Vitamin D is one among the vitamins one can not afford to ignore when thinking of a healthy life. But, the sad truth is that the importance of this substance remains unnoticed until recently. It is the discoveries made five years ago, which brought to light its numerous health benefits.
Vitamin D plays an important role in the health of the bones in our body. It also helps in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Experts inform us that this vitamin is capable of preventing cancer and other fatal diseases. Its absence can also cause serious mental disorders like depression. Even though our body requires this in very small quantities, it is not capable of making this substance on its own. For this reason, it has to be availed from external sources like the sun and food items containing vitamin D. However, there exists no consensus among the experts as to how much one has to consume on a daily basis to enjoy a healthy existence. But, one thing is sure, if the daily intake exceeds 5,000 IUs per day for a time of four months, you would start suffering from a condition called vitamin D toxicity.
The health benefits of vitamin D are known to all of us. Majority of the people, however, are unaware of the sources from where one can get it. The first step in ensuring an adequate supply of vitamin D is an awareness of what it really is.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble substance which is produced mostly with the help of sunshine. The food items like certain fish and milk products contain vitamin D. However, the major supplier of vitamin D for our body is sunshine, giving it the nickname “sunshine vitamin.” Following are some of the ways through which you can ensure that your body is offered vitamin D in adequate quantities.
1. Enjoy a walk during the day taking in the sunlight:
It is true that there are lots of vitamin D supplements available in the market. But, their excess consumption would create a condition known as vitamin D toxicity.
There exists no such threat if you allow your body to produce it with the aide of the heat of the sun. When the UV rays in the sunlight get into the body, it passes through a sequence of chemical processes and vitamin D gets generated. Our body has a certain mechanism to avoid its excess production.
2. Include food items containing Vitamin D in your diet:
Another source of vitamin D is food items fortified with this hormone. (Even though a vitamin, it functions more like a hormone.) In the countries like Canada, it is mandated by law that milk be fortified with vitamin D. Having fish like mackerel would be of great help to you in the matter.
Even though there is no consensus among the experts as to the vitamin D daily dose, it is advised that adults should consume up to 1,000 IUs of this vitamin per day. And, the safest method to administrator this quantity of vitamin each day is by taking a walk in bright sunlight daily.