The Best Vegan Sources Of Vitamin D
Vitamins are among the necessary micro-nutrients which the human body needs to perform regular activities efficiently. They're either not produced by the human body, or otherwise, the quantity is not enough to fulfil human body necessities. Each vitamin and mineral has a unique and critical effect on our body. So they need to be obtained through dietary sources. Levels lower than body requirements can impose serious health threats. So we must have a balanced diet to avoid vitamin deficiencies leading to health issues. Essentially there are 13 vitamins that the human body needs for proper functioning. This article will particularly discuss vitamin D and its role and, more precisely, about its vegan sources and their benefits.
Daily Requirement Of Vitamin D
The daily requirement of vitamin D needed by the human body is 15mcg (600IU). Based on various age groups, body requirements vary. For example, Babies between age 0–12 months of age require 400 IU vitamin D, Children between 1–13 years of age need 600 IU vitamin D, while Adults of age 70 and under require 600 IU vitamin D, and Adults over 70 require 800 IU vitamin D depending upon their body utilization.
4,000 IU per day is the safest limit for daily intake of vitamin D by adults. Many people take a higher quantity of vitamin D in their daily intake, which may not be the body's requirement. It can cause hazardous effects. Before starting supplementation, doctors advise getting vitamin D blood levels checked to follow the correct regime. Taking an overdose can cause specific muscle weakness, renal calculi, and abnormal alteration in human cognitive abilities. There are particular symptoms of overdose, which include a change in bowel habits and decreased hunger.
Moreover, nausea and vomiting are also some of the signs of toxicity.
Best Vegan Sources of Vitamin D
- Fortified Soy Milk
Soy milk has all the minerals that you can get from non-vegan milk sources. These minerals can be increased even more during the fortification of soy milk with vitamin A, B12, ANd D. One cup of soy milk fortified with vitamin D contains about 2.9 µg (107IU). Another great thing about this fortified milk is that it is tasty and can be utilized at any time. You can drink a glass of fortified soy milk with breakfast to meet your daily vitamin D intake goal.
- Fortified Almond Milk
Almond milk is a common substitute for those who are not interested in consuming dairy products. Fortified almond milk contains about 2.4 µg (96 IU) of vitamin D in one serving. The fortification process makes almond milk low in calories but high in vitamin D. Thus, you can use it to fulfil your vitamin D requirement without worrying about gaining any weight.
Mushrooms are yet another favourite choice for getting plenty of minerals. They are among the only plant sources that carry a lot of vitamin D. Mushrooms grown in the dark may not contain a lot of vitamin D., But the mushrooms grown in the bright sunlight may contain around 450 IU per 100-gram serving. Additionally, pay special attention to the kinds of mushrooms as different sorts of mushrooms offer various degrees of nutrients.
- Fortified Cereals
Cereals don't just have to be appetite killers. Their fortification can increase the number of vitamins and minerals than their standard capacity. The quantity of vitamin D found in oatmeal and cereals is 240 IU in one cup. Therefore, these are highly recommended sources for vitamin D. However; you must choose the suitable fortified cereals as many products offer different levels of nutrients. This is due to the variation between the quality and quantity of the ingredients used in the fortification process. You can look out for the cereals with the highest nutrients to fulfil your vitamin D requirements.
- Fortified Orange Juice
Natural orange juice is a good source of obtaining vitamin d. What makes it a great option is when it is processed with calcium to make it a complete mineral-rich beverage for children and young adults. Fortified orange juice contains 2.5 µg (100 IU) in one serving. You can drink this fortified juice at any time of the day but drinking it early in the morning after some exercise is a great option. Drinking this orange juice late at night is, however, not recommended.
We have already discussed how fortified soy milk provides sufficient levels of vitamin D. Tofu is prepared by coagulating soy milk so that you can obtain similar levels of nutrients while consuming it differently. It contains 138IU of vitamin D in every 18 grams. You can find tofu in different levels of hardness depending on how you want to utilize it.
Sunlight is not a food, but it is a rich source for those looking for vegan sources of vitamin d. Exposing yourself to sunlight for ten to thirty minutes thrice a week is adequate for almost everyone. But dark skin toned people require more sun exposure than lighter skin toned to be equally benefited. Limiting your sun exposure is necessary because too much time spent in the sun can damage the skin by inflicting sunburn and increased carcinoma risk.
To choose supplements, vegans need to be very picky and go for only those which are clearly labelled as vegan or those which have been certified to contain ingredients by a certified company. The best supplement that we can recommend is Viridian Vitamin D3 1000iu. This is a vitamin D3 supplement obtained from lichens containing sufficient levels of vitamin D3.
Just like any other case, if there are pros, there are specific cons as well. In this particular case, we cannot go for any of these without a check and balance. Before choosing completely vegan sources of vitamin d, we must keep in mind certain aspects regarding body type, body requirements, immune status, hypersensitivity, and many more. For that, we must seek proper advice from some professional nutritionists and physicians about whether or not we should opt for these.