Are you planning for a baby or are you expecting one? Bringing life to this world comes with lots of responsibilities and challenges. You should be ready for this huge change in your life both physically and mentally. To become pregnant and care for a child in your womb, a healthy body is essential. Therefore, it is advisable to get a complete physical examination to check for any deficiencies in your body. Vitamin D deficiency is one of these deficiencies that can impact your chances of getting pregnant. Continue reading to know how vitamin D is connected to fertility, what are vitamin D sources and what are ways to boost fertility to increase your chances of conception.
Also, Check: Daily requirements of vitamins for kids
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What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a vitamin that our skin produces in reaction to exposure to sunlight. It is also a hormone that our bodies require for several important functions. This fat-soluble vitamin is crucial for various bodily processes, including possible reproductive processes. This essential vitamin can also be absorbed from food and supplements and sunshine.
Factors affecting Vitamin D levels in the body:
Vitamin D can be easily produced by our body if we get adequate amounts of sun exposure. However, multiple factors may affect the absorption of this vitamin by your skin.
- Adequate sun exposure
- Skin colour
- Weight (Over-weight or obese)
Also, Check: Foods high in calcium and vitamin D
How Vitamin D impacts fertility IN MEN AND WOMEN?
Vitamin D assists the body in the production of sex hormones. It is strongly connected to fertility and is linked to many health benefits. Vitamin D deficiency affects both male and female fertility. A proper balance of sex hormones in the body results in improved fertility and reproductive health.
Fertility in men:
In men, low Vitamin D could result in problems including decreased sperm count, poor sperm motility, and other similar problems.
Male fertility and high vitamin D intake have been linked to enhanced sperm quality and motility. According to research, men with higher vitamin D levels had sperm with higher calcium levels. Sperm motility then increases as a result of the elevated calcium levels.
FERTILITY IN WOMEN:
In women, low Vitamin D increases the likelihood that females will experience conditions like PCOS, PMS, and infertility.
A normal vitamin D level may increase the likelihood of conceiving a healthy child in addition to having a good impact on fertility. Preterm birth, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia (extremely high blood pressure during pregnancy), and bacterial vaginosis all may be results of vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy proved by studies.
Studies have shown that having enough vitamin D in the body increases the success rate of Vitamin D of various reproductive therapies. According to a study, taking 25-OH vitamin D at a dosage of more than 30 ng/ml may increase your chances of becoming pregnant. However, the available scientific evidence is insufficient to support this claim.
Also, Check:Vitamins and Minerals to boost fertility
Sources of Vitamin D:
Because vitamin D requirements differ from person to person, it would be better to know your vitamin levels through lab tests. Following are some methods through which you can boost your vitamin D levels:
One of the best and most efficient ways to receive your recommended daily amount of vitamin D is from sunlight. You can spend about 15 to 20 minutes under sunlight every day to get your daily dose of Vitamin D.
2. Vitamin D rich foods:
Nothing can beat the benefits achieved from direct food sources. This sunshine vitamin is more abundant in animal-based food sources than plant-based ones. Following are some of the vitamin D-rich food sources which you can include in your diet to boost vitamin levels.
- Vegetarian sources: Shiitake and Button mushrooms
- Non-vegetarian sources: Eggs, Cod liver oil, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardines, Grass-fed beef, etc
Also, Check: Foods to improve female egg quality
3. Vitamin D supplements:
Vitamin D supplements must be taken if advised by your doctor. Supplements may be recommended to you to boost your fertility, and at certain times doctors recommend supplements that contain vitamin D with vitamin K2. This is because, for calcium and vitamin D to be properly absorbed by the bones and to prevent it from entering the arteries, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 are important.
VITAMIN D FOOD SOURCES
1. COW’S MILK AND ITS PRODUCTS:
It is the most commonly consumed type of milk and naturally a good source of many nutrients like calcium, protein, phosphorus and Vitamin B2. In several countries, fortification of milk with vitamin D takes place because milk doesn’t naturally contain vitamin D, but is rich source of calcium. These two work together to keep the bones strong. There are some dairy products made of cow’s milk like cheese, yogurt which are a good source of vitamin D.
Also check, Is camel milk good for autism?
In comparison to other natural resources, fortified corn flakes and oat meals or granola mixes may provide less vitamin D, but still they can be a good way to boost the vitamin D levels. You can eat these cereals together with milk or yogurt to achieve both calcium and vitamin D for the body. The most important check to make here is the sugar levels in the cereal. Added sugar intake can adversely impact calcium and vitamin D levels. (how does sugar impact bones?)
3. EGG YOLK:
Eggs are one of the highest natural sources of vitamin D. Just one whole large egg provides 50% of vitamin D required for the day. It helps to maintain strong bones and teeth. Those who can may opt for fish (salmon, sardines) also as a source of vitamin D.
The yummy bananas are a great source of magnesium, which plays an important role in activating vitamin D in the body. Journal of the American osteopathic Association, suggests that- it is essential to consume the recommended amount of magnesium to obtain the optimal benefits of vitamin D. So while bananas don’t have vitamin D directly, it enables absorption. In addition, bananas are also a great source of quick energy (simple carbs) and prebiotic fibre (for digestion) for kids. Win-win!
Moringa is a super food. It has 3 times more calcium than milk which makes it an excellent food to treat weak or damaged bones and also one of the best non dairy sources of calcium. Some studies also indicate that moringa can heal damaged bones thus making it a must have calcium rich foods for bones. Dried moringa leaf powder has 17 times more vitamin D than fortified milk. In addition to this, it’s a fix for digestion troubles, immunity and iron.
Ragi is also one of the foods high in calcium and vitamin D. No other plant source provides calcium the way ragi can making it one of a popular non-dairy sources of calcium. Ragi also has vitamin D and along with calcium, it can help in improving bone strength. It is a whole grain that is gluten free also and used in baking cakes and cookies.(Easy nutritious ragi recipe)
Mushrooms are a rich ‘plant’ source of vitamin D. Researchers has found that we can increase levels of vitamin D even more by exposing mushrooms to the sun for 10-15 minutes. You can consume mushrooms either directly or also in the form of dried mushroom powder, use throughout the year, even when the season of mushroom has passed. For kids who are picky and don’t particularly enjoy eating mushroom, using the powder is an easy option. You can hide it in any batter or dough to make pancakes, wraps, bread, paratha, pizza. (Easy pizza recipe to hide mushroom powder)
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