26 August 2021
When I just say the words ‘Vitamin D’, your mind immediately conjures up images of sunlight, strong bones, fish oil supplements…but not a lot of us know what Vitamin D is, why is it required, and what does it do in our bodies especially, how does it really support the growth of our children; trust me, you aren’t alone! For the longest, I was in the same boat.
At its very essence, Vitamin D – the Sunshine Vitamin, categorized as a fat-soluble vitamin, is something that our bodies produce naturally when the skin is exposed to direct sunlight, unlike other vitamins and nutrients that we cannot make and must consume with food. So this amazing vitamin can be either consumed via food or adequate levels can be maintained through enough exposure to sunlight.
Having said that, we cannot afford to choose just one over the other, because a lot has changed in the last century – our lifestyles, high-rise cities, nutrient levels in our food, and even the quality of sunlight we get with rising air pollution and ozone depletion.
This all may seem slightly complicated at the moment, but getting to know a few facts can ensure that you can provide adequate levels of vitamin D for kids, and your entire family.
Firstly, understand why we need Vitamin D!
Several organs and tissues in our body have receptors for Vitamin D, which indicates its multifaceted roles beyond bone health. As you read this, several scientists are doing extensive research to get further clarity on the benefits of this rather elusive nutrient.
Now, what quantities are we really looking at here per day?
The ICMR-NIN, India recommends 400 IU (10 mcg) of Vitamin D for people with low exposure to sunlight (RDA, ICMR-2010).
Having better clarity on the benefits of Vitamin D and what quantities are ideal to consume every day, let’s quickly dive into simple ways we can ensure sufficient Vitamin D for our children –
Overall, maintain a holistic approach and enjoy a balanced diet because no nutrient can function in isolation, while a perfect medley of whole foods rich in all nutrients is key to a happy and healthy life!
Karnica Singh Nandal
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach & Yoga Instructor
Institute for Integrative Nutrition, NY
The Yoga Institute, 500hr TTC, Mumbai
Your cliché Engineer with an MBA degree, a corporate professional, turned wellness enthusiast – I
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