Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin. See how wonderfully rosy cheeked the kids look after their morning PT session or football game. As a parent I have enjoyed seeing my children’s flushed faces, smiling brightly as they walked off the field energized. While most moms, especially those of girls, would complain about the tanning, it was always the least of my worries. Our body needs the UVB rays to initiate the making of Vitamin D more than it needs the sunscreen against it and morning sunshine is the best. Our Indian skin is well equipped to deal with an hour of the morning sunshine. The more the melanin (pigmentation of our skin), the more protection against UVB rays.
Vitamin D is manufactured in our bodies, and the amount needed is so minuscule that you probably won’t understand why there is so much of a hue and cry about not getting enough. The problem of low Vitamin D levels however is ever-growing and to assess why we need to understand the reasons.
The reasons can be attributed to:
- Using sunscreen hoping to increase collagen levels. The biggest sellers of the cosmetic industries along with sunscreens are for the brightening of the skin, fairness creams. The Indian or darker skin does not generate Vitamin D easily due to excess melanin. Applying sunscreen further prevents the natural absorption of sunshine to boost Vitamin D
- The increasing levels of pollution which prevent enough and clear UVB rays from penetrating into our skin.
- Avoiding the sun completely, either due to lifestyle or scare of the Big C – sometimes generated by the cosmetic giants.
- Relying on fortified foods to provide Vitamin D
What we need to understand essentially before we start clamoring for solutions is:
- Don’t avoid the sun, just the harsh sun between 10 am to 4 pm.
- Cereals that are Vit D fortified can never completely compensate for Vitamin deficiency.
- More the melanin meaning darker the skin, the more time is required in the sun for the absorption of Vit D
- Vit D is essential for all the major functions of our bodies and the absorption of all the nutrients we need.
We need to make certain lifestyle changes to increase our Vitamin D which can be:
- Exposure to half an hour of morning sun does no harm and instead brings on the sunshine smiles.
- The amount and time taken for the absorption of Vit D is dependent on how much of skin is exposed to the UBV rays.
- Include Egg yolks and fatty fish like the salmon, which are probably the only food items from where Vit D can be derived directly.
- Portobello mushrooms when left in the sun an hour can absorb some amount of Vit D. So do that prior to eating them.
Understand and make the changes to a happier you.
Ref: www.vitaminDcouncil.org. (2017). how do i get my Vitamin D. [online] Available at: Ref : https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs/ [Accessed 26 Oct. 2017].