One of the challenges of following a vegan or vegetarian diet is meeting your body’s Vitamin D intake needs. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for the body – it helps the body absorb calcium from food, which is essential for maintaining healthy bones. People who are deficient in Vitamin D have the risk of getting weak bones. Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to a higher risk of developing autoimmune diseases, depression, and other infections.
Our body can synthesize Vitamin D when exposed to the sun; however, with most people’s increasingly sedentary indoor lifestyles, it is often not possible to get enough of this vital nutrient from sunshine alone. Most dietary sources of Vitamin D are animal-based, like milk, cheese, egg yolk, fatty fish, beef liver, and cod liver oil.
If you are a vegan, you must take extra care to ensure that your Vitamin D needs are met. Vegetarians can consume milk and cheese to up their Vitamin D intake. In this article, let’s discuss some more good sources of Vitamin D for vegans and vegetarians.
The best and the only natural plant source that contains a significant amount of Vitamin D are mushrooms. These mushrooms should be grown correctly- not in the dark – and must be exposed to ultraviolet light when growing. A 100 g serving of shiitake mushrooms can provide one with 400-450 IU of Vitamin D. If you are looking for Chemical-free Mushrooms in India, check out the mushrooms by Woodberry. Their mushrooms are Vitamin D enriched and are sourced from Palampur, Himachal Pradesh.
Fortified Soy Milk:
Fortified soy milk is a good source of vitamin D for vegans. One cup of fortified soy milk contains about 116 IU of Vitamin D. Always check their nutrition label to see if they are fortified with Vitamin D.
Most breakfast cereals are fortified with Vitamin D. The amount of Vitamin D may vary from brand to brand, so check the nutritional label for exact information. Similarly, you can find fortified almond milk, rice milk, orange juice, tofu, etc. easily in the supermarket.
Add them to your diet to ensure that your Vitamin D needs are met. If for some reason, it is not enough, you can take Vitamin D supplements. Many brands offer vegan and vegetarian-friendly Vitamin D supplements.
On average, an adult needs 400 to 800 IU of Vitamin D daily. In addition to diet, you must spend some time in the morning sun to get your dose of the sunshine vitamin. With a good diet and adequate exposure to the sun, vegans and vegetarians can comfortably meet their body’s Vitamin D needs.