A lot of vegans tend to have vitamin D deficiency, as most abundant sources of this vitamin, like oily fish, shellfish, egg yolk, etc. are not suitable for people who are following plant-based diets. Vitamin D is not necessary for you to get through your diet, as your body can synthesize this nutrient on its own when exposed to sunlight. However, if you are not living in an area where you can get enough sun exposure, then you might need to get vitamin D from your foods.
Even though most of the important sources of vitamin D are animal sources, certain plant-based food contains this vitamin. So vegans should take great care to include these foods in their diet.
The Significance Of Vitamin D To Your Body
The primary role of vitamin D is to facilitate the absorption of minerals like phosphorous and calcium from foods, which are extremely important to your bone health.
Deficiency of vitamin D can lead to an increased risk of conditions like osteoporosis that can make your bones weak and brittle. Not getting enough of this nutrient can also affect the functioning of your immune system. This vitamin also supports many other important functions in the body, hence, you must get adequate amounts of vitamin D.
Plant-Based Foods High In Vitamin D
Certain plant-based foods contain vitamin D. They can be beneficial for vegans to acquire this important nutrient. Some of these foods are listed below:
Mushrooms: Mushrooms carry significant amounts of vitamin D. However, it is important for you to be aware that mushrooms that grow in the dark may not contain significant levels of this nutrient, whereas, if they are exposed to ultraviolet rays while growing, they can have high amounts of vitamin D.
Fortified Cereals: Some breakfast cereals are enriched with vitamin D. Including them in your healthy meal prep can help acquire this important nutrient.
Fortified Orange Juice: A handful of the brands strengthen their orange juice with vitamin D. Although not all orange juices have this nutrient. So don’t forget to check the label for finding out whether the orange juice you choose is fortified or not.
Fortified Plant-Based Milk: Milk alternatives like almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, etc. might be fortified with vitamin D. You can include them in your recipes for getting this vitamin.
Regular consumption of these foods can be beneficial for vegans to acquire vitamin D if they cannot get enough sun exposure. They can help avoid various health problems caused by the deficiency of this vitamin.