If you’ve been recently diagnosed with low levels of vitamin D, you might be wondering – how to overcome vitamin D deficiency? Don’t panic. If it makes you feel any better, nearly 1 billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin, is produced by our body when our skin is exposed to sunlight. This vitamin is also present in small amounts in foods, including fortified products. It is essential for a wide range of functions in our body. Vitamin D that enters the body is inactive. To use it, the body has to convert it into an active form called 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 or calcidiol. Low levels of vitamin D can cause a number of health problems, especially related to muscles and bones.
It is important to have an annual vitamin D profile done to keep a check on your vitamin D levels. If your test shows vitamin D deficiency, your doctor is likely to recommend increasing your vitamin D intake.
When Does Vitamin D Deficiency Occur?
If you do not intake enough vitamin D or if your skin is unable to synthesize it from the sun, you can become vitamin D deficient. Also, if your body is incapable of absorbing the “sunshine” vitamin or converting it into its active form in the kidneys and liver, it can lead to vitamin D deficiency.
Our diet provides only 20% of vitamin D, the rest 80% comes from exposure to the sun.
Simple Strategies to Overcome Vitamin D Deficiency
If you’re deficient in vitamin D, follow these super-effective tips to overcome your vitamin D deficiency:
1. Spend more time outside
Spend at least 10 to 15 minutes in the sun, twice a week, between 10 am to 3 pm. If you have a darker skin tone, you might have to possibly stay longer in the sun.
2. Eat more fish
Incorporate fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines in your diet as they are high in vitamin D. Also, do not shy away from eating sushi or sashimi as raw fish has a high level of vitamin D than cooked.
3. Consume more vitamin D-fortified foods
Incorporate fortified foods such as fortified orange juice, eggs, milk, cheese, fortified cereals, and mushrooms in your diet to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D in your body.
4. Take vitamin D supplements
It’s not always possible to get a sufficient amount of vitamin D from a diet because not many people eat a variety of foods that includes fish, cereals, milk, and curd. A vitamin D supplement is the right approach for replenishing the shortfall.
Hopefully, the above tips have given you a fair idea to overcome vitamin D deficiency. Spend more time outside, consume a diet rich in vitamin D or take vitamin D supplements to increase your vitamin D levels. Ensure you get your vitamin D profile done periodically or at least once a year to check if your efforts are working.