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Significant Role of Vitamin D In Women’s Health

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

Vitamin D is a rather difficult to obtain vitamin, but a very essential one. It is exceedingly vital for bone health and helps you stay away from osteoporosis and bone thinning.

If you receive sunlight for about 10 minutes every day, your body can produce vitamin D. However, the synthesis depends on the season, what part of the country you live in, and whether you're wearing any sunscreen.

Vitamin D nourishes our body and mind in more ways than we imagine. It is a protective shield against osteoporosis, cardiac diseases, diabetes mellitus, and certain tumors. What’s more, the vitamin keeps depression at bay, boosts mood and enhances memory too.

Significance of Vitamin D3

The sunshine vitamin is very important for women’s health. The recommended daily amount of vitamin D is 400 IU for children up to 1 year, 600 IU for 1 to 70 years, and 800 IU for those over 70 years of age.

  • The element plays a pivotal part in calcium metabolism and bone mineral metabolism. It promotes good bone health and prevents thinning of the bones. It staves off osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporotic fractures.
  • It also has a significant role in maintaining good immune functioning.
  • The vitamin wards of cardiac disorders and checks cancers.
  • The role of vitamin D in pregnancy has also taken on new facets. Vitamin D insufficiency is fairly common in young women, and especially in those who are pregnant. There occurs some calcium loss during pregnancy because of the fetal demands as well as increased urinary calcium excretion, during pregnancy. Vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy detrimentally impacts calcium metabolism, fetal bone health along with maternal health.
  • The importance of D3 in good mental health and in the prevention of psychiatric disorders has also been established.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and saute until they soften.
  • Add ¼ tsp haldi, ½ tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp dhania powder, ½ tsp garam masala and a pinch of hing.
  • Saute the mixture well until the fat starts to separate from it. Strain the rajma beans, add them to the pan and saute for about a minute.

Good sources of the vitamin

Certain foods contain vitamin D naturally. Here are a few that can boost your D3 profile:

Radish

• Eggs: an excellent source of D3

• Fatty fish: such as trout and salmon

• Dairy: vitamin D is also naturally present in milk

• Shiitake, maitake mushrooms: while not widely available in India, are also good sources

However, no other plant-based food provides vitamin D. For the vegetarian, vegans and those who do not spend time outdoors, it gets fairly difficult to obtain sufficient vitamin D. In some cases, D3 supplements become necessary

Vitamin D-packed recipes

Here are some fantastic ways to get vitamin D in your diet:

1. Vegetable-stuffed eggs: This recipe is super easy, super healthy, vitamin D loaded and tastes wonderful! Eggs with avocado, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms are a great vitamin D booster. Garlic and spices greatly amp up the delish quotient of the dish!

2. Rainbow smoothie: An absolute magical treat, this smoothie has colorful fruit layers. Blend various fruits of your choice with the yogurt and milk and layer up. Toss in a fruit skewer as a garnish! It is a healthy breakfast recipe which is almost effortless to throw together. Yogurt, milk, banana, mango, dates, and berries come together beautifully and proffer a good amount of vitamin D.

3. Egg cheese frittata: A frittata is an omelette; the egg and cheese are spiked with Mediterranean flavours and paired with a salad. This fairly straightforward recipe is ideal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Radish

4. Beet yogurt: Make a quick healthy breakfast that is exploding with vibrant colour and earthy flavor! Blend together beet and raspberry jam and add to chilled yogurt. Throw in roasted almonds which lend it a nice crunch.

Try these recipes and add some Vitamin D to your diet. Share your feedback with us in the comments!



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.



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Hypertension In Women

Karishma Chawla

Karishma Chawla
27 October 2020

This article is authored by Karishma Chawla. She is a practising nutritionist and a weight loss expert. She advises people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or to achieve a specific health-related goal.

Hypertension is quite often considered a men’s health problem, but that’s a myth. In fact, men and women have a similar risk of developing high blood pressure. But after the onset of menopause, women actually face higher risk than men of developing high blood pressure. Although prior to 45 years of age, men are slightly more likely to develop high blood pressure.

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing inside the lining of arteries. High blood pressure or hypertension occurs when the force increases and stays higher than normal for a period of time.

Hypertension is often referred to as a silent killer. If untreated, it can lead to a major health set back and cause many complications. In most cases, there may not be any symptoms of high blood pressure. Sometimes, in case of sudden or severe increase in B.P., individuals may experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision or nosebleeds. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke and kidney failure. These problems worsen when high blood pressure is present along with diabetes. For women, high blood pressure during pregnancy can be dangerous for both mother and child.

What causes it? Reasons for high blood pressure

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• Genetic factors: Hereditary factors – one of the leading reasons for high blood pressure, which worsen when the environmental factors are not healthy.

• Body weight: Obesity and diabetes along with their associated disorders are often associated with hypertension.

• Age:Chances of a high blood pressure diagnosis increase steeply with age. But research now shows that high blood pressure can affect adolescents and the young as well.

• Gender: Risk is greater in men than women, but after menopause, the difference decreases.

• Dietary factors: Some dietary factors that can contribute to high blood pressure include excess calories coming saturated fats, diets that contain high sodium foods, and less calcium and magnesium in the diet

• Potassium: Decrease in potassium intake and low intake of high potassium foods like fruits and vegetables can also lead to increase in heart rate and high blood pressure.

• Contraceptives: Certain oral contraceptive pills may lead to high blood pressure

• Lifestyle: Sedentary lifestyle devoid of exercise can contribute to high blood pressure. Stress, smoking, tobacco intake, and alcohol intake also lead to increase in high blood pressure.

• Other medical conditions High blood pressure can also be a result of other medical conditions such as kidney problems, diabetes, and sleep apnea. Hormone issues such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome and Hyperaldosteronism (increase in aldosterone) and preeclampsia in pregnancy are responsible for high blood pressure diagnosis.

Measures to reduce high blood pressure

Reduce sodium intake
It is important to note that it’s not the consumption of salt but excessive consumption of sodium is a concern. Sodium is a compound found naturally in foods. One teaspoon of salt contains 2400 milligrams of sodium and the amount recommended for daily consumption is approximately the same. The amount of recommended sodium intake reduces further to approximately 1500 mg under conditions such as hypertension, kidney issues, water retention, and heart condition to name a few. But these problems are usually correlated with high consumption of sugar and fat. Hence it is beneficial to avoid foods such as processed foods, salted snacks, pickles, papad, sauces and instant soups. These are some known sources of excess sodium and not the usual home cooked foods.

It’s important to avoid sprinkling excess salt at the table. Rather use adequate salt during cooking and experiment with reduced sodium salt after conferring with your physician. Tata Salt Liteis a good option for those looking to reduce sodium intake. It provides 15% reduced sodium than regular salt. Inclusion of herbs and spices like like coriander, ginger, turmeric, mint, garlic or lemon juice can also help improves the taste and flavour of the food.

Improve intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium How to Increase Immune System
This can be done by inclusion of low-fat dairy products for calcium and green leafy vegetables for magnesium. Fruits and vegetables rich in potassium are bananas, watermelon, tomatoes, oranges, sweetlime, leafy vegetables, milk and almonds. Eating three to five servings of these foods daily would ensure sufficient potassium intake and regulate blood pressure.

Reduction in refined carbohydrates
Though this is not a direct connection, but the preparations and the nature of these foods usually contain excess sodium for taste and preservation purposes. Add omega 3 foods such as fatty fish, walnuts and flaxseeds to reduce blood pressure.

DASH DietDash Diet has been found to be a good approach for the treatment of hypertension. This diet emphasizes consumption of fruits, vegetables, low sodium, and low-fat dairy foods. It also includes low amounts of saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol to reduce blood pressure. This includes whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts and other foods rich in potassium, calcium, omega 3 and magnesium.

Lifestyle MeasuresLifestyle measures include regular exercise of 30 minutes daily, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga, avoidance of rage and anger, adequate sleep, low alcohol intake, no smoking and normal body weight with low body fat percentage.

High blood pressure can affect the physical, professional, personal and economical life of any individual. As women tend to juggle multiple priorities, managing their own health often takes a back seat. It is advisable to take some judicious measures such as dietary and lifestyle modifications in order to prevent the onset of hypertension, control it and minimize its risks.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 



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