Published on 15/12/2022
Winter has arrived, and so has the risk of vitamin D deficiency and infections. Vitamin D is integral to the body's functioning and is much needed to keep our body healthy and fight infections.
Lack of vitamin D can lead to unwanted complications and make our lives more difficult. This is especially true in the winter. As we all know, the sun's rays are the most abundant source of vitamin D. However, sunlight is not as plentiful during the winter months as it is throughout the other seasons. This significantly decreases the likelihood of receiving Vitamin D from the sun, which may lead to a rise in Vitamin D deficiencies. Solving the vitamin D problem requires a thorough understanding of what it does for our bodies and how we may get the most out of it.
Why is Vitamin D Important During Winter?
It is an essential vitamin with powerful effects on many different systems throughout the body. However, as we approach the colder and darker months with less exposure to sunlight, we may struggle to receive enough vitamin D to keep our bodies healthy. Following are three key reasons that determine the importance of vitamin D in the body.
Strengthening the bones:
Vitamin D is essential in enabling phosphorus and calcium to build bones. Without it, bones can become brittle, weak, and soft, potentially developing diseases like rickets.
The optimal absorption of calcium from meals is promoted by vitamin D, which is necessary for the health and maintenance of various body systems, including the blood and teeth.
Synergy with parathyroid glands
Vitamin D works with the parathyroid glands to regulate calcium levels in the bloodstream. This occurs in conjunction with the kidneys, gut, and skeleton.
Signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency
A person with deficient levels of Vitamin D may show the following signs and symptoms:
- Muscle weakness,muscle cramps, muscle aches
- Mood changes
- Bone pain
- Rickets in children
- Defect bone mineralization can lead to osteoporosis and osteomalacia in adults.
- Recurrent infections
How can I get enough vitamin D and avoid deficiency during the winter?
Vitamin D, commonly known as "sunshine" or "sunlight," is produced when UV rays hit the skin and initiate a process known as vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D performs various functions in the body, including helping in the maintenance of a healthy immune system.
What about the winter? Because of the reduced exposure to sunshine, Vitamin D deficiency is high throughout the winter, and summer sunlight exposure appears to be low in areas with high humidity. Now the question is: how can we get enough sunlight or vitamin D during the winter?
People can get enough vitamin D through food even if they don't get enough sunlight! Additionally, it is available as a nutritional supplement and can be found in some foods.
Foods to Boost Vitamin D During Winter
To combat the lack of summer sunshine, discover 8 foods that will help you get some vitamin D even as the days get darker and shorter. While supplements are beneficial, getting plenty of vitamin D-rich foods during the winter is also important. Some dairy products, such as eggs, as well as fruits and vegetables, such as mushrooms, contain vitamin D.Vitamin D is added to many breakfast cereals and to some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and other food products.Find a few foods that will help you receive vitamin D even as the days get shorter and darker to fight the absence of summer sunshine.
- Salmon: This is high in vitamin D and one of the richest sources of vitamin B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon promotes heart health, decreases inflammation, and keeps skin smooth.
- Mushrooms: Shiitake, white button/crimini/portobello, oyster, and porcini mushrooms are among the most vitamin D-rich of the over 10,000 mushroom species available. Mushrooms, which are high in antioxidants and fiber, are popular winter foods.
- Egg Yolks: Egg yolks, whether runny or cooked through, are high in essential minerals, vitamins, and proteins. Egg yolks improve immune system health, lower blood pressure, and minimise the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Fortified Milk: Fortified milk and milk products enriched with minerals are high in calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.
- COD Liver Oil: For ages, cod liver oil has been used as a dietary supplement to maintain optimum vitamin D absorption throughout the winter months when the sun is scarce. Purified and encapsulated oil from Atlantic cod is used to support bone health and lower inflammation in the body.
- Tofu: Tofu, made from soybeans, bursts with vitamins and plant-based proteins. Tofu is a good source of iron, calcium, and magnesium, in addition to vitamin D.
Do you require additional supplements in winter?
Vitamin D supplements are commonly given to pregnant women, babies, menopausal women, and anybody over the age of 65. Supplements should only be taken if prescribed by the doctor. Furthermore, during winter, maintain enough Vitamin D in the body to keep the bones, hair, mental health, and immune system in good form. All you have to do is eat vitamin D-rich foods. Maintain a healthy body weight and look out for indicators of Vitamin D deficiency before it's too late by spending at least 15-20 minutes per day in the sun from 11am to 2pm.
Add vitamin-D-rich foods to your plate, but consult the doctor beforehand if you suffer from any conditions!