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Plant-Powered Health: Exploring the Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet

Plant-Powered Health: Exploring the Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet

Introduction  The debate between vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets has been ongoing for years, with both sides presenting their arguments. However, a growing body of scientific research suggests that adopting a vegetarian diet can offer numerous health benefits. In...

Vitamin D has long been regarded as a vital component of a healthy diet and lifestyle. It is responsible for a variety of health-related functions, including inflammation control and immune system support. It is also necessary for the maintenance of strong bones, muscles, and teeth. In fact, vitamin D is so vital to human health that every cell in our bodies contains a vitamin D receptor. The NIH (National Institute of Health) estimates that around 1 billion people globally have inadequate vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D Natural Sources

Enjoying some time outdoors daily is the easiest approach to absorbing vitamin D. A unique contact between cholesterol and sunlight on your skin and in your eyes absorbs around 50% to 90% of vitamin D. Merely 10 to 30 minutes of sunshine every day is plenty. That is just one of many valid reasons to get outside and exercise every day.

The next best approach to receiving your daily dosage of vitamin D is to consume foods that your body can naturally absorb and digest. Higher amounts can be found in the following foods:

  • Egg yolks
  • Oatmeal
  • Beef liver
  • Fatty fish such as tuna, salmon
  • Cheese
  • Mushrooms
  • Milk, orange juice, cereals, soy milk, and other fortified foods

To help enhance natural levels, try integrating combos of these items into your daily snacks and meals.

Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

The best way to test for deficiency is to consult your primary care physician or OB/GYN. She/he will tell you if a supplement is right for you based on your diagnosis and/or symptoms. Adult women’s normal values are around 20-49 ng/ml.

The following 5 signs are most likely to indicate deficiency:

  • Being Susceptible to Disease and Infection – You might have a weak immune system if you are easily troubled with a cold or flu, or if your scratches or cuts appear to be quickly infected. The same would be true if you heal slowly.
  • Fatigue, Exhaustion, and Stress – Fatigue or depression might also be symptoms of insufficiency. This is especially true for women, who are more likely to experience exhaustion and fatigue when their levels reach 20 ng/ml. Many women with low-normal levels have experienced energy and mood benefits with supplementation.
  • Back and Bone Pain – Several studies have found a connection between chronic bone and back pain (especially lower back pain) and low vitamin D levels. In one research of 9,000 women, those without vitamin D were considerably more likely to have lower back discomfort or back/bone pain that prevented them from engaging in typical everyday activities.
  • Hair Loss – Men are often the subject of hair loss, however, women are also affected by hair loss. Hair loss and hormone abnormalities are frequently caused by stress (such as those related to PCOS). Women who are deficient in vitamin D are more prone to develop hair loss or thinning hair.
  • Bone Deterioration – Without vitamin D, calcium could not be absorbed. That’s why it is added to most grocery store milk products. Women who do not obtain enough calcium are also deficient in vitamin D, which causes their bones to deteriorate quicker than they can regenerate, resulting in bone loss. Untreated bone deterioration leads to osteoporosis and increases the risk of fractures.

Are you interested in knowing your vitamin D levels? Schedule an appointment with an ONP expert, where we work with women to promote long-term, whole-body wellbeing.

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