Natural sources of Vitamin D
Vitamin D, also known as the 'sunshine vitamin', is crucial for important bodily functions like growth, the regulation of blood pressure, and the maintenance of healthy bones. But our sedentary lifestyles can limit exposure to the sun and prevent us from getting sufficient amounts of Vitamin D. Without this, we are at increased risk for a whole host of problems including osteoporosis, fatigue, muscle weakness and even certain types of cancer. Insufficient Vitamin D is also linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity as well as a weakened immune system, depression, and dementia.
Sunlight is a natural source of Vitamin D for all mammals, including humans, and can be acquired by exposing your skin to the sun. Around 15 minutes of exposure to sunlight is all that is needed for your body to start producing Vitamin D. But despite its sunny weather, the UAE has one of the highest rates of Vitamin D deficiency in the world - 90% of the population lacks the sunshine vitamin. If you are unable to go outdoors as much as you need, consuming Vitamin D-rich foods will improve your state of health and keep depression away.
Delicious Ways To Get Your Vitamin D
Salmon - a rich source of Vitamin D
Some of the best Vitamin D food sources can be found in your fridge. These include fatty fish like tuna, sardines, herring, salmon, trout, and mackerel. Salmon can contain between 394 and 636 IUs of the Vitamin D per 100 gms and is a recommended source of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is also found in abundance in beef liver and egg yolks. But if you are a vegetarian, foods like Swiss cheese, yoghurt, oatmeal, maitake mushrooms and portabella mushrooms will boost your Vitamin D levels.
If you like to drink your vitamins instead of eating them, try milk like soy milk, almond milk, and fresh cow’s milk. A cup of soy milk can provide you with up to 86 IUs of Vitamin D. Orange juice is another delicious daily source of Vitamin D that gives up to 100 IUs per cup.
The drawback is that you would have to consume large quantities of these foods to reach the right level of Vitamin D - which is not possible for most people in their daily diet. A simple solution is to drink Al Rawabi Vitamin D Milk. It is fresh cow’s milk enriched with Vitamin D and formulated to tackle symptoms caused by the lack of Vitamin D.
How Much Do You Need?
Requirements of Vitamin D vary among age groups
The requirement of the body for Vitamin D varies between age groups and genders. According to the recommended dosage by Dr. Holick, the leading expert on Vitamin D globally, children between the ages of 9 to 18 require 400-2000 IU daily, while healthy adults between the ages of 19 to 50 require 1500-2000 IU per day. Women above 50 years of age need to take 2000 IU of Vitamin D daily.
Research reveals compelling reasons for why women should be concerned about their Vitamin D intake. Evidence suggests that during pregnancy, a higher level of Vitamin D reduces the risk of one common and severe birth complication - pre-eclampsia. It lessens the need for a cesarean section as well.
Vitamin D is also critical for the maintenance of women’s bone health. Studies suggest that to maximise the absorption of calcium from the diet, the blood level of Vitamin D should be more than 30 ng/ml. That's why women who are Vitamin D-deficient can end up losing as much as 3% to 4% of their skeletal mass every year.
Evidence also shows that women who have the highest intake of Vitamin D reduce their risk of multiple sclerosis by 41% and rheumatoid arthritis by 44%. According to the Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard University, women with the best intake of Vitamin D also reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 50%.
Vitamin D can also help women above 50 years of age who suffer from depression caused by menopause, by regulating the hormones in their body. This vitamin is also essential to improve bone strength in women as they are at grave risk of osteoporosis after the age of 50. It will also boost their immune systems.
What If You Don’t Get Enough?
Pain in bones is a sign of deficiency
In babies, the deficiency of Vitamin D can be identified through cramps (muscle spasms), fits (seizures) and breathing difficulties. Children with the deficiency will suffer from rickets - a disease in which the bone tissue doesn't properly mineralize, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities.
A delay in teething leading to the delayed development of the milk teeth can also be caused by the deficiency of Vitamin D. In rare cases a very low Vitamin D level can cause weakness of the heart muscle known as cardiomyopathy. This leads to irregular heartbeats and other severe complications.
In adults, a deficiency of Vitamin D can be linked to fatigue, aches and pains and a general sense of being unwell. Severe pain in the bones, as well as muscle weakness, can indicate osteomalacia. This disease is caused by impaired bone metabolism that is primarily due to inadequate levels of available Vitamin D.
Best Source For Your Daily Dose Of Vitamin D
Drink milk for a daily dose of Vitamin D
Milk is a very dependable source of Vitamin D and also offers a multitude of other essential nutrients. Vitamins in milk include Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 as well as Vitamin C, riboflavin and folates.
Milk is also rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and zinc. Al Rawabi Vitamin D Milk is fortified with Vitamin D in order to increase the content of the nutrient in it. Vitamin D Milk contains 2000 IU of Vitamin D3 in every 250 ml cup. It is recommended to drink one glass daily for prevention as we live in a country where more than 90% of the population suffers from Vitamin D deficiency.
If you’re concerned about your health, but don’t have enough time to catch some sunshine, try Al Rawabi Vitamin D Milk. It is a delicious way to enjoy a dose of Vitamin D, all day, every day!