[Answered] Vitamin D & Hijab

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[Answered] Vitamin D & Hijab

Postby Insaan » 08 Nov 2013, 01:49

I have been told that most of us are deficient in vitamin d. Vitamin d is best gotten from direct exposure to the sun.

How much of the skin needs exposure for how long per day?

Does the exposed face and hands in hijab suffice?

Is exposure to sunlight via windows enough?
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Re: Vitamin D & Hijab

Postby Sibtain » 09 Nov 2013, 01:17

Salaamun Alaykum,

There have been reports of individuals (particularly women) who cover their bodies e.g. hijab, being deficient in vitamin D. There may be some truth to it but I have not seen any concrete evidence of this fact.

But none the less, it is wiser to take precaution.

Vitamin D is important as it helps the body take up and use calcium which makes our bones strong. This is especially important in older women who may suffer from bone disease due to their changing hormones after menopause.

Sunlight helps convert the vitamin D you take into an active form which can then be used by the body for various functions.

This brings us to your question. Indeed sunlight is important for Vitamin D. These are important points to note when it comes to exposing yourself to sunlight for Vitamin D:
- About 10 to 15 minutes everyday is enough for your body to activate the Vitamin D
- The best time of the day is between 10am and 3pm, when the sun is at its peak position and therefore gives out more rays
- Exposure to the sun will have to be longer in cooler seasons and for darker skin people
- Be careful that the exposure to the sun is not long enough to get you sun burnt.
- The rays of the sun have to hit the skin directly and not through a window
- Usually the best areas of the skin for exposure are the hands and legs but there is no set amount of skin that needs to be exposed to get the sunlight. Basically, the more skin is exposed, the less time you need to stay in the sun. So hands and face in hijab may be okay as far as exposure is concerned but the time out in the sun would have to be longer (upto an hour), and more so if the skin is darker.

So my advise is, if you have a place in your house or a private area where there is direct sunlight coming, use that place where you will not need to worry about hijab and therefore get the sun exposure in shorter time

Also remember to include Vitamin D in your diet (otherwise there will be no vitamin D for the sun to activate!). Major sources of vitamin D are oily fish like tuna but eggs, meats and some breakfast cereals also contain some amount of vitamin D.

Hope that helps.

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