Sunlight is one of the main sources of vitamin D, a very important nutrient for our bones, muscles, nervous system and immune system to function properly. How do we replace vitamin D deficiency these days in a healthy and balanced way?
Vitamin D is a nutrient found in sunlight and certain foods. It is considered a fat-soluble vitamin because its two compounds, cholecalciferol, and ergocalciferol, dissolve in fats and oils.
Both compounds are biologically inactive, but when absorbed they are metabolized to produce various compounds, which are responsible for the different functions that vitamin D has in the body.
Due to the confinement decreed as a result of the state of alarm due to the coronavirus crisis, our exposure to sunlight has been drastically reduced, so our ability to absorb vitamin D is also compromised. If we have a terrace or balcony in which from the sun, we must spend 20 minutes of our day sunbathing directly, without sunscreen or sunglasses. But what if we don’t have it? Sunbathing through a window does not help us to absorb vitamin D and we must not forget that the shortage of this vitamin brings health problems that these days also affect especially people who are very vulnerable to the coronavirus, such as osteoporosis in old people.
If our body does not absorb enough vitamin D through the sun’s rays, it is necessary to look for alternatives: either increase the intake of foods rich in this vitamin or take supplements rich in vitamin D, just as the Most of the population of the Nordic countries, who have found in this practice a solution to the shortage of hours of sunlight in which they live permanently.
Sun creams hinder the absorption of vitamin D
We know that sunscreens block the absorption of sunlight, but as a consequence, they also block our body’s ability to later absorb and metabolize vitamin D.
In fact, in the summer, vitamin D deficiency tends to be caused by a combination of the use of sun creams and an unbalanced diet, as Leticia Carrera, director of the Felicidad Carrera center, recalls: “We are more aware and protect ourselves more from the sun, the pigmentation of our skin blocks UVB rays and we do not include the necessary quantity of bluefish, whole dairy products, eggs and liver in our diet. ”
The confinement situation we are experiencing forces us to rethink the way we organize our meals and the purchases we make in supermarkets and markets.
It has been decades since we ate at home so many times in a row and this can lead us to increase our food intake because we have the fridge closer than ever.
However, the fact of having to stay at home can also play in our favor: correct planning of what we are going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner can help us buy what is strictly necessary to ensure a balanced diet in which We can control a correct intake of vitamin D.
The best option is the Mediterranean diet because it is based on foods that are easily available in the supermarket and provides the vast majority of necessary nutrients in the context of confinement. As Anna Bach, professor of Health Science Studies at the Open University of Catalonia, recalls: “It is varied, balanced and rich in fruits and vegetables, which can be eaten both raw and cooked and combined with other foods. of its main bases is the high contribution of antioxidants, essential to strengthen the immune system, which is another of the issues that must be taken into account at this time, to prevent infections. ”
Confinement causes great uncertainty. We do not yet know exactly what the economic consequences of the health crisis will be in the medium and long term, but we are already noticing some of its consequences.
One of the main ones is the fall of our spirits. It is logical to have lower moments if we cannot leave the house and we cannot see our loved ones and hug them. In this sense, the lack of vitamin D also affects our mood. Experts see a clear correlation between low vitamin D levels and the so-called seasonal affective disorder, they
explain in the medical journal Medical Hypotheses, lows that occur in the coldest and rainiest months and that can affect up to 10% of the population. Those who suffer from it have the same symptoms each year and at the same time, when daylight hours are shortened.
Vitamin supplements rich in vitamin D
In addition to the possibility of ingesting the foods of the Mediterranean diet, we can also get vitamin D through vitamin supplements such as Vitamin D.
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