Vitamin D, also nicknamed as 'sunshine vitamin,' is one of the essential nutrients that is known to have potent effects on our body. For a country like India that is gifted with abundant sunlight, it's shocking to find that huge part of the population is suffering from vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D plays an imperative role in regulation and absorption of crucial minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphate in the body. Moreover, this vitamin is most vital for boosting immune system and is known to facilitate the growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against various lifestyle diseases like diabetes. Lack of vitamin D in body could lead to soft and brittle bones, constant joint or back pain, muscle pain etc. In some cases, the situation may aggravate and may increase risk of conditions like osteoporosis, rickets and arthritis.
We all know that sunlight is one of the best natural sources of vitamin D. However, most of us are bound to our indoor jobs and don't get much exposure to sunlight; therefore, daily recommended dose of vitamin D is compromised to a great level. There are many signs and symptoms of vitamin D deficiency; one must keep a check on these signs and symptoms.
(Also Read: The Vitamin D Dose: Why is it Important for the Body?)
Sunlight is one of the best natural sources of vitamin D.
6 Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency
- If you often feel tired and energy-drained, or have a general sense of not feeling too well, then you must get your vitamin D levels checked.
- Constant joint pain or muscle pain, or general weakness in body like finding difficulty in climbing stairs or getting up from the floor or walking till a stretch.
- Too much of hair loss is also associated to vitamin D deficiency.
- If your wounds take a lot of time to heal, then chances are that you might be suffering from vitamin D deficiency.
- According to various health experts, prolonged digestive issues are also associated with vitamin D deficiency.
- Most of the people with lack of vitamin D in their body face depression symptoms.
While we can get vitamin D from sunlight, there are certain foods that are said to be rich in vitamin D. Here's a list of healthy vitamin D foods that you can add to your diet:
7 Healthy Vitamin D Foods
Various health experts and nutritionists suggest including one glass of cow milk in daily diet, which will give 20% of your daily requirement of vitamin D. Cow milk is a great source of vitamin D and calcium. Make sure you drink full fat milk as it has the maximum vitamin D content in it. According to the book, 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing, "Use full fat milk, as it contains only 4 percent of fat; take out its fat, and its fat-soluble vitamin A, D, E and K are also reduced."
Cow milk is a great source of vitamin D and calcium.
Rich in proteins, yogurts are also fortified with vitamin D and contain around 5 IU per 8-ounce serving, as per the USDA nutrition data. However, make sure you read the label before you buy yogurt as most of these fortified versions of yogurt are flavoured, meaning their sugar content is very high. Therefore, it is better to avoid store-bought yogurt packets and prepare yogurt at home.
Yogurts are also fortified with vitamin D and contain around 5 IU per 8-ounce serving.
We give you another reason to drink orange juice - yes, orange juice has a good amount of vitamin D and vitamin C. It is also one of the best fruit juices, which is brimming with various health-benefitting properties. Including a glass of fresh orange juice in breakfast is the best way to kick-start your morning. However, always opt for fresh orange juice and avoid buying store-bought orange juices.
Orange juice is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D
Just like most of the whole grains, oatmeal is also an excellent source of vitamin D. Other than that, oats are brimming with essential minerals and vitamins and complex carbs, which are required by our body to stay healthy and in shape. Here are easy oats recipes that you can try at home.
Since mushrooms grow in sunlight, they are extremely rich in vitamin D. Other than that, mushrooms are rich in B- vitamins B1, B2, B5 and minerals like copper, too. But not all mushrooms have same amount of vitamin D, it varies according to the type and variety. It is always better to pick mushrooms that are dried in natural sunlight. If you can't find sundried mushrooms, then you can also expose them in the sun to increase their vitamin D content.
Mushrooms are rich in vitamin D, B- vitamins B1, B2, B5 and minerals like copper.
Egg yolk is yet another rich source of vitamin D. The yolk may come with extra calories and fat but it also contains all the essential nutrients, including protein and good carbs. Make sure you do not eat more than one egg's yolk in a day. Prepare an omelette and add some veggies to it to boost the flavour and nutritional value.
Egg yolk is a healthy source of good fats and vitamin D.
Include more fish like herring, mackerel, salmon and tuna in your diet as they are excellent sources of vitamin D. Herring and salmon are excellent sources of vitamin D. Other than providing vitamin D, these are also rich in nutrients like calcium, protein and phosphorus.
Fatty fish like salmon is good for heart and are good source of vitamin D.
The best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D is by spending time out in the sun. However, spending time under the sun may or may not be sufficient to increase the vitamin D content. Eating these vitamin D foods is a great way to increase this nutrient in body.
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