Vitamin D, or what it also known as ‘the sunshine vitamin’ is essential for several functions in the body and plays a vital role for several systems in the body. If you don’t spend much time in the sun, refrain from dairy products, or adhere to a strict vegan diet, chances are your body is crying for vitamin D. Besides being produced by the body as a result of the skin being exposed to the sun, vitamin D is found in some foods. Deficiency in this vitamin can cause several issues.
So, what are the functions of vitamin D?
• Aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to support bone health and maintain its strength.
• Promotes muscle health.
• Boosts the immunity system.
• Reduces inflammation.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common and there are several symptoms from which you can indicate that you need to increase your vitamin D intake such as:
1. Getting sick more often. Since it plays a role in keeping your immunity strong and directly interacts with the cells that are responsible for fighting viruses and infections, deficiency of vitamin D increases your risks of getting sick or infected more often.
2. Prolonged wound healing. Vitamin D helps reducing inflammation and is responsible for producing compounds that help in forming new cells. Vitamin D deficient people are more likely to have higher inflammatory markers leading to prolonged wound healing.
3. Bone pain. Inadequate levels of vitamin D can be one of the reasons behind bone pain, especially back pain as a result of poor absorption of calcium. People with vitamin D deficiency may also notice pain in arms, legs, and joints.
4. Hair loss. While there are several other causes for hair loss, vitamin D deficiency can be one of the common reasons. Vitamin D helps stimulating the hair follicle, accordingly decreased levels of it in the body can cause hair fall and affects its quality. Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to other diseases that cause hair loss such as Alopecia Areata.
5. Constant fatigue and mood disorders. Vitamin D deficiency is one of the overlooked causes of fatigue and mood swings. Researches have proven that people who suffer from constant fatigue, tiredness, and feel blue quite often are vitamin D deficient and have shown improvement after taking vitamin D supplements.
In addition to sunlight and supplements, here are foods rich in vitamin D
• Oily fish such as salmon and mackerel
• Egg yolks
• Soy beans
• White beans
• Beef liver
• Cereal and oatmeal