To keep our immune systems healthy, we need a sufficient supply of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients – one of them being Vitamin D.
Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties and plays a crucial role in aiding our immunity. Deficiency in this vitamin can cause greater susceptibility to diseases and weaken anti-body responses. This deficiency is also associated with decreased lung function, which can further affect your body’s ability to fight against respiratory infections like Covid-19.
While there is no concrete vaccine or treatment for the novel coronavirus, studies do indicate that a Vitamin D deficiency can increase a person’s risk of contracting the diseases and the damage it can cause to their respiratory systems.
According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, around 80%-90% of the Indian population is Vitamin D deficient. This is primarily due to the lack of foods rich in Vitamin D in their daily diets, and their not getting sufficient direct sunshine at the right times of day.
So, here are some easy and effective tips to help boost your Vitamin D – and thereby strengthen your immune system:
Get Your Daily Dose of Sunshine: Every Indian has probably been told to take a walk once a day in the sun to ensure that they soak up some Vitamin D. However, the most common question is ‘When?’ Some experts say that the best time to go for a walk is anytime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., as our bodies have a high absorbent rate for Vitamin D. Similarly, it has also been advised that going for a walk early in the morning, anytime between 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. is excellent to get your fill of Vitamin D. Regardless of what time you choose, remember to limit your time under the sun, if possible to around 30 to 60 minutes at a time , as UV radiation can also have long lasting effects on your skin.
Make Way for Some Light: If you can’t go outside, let the sunshine come in. With more and more people adopting sedentary jobs, it has become harder to incorporate time during the day for a walk under the sun. By either placing your work station / desk near a clear window or by opening up the curtains around the room, you can promote the absorption of Vitamin D even while staying indoors.
Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin D: An excellent way to ensure that you’re receiving the appropriate amounts of Vitamin D is through your diet. Good sources are eggs (especially egg yolks), fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, salmon, low-fat dairy and spinach.
Get Your Dose of Calcium: Another common side effect of having a Vitamin D deficiency is deteriorated bone health. Vitamin D and Calcium work together to ensure that your bones are is strong and durable. That is why it is equally important to maintain a steady intake of calcium. Calcium can be found in a variety of foods from nuts, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, probiotics, dairy, tofu, almonds, and walnuts.
Fit In Some Exercise: Regular exercise does not always mean long hours of intense work outs and trainings at the gym. Maintaining physical activity is essential for your body’s production of Vitamin D. It’s crucial to adopt a routine where you move your body around for at least 30-60 minutes a day. This could range from a brisk walk and yoga to light Zumba or dance classes.