Sources of Vitamin D for Vegetarians

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Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin which is very essential for optimal health. It is known as the sunshine vitamin. It also helps our body to absorb calcium. It can maintain adequate serum, magnesium, and phosphate concentrations in our body. These three nutrients are very crucial for our teeth, muscles, and bones. Vitamin D also playing an important role in brain development and heart function. It can improve our immune system and mental health.

Low vitamin D levels are now a worldwide concern. Researchers, dietitians, and health policymakers are trying to reduce the widespread vitamin D deficiency problem. When people have vitamin D deficiency they are facing some symptoms like fatigue, muscle pain, and weak bones. Very few foods contain vitamin D. Among those mostly are animal products.  So if you are a vegetarian or vegan, it may be quite difficult to get this nutrient enough from your diet.

However, there are still some good sources of vitamin D for vegetarians.

Sunshine

When your skin exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, it can produce vitamin D. So by exposing your skin for 5-30 minutes you can generate optimal vitamin D for your body. But excessive sun exposure isn’t recommended. Because it may increase the risk of skin cancer.

Credit: Laura Pratt

Mushroom

Mushrooms are the only edible plant source of vitamin D. It has a unique ability to generate vitamin D while exposed to UV light. The vitamin D content remains high during the shelf life of mushrooms. It is considered effective at raising levels of vitamin D in your body as vitamin D supplements.

Credit: Andrew Ridley

Egg yolks

Egg yolks can be a good source of vitamin D. If the eggs are sourced from the chicken those are provided enriched feed or allowed to roam outdoors, then these can ensure a significant amount of vitamin D. Organic eggs tend to have more vitamin D.

Credit: Eiliv Sonas Aceron

Cheese

Cheese is a natural source of vitamin D. 50 grams of cheese may contain 0.2-0.6 mcg vitamin D. The level of vitamin D may vary based on the way the cheese is manufactured. While purchasing cheese you can check the ingredient list to make sure about this essential nutrient.

Credit: Waldemar Brandt

If you are concerned that you are not getting enough vitamin D, you may like to have fortified foods that are enriched in this nutrient. You may also like to get your required vitamin D from a supplement.