Vitamin D helps promote calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone (Vitamin D: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals, 2020).
Vitamin D also helps prevent rickets or the severely bowlegged appearance due to softening of the bones in children. (Ware, 2019).
In addition, it helps with Osteomalcia which is the softening of bones in adults that can cause poor bone density and muscular weakness (Ware, 2019).
Along with supporting bone health, Vitamin D is beneficial to the brain, immune, and nervous system health as well.
Vitamin D is actually the only nutrient that our body can produce when exposed to Sun, but many people are still deficient. Sunshine is a great source of Vitamin D for Vegans and Plant-based people. Experts suggest that getting out into the sun for 10 to 30 minutes three times a week is sufficient for most people, but that is not always possible for a lot of people.
According to a Healthline article, 41.6% of Americans may be deficient in Vitamin D. Studies show that people who have low levels of Vitamin D may be at a greater risk of depression than those who have healthy levels of Vitamin D in their bodies.
While there are very small number of foods that contain Vitamin D, foods such as Salmon, Tuna, and Mackerel, and egg yolks are great sources of Vitamin D, but what if you are Vegan or Plant-based?
Here are some foods that are great sources of Vitamin D for those that are Vegan or Plant-based.
- Fortified Soy Milk
- Fortified Almond Milk
- Fortified Rice Milk
- Fortified Cereals
- Fortified Orange Juice
You might also notice that Vitamin D levels are recognized using the IU’s or International Units (Eyvazzadeh, 2020). Check with your doctor for the daily recommended IU’s they suggest you get.
Eyvazzadeh, A. M. (2020, January 20). The Best Vegan Sources of Vitamin D. Retrieved from Healthline.com webite: https://www.healthline.com/health/vegan-vitamin-d
Vitamin D: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. (2020, March 24). Retrieved from National Institutes of Health.com website: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
Ware, M. R. (2019, November 7). What are the health benefits of vitamin D? Retrieved from Medical News Today.com websit: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618
Stephanie is the founder of Clean Food Mama, a blog about a health journey, weight loss and getting more plants into your diet. She discusses her health journey and empowering others to do the same. She shed 125 lbs by incorporating a whole foods plant based diet. Click here to learn more about plant based foods.