x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Vitamin D is no substitute for missed sunshine

While it is tempting, and partly a cultural tradition to hide from the sun, especially at the height of the summer, a better option than adding vitamins to the diet might be to encourage some time every day outside.

Vitamin D is one of the most important ingredients to a healthy life. Without it, your immune system suffers, your bones become brittle, your blood pressure rises and you are more prone to develop cancer. In these circumstances, it is hardly surprising that a country such as Jordan might decide to fortify its domestic flour with the vitamin in a bid to boost the health of the nation. Other good sources include milk, fish and eggs, but they can be expensive, difficult to digest or hard to keep fresh.

But there is an equally good source of vitamin D that is freely available to everyone. And in the Middle East, it is present for more than 300 days a year. Ninety per cent of a person's daily requirement comes from sunshine. While it is tempting, and partly a cultural tradition to hide from the sun, especially at the height of the summer, a better option than adding vitamins to the diet might be to encourage some time every day outside. Nobody was designed to live indoors indefinitely: bask in the sunlight and stay healthy.