Staying indoors for a long time due to the lockdown may have serious health repercussions, especially amongst the urban Indian population, most of who have been Vitamin D deficient.
Recently, world medical researchers have suggested that Vitamin D deficiency may be linked to poorer immunity and slower recovery if someone catches the coronavirus. Studies also show that Vitamin D helps build resistance to common cold and flu.
In fact, eminent medical researchers from University Hospital, Angers (a France University Hospital) are doing clinical trials to see if Vitamin D helps coronavirus patients.
According to India’s eminent Nutritionist Avni Kaul, “a lot of you might think of vitamin D as being just another vitamin, but it acts more like a hormone since our body produces it by combining other chemicals. Vitamin D is essential for the regulation and intake of calcium. A lack of Vitamin D can cause poor bone density and has been linked to depression and poor immune system.”
In this blog post, Nutritionist Avni Kaul shares important tips on how to maintain Vitamin D levels in the body, if you are staying mostly indoors and missing adequate sunlight.
Getting Vitamin D through the right Diet intake
When you are staying mostly indoors, you can add food that is rich in Vitamin D. Sources of Vitamin D rich food are:
1. Fatty fish like Salmon and Sardines - These fishes are expensive and are not easily available in India, but if you can afford these, then you can ensure a good source of Vitamin D.
2. Egg yolks - Eggs are easily available and are a good source of Vitamin D. They are also packed with many nutrients. While most of the protein in an egg is found in the white portion, the fat and Vitamin D are found in the yolk.
3. Mushrooms are good plant sources of Vitamin D. Like humans, mushrooms can synthesize this vitamin when exposed to UV light.
4. Fortified Cow milk - Though cow milk naturally doesn’t contain Vitamin D, many milk companies add Vitamin D to the pasteurized milk. In fact in some countries, including Canada and Sweden, Vitamin D is added to cow’s milk by law. In India, it’s not mandatory, but many milk brands add it voluntarily during milk processing.
5. Soy milk - Since Vitamin D is largely found in animal products, for vegetarians and vegans most of the Soya milk companies often add fortified soy milk with Vitamin D and with other nutrients that are usually found in cow’s milk.
Managing a Daily Dose of Sunlight
Even when you are maintaining social distancing and staying indoors, try to spend a little time every day in the sun by sitting in your home or apartment terrace in the morning. If you have a little garden or open space, then sit there for minimum 20-30 minutes every day to soak in some sun.
Remember, Vitamin D is usually found in small quantities in the elderly population. If you have an aged person in the family, make sure they get some sunlight, and eat Vitamin D rich foods. Consult your doctor if you plan on taking Vitamin D supplements. The same applies to all to build immunity and to stay strong.