Surprisingly great vegan vitamin D sources

Vitamin D deficiency is a very common condition. This is not surprising since it's hard to get all the vitamin D you need from food alone, and some people are more prone to getting less of this nutrient than others. Vegans are at risk for low vitamin D levels because plants don't naturally contain any Vitamin D. Fortunately, there are plenty of vegan sources of this vital vitamin. The article will show you how to find these vegan vitamin D sources so you can keep your levels healthy and strong!

As the world becomes more vegan-friendly, it’s important to know what vegan vitamin D sources are available to you. Vitamin D is important for bone health. When choosing a diet that does not include animal products, care must be taken to ensure that you are receiving adequate levels of vitamin D. This blog post will detail some ways to get enough vegan vitamin D as well as how much you should be getting each day.

What does Vitamin D do and what happens if you are vitamin D deficient? 

The main function of vitamin D is to absorb calcium and phosphate in the body. This is really important because it helps  to keep your bones, teeth and muscles as healthy as can be. If you don’t make enough of it, in extreme cases a lack of vitamin D can lead to bone deficiencies such as rickets in children or bone pain in adults [1].  

Most people get their vitamin D from sunlight. In the UK people normally get all the vitamin D necessary from the months of March through to April. Sitting indoors and getting sunlight through the window will also not work as the UV rays do not pass through glass. So when you’re outside, be careful not to stay in the sun too long without sun protection as this is believed to be one of the causes of skin cancer.  

With Covid 19, it’s been increasingly difficult to obtain this because of lockdown restrictions. Even before lockdown, deficiency in vitamin D was still fairly common and this is why the UK government advises everyone to take a vitamin D supplement every autumn and winter. As UVB radiation in the winter isn’t abundant enough. 

Other sources to get vitamin D are oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, red meat or eggs. These are definitely not vegan, so it could be tricky to find an alternative. You may even think of relying on supplements. What you might not know though is that there are a lot of plant-based and vegan vitamin D sources you probably already have in your diet. 

As mentioned above, this blog is about how you can get vitamin D that is vegan friendly. Here’s a list below on what you can eat instead to gain vegan vitamin D.

Fortified foods

Fortified foods means anything nutritious that has been added extra into a food product or a food product which did not contain a specific nutrient but is added to it. Fortified foods are a great way to get your vitamin D and they’ve been quite common in the market nowadays, so are pretty easy to find in your local supermarket. Many cereals have added iron, vitamins and minerals in them too. 

Wild Mushrooms

Like humans, mushrooms can produce vitamin D with UV light. This gives the most amount of vitamin D when looking at vegan vitamin D. Though unlike non-vegan friendly vitamin D where D3 is created, wild mushrooms contain D2, which may be less affection [2]. It’s important to note that commercially grown mushrooms have very little vitamin D compared to the wild mushrooms, this is because they are grown in the dark. 

Soy Milk

Soy milk is a common favourite amongst the vegan community when it comes to dairy based milk alternatives. Since vegans are one of the most at risk of not getting enough vitamin D, vegan friendly products often contain vitamin D in them and others such as vitamin b12.

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[1] NHS website. (2021c, November 19). Vitamin D. Nhs.Uk. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-d/

[2] Trang, H. M., Cole, D. E., Rubin, L. A., Pierratos, A., Siu, S., & Vieth, R. (1998). Evidence that vitamin D3 increases serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D more efficiently than does vitamin D2. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 68(4), 854–858. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/68.4.854

#vegan #vegandiet #vitaminD #vitamins&minerals

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