Since India is under lockdown, many of us are not getting adequate sunlight exposure. It is important to note that sunlight, which comes through your window, can not help in producing vitamin D since ultraviolet B rays are filtered by glass. Also, in general, Indian people have less than average Vitamin D levels. Therefore, it is important that we try to compensate for the lack of the vitamin by other means, suggests Dr Ravi Shekhar Jha, senior consultant and Head of the Department, Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Faridabad.
How does one get vitamin D?
As a fat-soluble vitamin, it is produced internally when ultraviolet rays from the sunlight hit the skin and initiate the process of vitamin D synthesis. Since it is present in very few foods, people are mainly dependent on sunlight exposure to get adequate vitamin D. Dark-skinned people, including Indians, need longer time in sunlight to make the same amount of vitamin D than light-skinned people, mentions Dr Jha. For the Indian population, if we assume that around 25 percent of our body is exposed, then around 10 to 50 minutes of daily sunlight exposure is needed to meet daily vitamin D requirement.
How does Vitamin D help?
Vitamin D is essential for regulating calcium and phosphate in your body. Besides bone growth, vitamin D also regulates cell growth, immune function, neuromuscular function, and suppression of inflammation.
How can we get adequate levels of vitamin D in our body?
Since we are fighting a pandemic, a viral disease which has crippled the world, it is very important that besides practising social isolation, hand hygiene, hand sanitisation and cough etiquette, we must also maintain good health so that even if the virus hits us, our body is prepared to knock it down, says Dr Jha.
Try taking foods which are rich in vitamin D, like oily fish like salmon, and eggs and red meats. Also, it is good idea to go to your terrace or roof for few minutes with maximum part of your body exposed to direct sunlight. Under doctor’s supervision, you can also take vitamin D supplements, however, we must remember that vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, and any excess stored in the body can be toxic. So, it should not be taken without prescription.
Try this delicious High Protein Salmon with Sweet Sauce by chef Kapil, The Den, Bengaluru.
160g – Salmon steak
4 no – Sole
1tsp – Salt
1tsp – Black pepper
1tsp – Soy sauce
2tsp – Dijon mustard
1 1/2tbsp – Syrup
*Preheat the oven to 200deg C.
*Cut the salmon steak into four pieces, removing any skin.
*Prepare the four fillets of sole, removing bones or pieces of skin.
*Take each fillet, place a piece of salmon on top and roll the fillet of sole around it. Tie each one together with a piece of kitchen string.
*Place medallions in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper over them and drizzle some lemon juice on top.
*Bake for 20 minutes.
*Combine all the sweet mustard sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour two tablespoons on the side.
How are you getting your daily dose of vitamin D?
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