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Soak up the sun and lighten up!

Don't overlook the importance of Vitamin D, as it plays a major role in maintaining overall good health.

Deepa Gupta | New Delhi |

Vitamin D—the sunshine vitamin helps us fight many body ailments and keep us strong and healthy. However, there has been an alarming rise in the incidence of Vitamin D deficiency worldwide. Over 50 per cent of the world’s population is said to be suffering from it.

The modern lifestyle of having to spend more time indoors and less exposure to sunlight and high air pollution that causes smoggy weather blocking good sun rays is the main factor for most of vitamin D deficiency cases.

Most common symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are body aches and pains, general tiredness and a sense of not feeling well, and difficulty in sitting and getting up from the floor and climbing stairs.

If you are diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency, your doctor may recommend high dose Vitamin D tablets or liquids.  Experts recommend Vitamin D intake between 2000 and 4000 IU per day for an average adult to maintain proper health.

The vitamin can also be produced by the body on exposure to early sunlight for about 20 minutes four times a week, according to studies. However, while you are rushing through the day, you may not find time to spend in the sun. But you need not worry. Just fill your daily diet with Vitamin D rich food such as fortified milk, cheese, mushroom, yogurt, egg yolk, tuna, salmon, sardines, shrimps and mackerel, orange juice and cereals.

If you are incorporating ready-made food products in your diet, always check the labels on them to know the amount of artificially added Vitamin D such as in yogurt, orange juice etc. Besides medicines, make sure to get vitamin D through sunlight and foods you eat. Don’t overlook the importance of this vitamin, as it plays a major role in maintaining overall good health.