Sources of Vitamin D apart from sunlight
The 'Sunshine vitamin', Vitamin D is mainly obtained from sunlight but you can get the right amount of vitamin D needed for our body through food and vitamin supplements too. A study on Vitamin D and its health benefits state that about 50% of world population is subjected to Vitamin D deficiency due to lack of exposure to sunlight, unbalanced diet and other environmental factors.
Generally, black people can easily absorb more ultraviolet rays from the sun, which is the prime source of Vitamin D due to the presence of melanin pigment in the skin comparatively at a higher rate than the white people. The white people require more exposure of skin to sunlight to meet the required Vitamin D needed by the body.
The amount of Vitamin D you get from the sun depends on the following factors such as the time of exposure, where do you live, amount of the skin exposed and most importantly your skin type.
Skin type and its characteristics:
- The melanin is the substance that determines the color of the skin, it affects the amount of vitamin D produced in our body. It is highly complicated to specify the amount of skin, time and place to be exposed to sunlight because the skin type differs from person to person as follows,
- Very fair and red-haired with freckles skin always burns and never tans when exposed to sunlight.
- Fair and sandy-haired skin tans with difficulty and burns on excess exposure to sunlight.
- Fair and common hair colored skin gradually tans with mild burns.
- Brownish with brown-haired skin rarely burns and tans easily.
- Dark brown with black haired skin tans very easily with no or very rare burns.
- Dark and black-haired skin tans very easily and never burns.
- So, it may be difficult to calculate exactly that how long you need to expose your skin to sunlight to produce vitamin D needed by your body. A good suggestion is to expose your skin to sun half the time as it takes for your skin to burn and add naturally produced herbal vitamin D supplements or vitamin D rich foods in your diet plan.
Vitamin D supplements:
- In this fast-moving world, it is hard to get full body exposed to sunlight every day to produce Vitamin D needed by your body, on such occasions taking a Vitamin D supplements to fulfill the body needs would be a better idea for those who are worried about time, reduced fairness or getting skin burns.
- The daily intake of Vitamin D supplements recommendation varies from organization to organization. Here are some recommendation by Food and Nutrition Board in the United States, the official recommendations by United States Government.
- Infant - 400 IU/day
- Children - 600 IU/day
- Adult - 600 IU/day, 800 IU/day for seniors
- Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin means that it takes more time for our body to get rid of it when gained too much. Still, you can take more than the recommended range for an infant up to 1500 IU/day, Children- 3000 IU/day and for adults not more than 10000 IU/day.
- In certain cases, people take the recommended amount of Vitamin D supplements regularly still lacks Vitamin D in their body. This is because the body conditions are poor in absorbing those supplements. In such conditions, instead of swallowing the pills take it under the tongue, try to expose your skin more in sunlight and increase your intake level but make sure your Vitamin D[25(OH)D] levels for safety and effectivity of the Vitamin D supplements.
- The best practice to overcome Vitamin D deficiency might be taking supplements and foods rich in Vitamin D in diet during indoor work schedules that are on weekdays and full body exposure to sunlight during the weekends.
Best sources of Vitamin D:
- The sun is not the only source of Vitamin D, along with it there are some other best sources of Vitamin D. Apart from 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight exposure each day it is advisable to take Vitamin D rich foods in the diet plan to boost up your body and to be free from health issues like muscle or bone weakness, , and depression.
- Some of the foods high in Vitamin D includes,
- Dairy products: Products from Cow's or goat's milk holds a great source of Vitamin D which accounts for 50% of total Vitamin D requirement by the body per day, as well as any organic milk which is strengthened with bone-building calcium, is a good source. Apart from this, other products from milk such as butter, cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk account for the reasonable amount of nutrients rich in Vitamin D.
- Mushroom: Some variety of mushrooms like shiitake, maitake and morel mushrooms are Vitamin D rich foods.
- Tofu: There are many types of tofu like lite firm tofu, lite silken tofu, extra firm tofu, sprouted tofu,etc., whatever be the type all are an excellent source of Vitamin D as well as proteins and calcium. Always prefer Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) to get the maximum benefit out of it.
- Eggs: The eggs are super foods which contain most of the vitamins and minerals. The egg yolk contains an enormous amount of protein along with Vitamin A, B12, B6, and D.
- Non-diary milk: The almond and soy kinds of milk are the richest source of vitamins keeps your body energized and strengthen your bones and joints. Additionally adding yogurt and cheese obtained from non-diary kinds of milk in your diet holds amazing health benefits.
- Oily fish: The oily fishes are the fantastic source of Vitamin D which includes trout, salmon, sardines, swordfish, smoked whitefish, tuna, and mackerel. They can give about 200% of daily required Vitamin D.
- Cereals: Cereals, when fortified with vitamins, should be consumed along with the breakfast each day is a good source of nutrient to boost your body to be active for long hours.
- Orange juice: Though It is not a primary source of Vitamin D when it is rejuvenated contains 45 IU of Vitamin D per glass. Taking a glass of orange juice additionally helps to maintain the daily requirement of the amount of Vitamin D.
- The Vitamin D deficiency in recent times has become a serious problem due to lack of more outdoor activities for children to adults. As we spend most of the time in office and schools during the days, results in low Vitamin D intake. So, adding these foods rich in Vitamin D to our daily meal apart from the sunlight may help to meet each day requirement of Vitamin D to stay healthy.