According to a recent poll (data linked in the footer), it's estimated that around 64.6% of adults in Bangkok face an insufficiency in Vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency is caused due to a lack of exposure to the sun, which is not that surprising considering we Bangkokians love to be inside our air-conditioned rooms.
Going outside to face the sun is not our favourite past time, but as a result we get less sun exposure than we should.
Not receiving enough Vitamin D can lead to weaker bones and immune system and increases the chance of diabetes, high blood pressure and weakened muscles.
In the next 2 minutes you'll learn:
Why your body needs vitamin D and how long you need to stay in the Bangkok sun
How to get enough vitamin D every day for FREE in Thailand
The best foods to get your daily dose of Vitamin D
8 signs your body is not getting enough vitamin D
If you do not have 2 minutes to spare right now we suggest bookmarking this article for later reading.
Depending on your age, Vitamin D can help you in a number of ways; from providing growing children with strong bones to ensuring you have a healthy immune system and minimising the risks of cancer and diabetes:
Infants, children and adults need various levels of vitamin D. The amount needed is measured in internal units (IU) and is as follows:
3800 IU's per day for an adult may seem like a lot, but experts believe you can get that in just 10 minutes.
"When the sun's UV-B rays hit the skin, a reaction takes place that enables skin cells to manufacture vitamin D. If you're fair skinned, experts say going outside for 10 minutes in the midday sun—in shorts and a tank top with no sunscreen—will give you enough radiation to produce about 10,000 international units of the vitamin" - Source
Keep in mind that if you have a darker skin tone your body produces less vitamin D and you may need to spend a few additional minutes under the sun.
Answer: Go outside in the sun.
The best place to get your daily dose of vitamin D is from the sun.
If you're light skinned and worried about burning or getting too much of a tan from being in the sun each day in the Bangkok, we recommend getting your sun exposure during morning hours (6am-10am) or the late evening (4pm-6:30pm).
The sun's UV rays are at their highest between 10am and 4pm and spending too much time in direct sunlight may cause your skin to burn or tan.
Getting your vitamin D in the morning upon waking up is best as this sends your body’s hormones and cells a signal that it's time to get to work.
During the Paleo caveman days, humans woke up each morning at dawn, when the sunlight hit their eyes. Our bodies have been programmed over the years to use sunlight as a trigger to wake up and regulate our body.
You cannot get vitamin D from being inside as glass absorbs around 97% of the UVB rays which are needed to produce vitamin D.
Staying in the shade also reduces your body's absorption of rays; thereby impacting how much Vitamin D your body can produce. For best results you must be in direct contact with sunlight. If you can find an apartment that has some access to the sun an open rooftop that is an easy way to get sunlight. If you're thinking about moving to Thailand and not yet found a place, A Farang Abroad has some information on apartments in Bangkok.
Finally, using sunblock reduces the amount of vitamin D your body can produce.
The best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D is the sun.
However, if this option is not available for you (or you’re more of a night person), you can get vitamin D from foods such as:
Fatty fish such as Sardines, Wild Salmon, Herring (600IU per serve).*
Egg Yolk (41 IU per yolk)
Lard and Bacon (500 IU per teaspoon of lard)*
Shiitake mushrooms (1660 IU per 100g)
*Foods that are organically grown and free of hormones and chemicals typically provide higher levels of IU than their counterparts. Only Free-range pigs who go outside in the sun have vitamin D. Factory pigs have nearly none. Farmed salmon has less than 25% of wild-caught salmon while eggs can have up to 3x more.
Everything we sell at the Paleo Grocery is free of antibiotics, growth hormones, additives, GMO or flavorings.
If you're not getting enough vitamin D for foods, you can also supplement by buying Vitamin D tablets, although we think it's always better to get it from food than supplements.
If you're unsure whether you get enough vitamin D each day, here are the most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency:
A feeling of physical weakness
Chronic joint pain
Prone to stress fractures
Erectile dysfunction (men)
Weak immune system (you often catch colds and the flu)
If you have one or more of these symptoms, it may be due to a lack of vitamin D.
Are you always avoiding the sun by grabbing a taxi or waiting till sundown to go outside? If so it may be impacting your health.
There are many ways you can get vitamin D into your body. Simply being in direct sunlight while sitting on your balcony for 10-25 minutes each morning is enough for most people. Live in Holland and want to find paleo items, check out BoerRobbie.com
If you know a friend or family member who isn't getting enough vitamin D, feel free to share this article with them.