Importance of vitamin D: Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It helps the body absorb minerals like calcium and phosphorous that are important for the growth and development of the bones and other cells of the body.
There are five forms of vitamin D – vitamins D1, D2, D3, D4 and D5, among these only D2 and D3 are essential for the human body. The body absorbs calcium with help of vitamin D. Calcium is very important for the body for normal bone formation. If right amount of calcium is not taken through diet, bones may become fragile.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis in adults and rickets in children.
Best way to get Vitamin D: Our body cannot prepare vitamin D and food is not the best source for obtaining vitamin D because it is present in very few food sources.
The best way to get vitamin D is by exposing your skin to sunlight which contains ultraviolet (UV) B rays. If a person’s skin is exposed to sunlight for a sufficient period, then vitamin D supplement is not required. But, if a person has a limited exposure to sunlight, then taking foods containing the vitamin or the supplements is necessary.
Getting vitamin D the natural way: A natural way to get sufficient vitamin D to your body is by exposing the skin to sunlight to get UVB light. According to the research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, our skin cells can only manufacture vitamin D when the sunlight contains ultraviolet B rays (UVB). Regular, small exposures to sun during mid-mornings (10 am) or mid-afternoon (3 pm) can produce vitamin D.
Food sources of vitamin D: As mentioned, very few foods contain vitamin D. Foods rich in vitamin D are cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, mushrooms, fortified cereals, fortified soy products, fortified dairy products and sausages.
Yoga: Sun salutations for vitamin D: The sun salutations in yoga are one of the best ways to get your skin exposed to sunlight and to attain UVB rays. Sun salutations, if done during the time when UVB is present in sun rays, that is during mid-mornings or mid-afternoon, they are able to stimulate the synthesis of vitamin D. Sun salutations not only help the body in getting vitamin D, but also help in building heat and warming up the whole body.
Getting vitamin D from nature is good and safe. Getting sunshine during the time mentioned could help you fight vitamin D deficiency.