Vitamin D deficiencies are linked to everything from diabetes to heart disease to depression to fatigue to cancer -- and more every day. We're only now beginning to realize just how essential it is for good health.
It can be hard to know if we're getting enough, though, and hard to estimate how much sun exposure we need in different climates and at different times. We've also been told time and again about the dangers of too much sun exposure. It's also hard to know if we're getting enough from food sources and supplements.
The good news is there are free apps to help make it all a lot easier.
D Minder uses information such as your body type, location and time of day to calculate how much vitamin D you're getting. You can also see forecasts based on your location and more.
The developer says:
You setup basic information one time, like your height and weight and skin type and then any time you are outside, during the prescribed hours (and parts of the year), you can have it compute the amount of D you are getting in a stopwatch interface. It will also track how long you can stay out and warn you when the time is up.
The application will notify you with the next opportunity to generate vitamin D.
Each day, you can see forecasts based on your location, and you can also see the solar position, your generated vitamin D vs. target etc.
There's also a paid version of D minder ($1.99), that provides the additional feature of letting you track your Vitamin D levels over time.
Vitamin D Calculator is another free app to help you track your vitamin D levels.
This one also lets you track your levels from food and vitamins, plus has additional features.
Its developer says:
The vitamin D calculator is designed to assist users in estimating intake of vitamin D and calcium from foods, multivitamins and casual sun exposure. Commonly known to be essential for healthy bone development, vitamin D is a hormone involved in many different types of cellular functions inside the body. This calculator is a simple and easy to use tool for everyone.
The result of the total daily calculation of vitamin D is broken down under food sources (dairy, fruits/vegetables, fish/meat, cereal), multivitamin and sun exposure. A pie chart provides percent intake of daily vitamin D and calcium from these sources.
The vitamin D calculator has the following main features:
1. User profile tab – enter name, age, height, weight, default zip code, country and skin type
2. Calculator tab – enter amount and type of food for each meal (breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner). Select multivitamin if used and enter time for sun exposure. Finally, calculate daily total.
3. Get social tab – connect on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube for useful tips, practical tips and videos.
A status bar keeps track of user data for different meals, vitamins and sun exposure. The user can also save the daily calculation.
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