on exposed parts of the body except face if one is too conscious of getting a tanned face. In growing children, bones are also growing with their height and so, they should be encouraged to go out in the sun and spend some time.It is more essential at their age because the Vit D will be able to help form stronger bones which will last them a life time.
It is almost impossible to substitute the amount of Vitamin D synthesized in our body by absorbing sunlight with any food products rich in Vit. D Another important aspect is that vitamin D (and also vitamin A, E and K) are fat soluble and thus in order to be absorbed in the body need fat in some form.People consuming too little fat in their diet are unable to absorb Vit D and have a very high risk of being deficient in vitamin D (and also the other fat soluble vitamins).
We get carried away with our dieting programmes and fat is the first ingredient of our recipes we cut down on. Here, the solution should be to opt for healthier oils rather than exclude them from our diet charts. We need both mono saturated as well as poly saturated fatty acids ( MUFA and PUFA) in our diets. Olive oil, mustard oil and Avocado oil are rich in MUFA and have a lot of health benefits. Sunflower oil, Safflower oil and rice barn oil are rich in PUFA which are also required in our diet. Fish oils are a rich source of vit D. What we should cut down on is trans-fats found in spreads, frozen foods, chips etc. It is important to read the nutritional information given on the packs of every food product we buy in order to check if they are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals required in our body. Staying healthy is the key to a long and happy life. It is therefore essential to choose the life style, fitness regimes and diet plans with caution. Mother nature has a solution to many of our problems and we should make good use of them.
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