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Vitamin D remains one of the most important micronutrients that helps your body grow healthy bones. Doubling up as a steroid too, the vitamin is made naturally by the skin from direct sunlight. This is why this particular vitamin is known as the sunshine vitamin
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The body is supplied with phosphorus and calcium through the help of Vitamin D, keeping the muscles, teeth, and all bones healthy and strong. It can also boost the immune system, and regulate the growth of cells. Sadly, many people suffer from Vitamin D deficiency as a result of a poor diet. Proper diets do help, but it is not enough in some cases. It is advised that people get enough Vitamin D from natural sunlight in order for their bodies to function optimally.  Vitamin D deficiency in the body can result in any of the following:
  • Fatigue and general tiredness.
  • Weakened immune system.
  • Back pain.
  • Bone softening.
  • Muscle pain.
  • Slow-healing wounds.
  • Fractures during falls.
  • Bone thinning (osteoporosis).
But overexposure to direct sunlight can make one develop skin cancer, skin damage, and eventually, the body may lose the ability to fend off tumours. Therefore, it is important that everyone understands the right way to get enough sunlight.
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To acquire the correct quantity of vitamin D from the sun, follow these guidelines:
  1. Choose the right time to bask in the sun. Consider the time of the year and also the time of the day. The middle of the day has been thought to be the best time for getting the vitamin. Between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. is generally regarded as the best time. Be wary of staying out too long because you might get sunburns. 5-30 minutes of exposure should be enough for you without risking any problem afterwards. 
  2. Know your skin type and understand the ways to care for it. Light-skinned people are more likely to make Vitamin D from the sun than dark-skinned people who have melanin, a natural sunscreen, protecting their skins against damage and dangerous UV rays. If you are a dark-skinned person, you would have to stay longer outside for you to make enough Vitamin D.
  3. Wear lighter clothes that expose some of your skin. Shorts and tank shirts would do.
  4. Consider basking in the sun for like 10-15 minutes, then use sunscreen before exposure becomes dangerous to the skin.
Ultraviolet rays of the sun help us to make vitamin D, but they can cause sunburns, fast ageing, and severe skin damage. So, if you must get enough sun exposure in order to make Vitamin D, you should consider these tips:
  • On hotter days do not consider staying out between noon and 2 p.m.
  • Wear sunglasses and hats so that your eyes, face, and ears can be protected.
  • Do not joke with your sunscreen. Apply sunscreen liberally from time to time.
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This article was first published on 15th February 2022


Ohia, Ernest Chigaemezu is a writer, editor, and grade teacher based in Jos, Nigeria.

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