Obtaining enough vitamin D each and every day can be difficult if you follow a vegan diet. Many of the highest vitamin D-containing foods, such as salmon, egg yolks, and shellfish, are not vegan-friendly.Even for people who aren’t vegan, getting enough vitamin D can be difficult. According to one study, 41.6 percent of Americans may be vitamin D deficient.
In this article, we’ll look at the best vitamin D sources for vegans, the efficacy of supplements, and how you can maximize your intake of this essential vitamin. The main benefit of vitamin D, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)Trusted Source, is that it helps keep a person’s bones, muscles, and nerves healthy. It also helps to maintain a healthy immune system. It can be found in egg yolks if the chickens that lay them are free-range. Some mushrooms contain vitamin D as well. Other plant-based foods, on the other hand, do not produce vitamin D. People whose diets are mostly vegetarian or vegan, as well as those who do not or cannot spend a lot of time outside, may struggle to get enough vitamin D.
If a person is concerned that they are not getting enough vitamin D from direct sunlight, consuming the foods listed below will help increase the overall amount in their body.
Why Do You Need Vitamin D?
The primary function of vitamin D is to aid in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous from food.
Both of these minerals are necessary for bone health. People who do not get enough vitamin D are at a higher risk of developing weak and brittle bones.
Vitamin D is also required for the proper functioning of your immune system. According to 2011Trusted Source research, vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased autoimmune issues and an increased risk of infection.
According to a 2013 review of studiesTrusted Source, people with low vitamin D levels may be at a higher risk of depression than those with healthy levels of the vitamin.
There is also evidence to suggest that vitamin D may lower the risk of heart disease.
The primary function of vitamin D is to aid in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous from food.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
A lack of vitamin D can lead to a variety of health issues. If you don’t get enough sunlight, you’re more likely to develop a deficiency.
The African American and Hispanic populations are the most vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency.
The following are some signs of a vitamin D deficiency:
- immune system deficiency
- brittle bones
- hair loss due to slow wound healing
Do I Require A Supplement?
Menu Plan Book for Vegetarians and Vegans
Vitamin D supplementation, like all dietary supplements, should be discussed with your healthcare provider, especially if you’re vegan. Your healthcare provider can advise you on how much (if any) supplementation is appropriate for you. Vegans are more likely to have low vitamin D intake, but they can get it from regular sun exposure and fortified foods.
The Vitamin Of The Sun
Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because our bodies can produce and absorb it from sunlight. According to the NIH, 5 – 30 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen to the face, arms, legs, or back twice a week between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. is usually enough to help boost vitamin D intake.
Because this process varies greatly depending on the season, time of day, cloud cover, skin color, and sunscreen use, eating vitamin D-rich foods (such as fortified dairy products or certain mushrooms) is also important.
Here Are 12 Sources To Get Vitamin D From:
1. SILK Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk
INDULGE WITHOUT ADDING SUGAR — Only the natural sweetness of the finest, freshest soy. With 8g of complete protein per serving, this snack is ideal for drinks, smoothies, cereal, or baking.
HIGH IN VITAMIN D AND CALCIUM — Enjoy this plant-based vegan drink that is free of lactose, dairy, gluten, and hormones. There are no artificial flavors or colors. Carrageenan is completely absent. Verified by the Non-GMO Project
2. Mushrooms – Renew Mushroom Supplements
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Mushrooms are among the few plant sources of vitamin D that are abundant.
Mushrooms started growing in the dark and therefore may not have a high vitamin D content. However, mushrooms grown in the presence of ultraviolet light may contain up to 450 IU per 100-gram serving.
Mushrooms have vitamin D-2, whereas animal products have vitamin D-3. According to research trusted Sources, vitamin D-2 may not be as bioavailable as vitamin D-3, but it can still raise vitamin D levels.
3. Tropicana Orange Juice
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Tropicana 100 percent Orange Juice combines the taste, quality, and variety you crave with the convenience and 100 percent daily value of Vitamin C nutrition you require.
Ideal for foodservice and resale. These bottles are also ideal for packing a lunch or enjoying while on the go.
Potassium and folic acid are abundant in this food.
4. Earth’s Own – Almond Milk Unsweetened Original
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In the case of plant-based milk (and more). Nothing tastes better than creamy, dreamy Almond Milk. It’s light and refreshing, with just the right amount of almond flavor. Consume in a smoothie, bowl, or glass.
New and improved taste that is low in calories, high in calcium, vitamin D, and a variety of other vitamins and minerals. It doesn’t get any better than Earth’s Own Almond Milk.
Dairy, soy, gluten, and carrageenan are all absent. Verified by the Non-GMO Project
5. SILK Unsweetened Oat Milk
Nothing but the natural, gentle sweetness of freshly harvested oats. With only 50 calories, this treat is ideal for drinks, smoothies, cereal, baking, or simply drinking straight from the glass.
Enjoy this plant-based vegan drink that is free of lactose, dairy, gluten, and hormones. There are no artificial flavors or colors. Carrageenan is completely absent. Verified by the Non-GMO Project.
6. Bob’s Red Mill – Egg Replacer
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Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Vegan Egg Substitute is a vegan baking staple made from four simple and clean ingredients: potato starch, tapioca flour, baking soda, and psyllium husk fiber—no grains, soy, gluten, or beans.
This proprietary powdered egg substitute is ideal for egg-free baking and can be used in a variety of recipes including cakes, cookies, muffins, pancakes, quick bread, and more. It’s incredibly simple to use: simply add water in varying amounts depending on whether you’re replacing an egg white, yolk, or whole egg.
7. Elo’s Vegetarian Cheese Powder
Cheese, albeit in trace amounts, is a natural source of vitamin D.
Per 2-ounce (50-gram) serving, most varieties contain 8–24 IU (0.2–0.6 mcg) of vitamin D. Levels vary depending on how the cheese is made.
8. Nature’s Bounty Vitamin D3 Pills and Supplement
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If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough vitamin D from your diet, supplements can provide a consistent and reliable source. These are available in two varieties (36Trusted Source):
Vitamin D2 is typically obtained from yeast or mushrooms that have been exposed to UV rays.
Vitamin D3 is typically derived from fish oil or sheep’s wool, but vegan forms derived from lichen have recently been developed.
9. QUAKER HARVEST CRUNCH
- Made entirely of whole grain Quaker Oats
- There are no artificial flavors or colors.
- A good source of fiber
What better way to start the day than with crunchy almonds, chewy raisins, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of brown sugar?
This cereal is a delicious pairing with milk or yogurt and fresh fruit, and it’s ideal for a tasty start to the day or a snack at any time.
10. Nutiva Organic Shortening
- Made with a delectable combination of coconut and palm oils
- Best for baked goods like pie crusts, biscuits, and cookies.
- Dairy-free and flavorless
A word of caution: Use margarine sparingly; large amounts of margarine can be unhealthy. Check to see if the margarine is vitamin D fortified before purchasing.
11. VIVO Probiotic Yogurt Starter/Natural
VIVO PROBIOTIC YOGURT STARTER -North America’s only probiotic starter with 10 strains of beneficial cultures. Per 100 g serving, there are 140 billion live and active bacteria. Lactose-free cow, goat, sheep, and soy milk can be used to make yogurt.
Products fortified with vitamin D are typically labeled as such on the packaging. Though most soy yogurts provide an excellent source of vitamin D.
12. Artic-D Cod Liver Oil Supplement
Cod liver oil contains 450 international units (IU) per teaspoonTrusted Source, which is 75% of a person’s daily allowance (RDA).
Getting Enough Vitamin D
According to the ODSTrusted Source, people who do not consume enough vitamin D are at risk of developing weak bones. A person’s bones may hurt or their muscles may be weak as a result of this. These symptoms can be subtle at first.
Some research suggests that vitamin D may help with other health benefits, such as:
- resistance to certain cancers
- Cardiovascular problems
- Diabetes, hypertension, and multiple sclerosis
However, according to the ODS, there is insufficient evidence to determine whether this is the case. Existing research has produced conflicting results.
The RDA for vitamin D is 600 IUTrusted Source for all people aged 1–70. It is 400 IU for children under the age of one and 800 IU for adults over the age of 70. This assumes that a person receives the least amount of direct sunlight.
The general assumption is that spending some time outside a few times per week will produce enough vitamin D. According to the ODSTrusted Source, however, this can vary significantly depending on:
The season, the time of day, the presence of cloud cover or smog, the color of a person’s skin, and whether or not they are wearing sunscreen
Being in direct sunlight behind a window will not help your vitamin D production because glass blocks the radiation that produces vitamin D.
Getting enough vitamin D is essential for bone health. The simplest way to get enough vitamin D is to spend time outside on a regular basis, exposing the arms, face, and legs.
Consuming enough vitamin D may be difficult depending on a person’s dietary preferences. Vitamin D supplements, which are available for purchase online, maybe a good option in this case.
If this is not possible, try to eat oily fish, mushrooms, and free-range egg yolks.