HEALTH HABITAT

VITAMIN SUNSHINE FOR WOMEN!

A little sun exposure everyday is what every lady should look forward to for great health. While you are soaking up the sun, your body is busy making Vitamin D which plays an important role in your body.

This very vitamin has gained so much importance that it’s now known as a “Pro-hormone” in human body. We all know that Vitamin D is required primarily for bone health but let’s start with the lesser known benefits and get amazed with it’s wonderful effects on our body.

Vitamin D is a major nutrient in preventing certain conditions such as cancer, heart diseases, autoimmune diseases, type 2 diabetes mellitus & infections. Good stores of Vitamin D is directly related to management of ideal body weight which if not maintained becomes the root cause of several medical conditions. It contributes to increasing the potency of your immune system by developing 2 types of immunity namely innate & adaptive.  And not to forget, it also helps in absorption of calcium in the body. When you are working your way up to ingest good amount of calcium everyday, make sure it’s well absorbed as well with a daily dose of Vitamin D. Without enough Vitamin D, you are only absorbing 10% of calcium from the foods eaten. So make both these female friendly nutrients do good to you.

Now talking about it’s primary and pivotal role of bone health, let’s understand it’s working and how it can be acquired. It has been estimated that humans get 80% Vitamin D from ultraviolet B rays via the skin and 20% from their diet. This 80% Vitamin D via sunlight gets converted to it’s active form in the kidneys with the help of parathyroid hormone and calcium. This active form (Vitamin D3) is now available in the body to perform it’s role. The main role of sunshine vitamin is to build & maintain bone mineral density and to keep a balanced serum calcium level. This helps in keeping the bones strong and avoids skeletal deformities, arthritis, brittle bones & frequent fractures, and osteoporosis or osteopenia.

People with darker skin pigmentation tend to have lower levels, as do people who use sunscreen, don’t spend much time outdoors, or are overweight or obese. This is because vitamin D is fat soluble, so it gets trapped in fatty tissue and can’t be used by the body as it should be. Gastrointestinal surgery, like gastric bypass, makes it difficult to absorb vitamin D. And as we age, we don’t absorb vitamin D well, and we produce less.

Who needs a supplement? 

If the level of Vitamin D in your blood is less than 20 ng/mL, your doctor/qualified dietitian can recommend you an extra supplement. Many women already take calcium and Vitamin D supplements together for bone health because they work together. This is specially very effective and helpful during pregnancy and for 40+ females who are about to enter menopausal phase of their lives.

These were the already known and proven aspects of Vitamin D but here are a few emerging roles of it. It is now considered important in cell differentiation, proliferation, and immune function. It is an important factor in prevention/treatment of some forms of cancer, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity, psoriasis, and psychiatric diseases. The role of vitamin D in pregnancy is also taking new dimensions.

With uncountable benefits, every women should make sure to get her vitamin D levels checked and get started with the right practices. The best one is to face the sun and meditate for 10 minutes daily anytime between 9 am to 11 am.

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