Vitamin D is one of the main vitamins that your body needs and it offers a lot of health benefits. Your body can produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun. It is very essential for maintaining healthy teeth and bones. Some studies have also shown that vitamin D could help in protecting your body from many diseases, including type 1 diabetes.
Since your body cannot produce vitamin D on its own, you have to get it through sunlight or the foods you eat. There are several plant-based foods that you can include in your vegan diet, which are great sources of vitamin D.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the reasons why adding vitamin D-rich foods to your vegan meals is important.
Reduces Flu Risk
According to some of the recent studies, vitamin D possesses protective effects against the influenza virus. If you are having the flu, eating foods that are rich in vitamin D may help in alleviating the flu. Also, include vitamin D-rich foods in your daily diet to reduce the risk of flu. However, studies are still going on to find how vitamin D is protecting your body from the influenza virus.
Improves Bone Health
Studies have found that vitamin D plays a major role in the absorption of calcium into your body and the maintenance of phosphorous levels in the blood. Both calcium and phosphorous are important for maintaining healthy bones. The deficiency of vitamin D can lead to rickets in children. Studies have also shown that vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of osteoporosis, which affects more than 53 million Americans.
Ensures Healthy Pregnancy
According to some of the recent studies, pregnant women should consume enough foods that are rich in vitamin D for reducing the risk of developing preeclampsia. It was also found that deficiency of vitamin D in pregnant women can increase the risk of giving birth preterm. Some studies also linked lower levels of vitamin D to bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women. Therefore, it is important to include more vitamin D-rich foods in the diet for ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
Improves Health Of Infants
Studies have shown that a deficiency of vitamin D can lead to high blood pressure in children. One study has found that children who started eating eggs at an early age are less likely to develop food allergies when compared to children who started eating eggs late. Eggs are a good source of vitamin D.
Let’s take a look at some of the best vegan sources of vitamin D.
Like the human body, certain mushrooms also produce vitamin D when exposed to ultraviolet light. That is why mushrooms are the only edible plant-based source of vitamin D. A 100-gram serving of wild mushrooms can provide around 3.8-28 mcg of vitamin D. It is important to note that most commercially-grown mushrooms do not contain vitamin D because they are usually grown in the dark and aren’t exposed to sunlight. Therefore, it is important to note the vitamin D content in the packaging of mushrooms before buying them.
Fortified Soy Milk
Soy milk is a great source of several healthy nutrients. In addition to that, many food manufacturers fortify their soy milk with many nutrients, including vitamin D. You will get around 2.9 mcg of vitamin D from just one cup of soy milk. It is better to check the label of the soy milk before buying it because it will help you to figure out the amount of vitamin D in the product.
Fortified Orange Juice
Some of the food brands fortify their orange juice with vitamin D. Most fortified orange juice contains around 2.5 mcg of vitamin D per serving. Check the package before buying to ensure that the orange juice is fortified with vitamin D.
Fortified Almond And Rice Milk
Both almond milk and rice milk are two of the popular vegan milk substitutes available in the market right now. Almond milk is already rich in several healthy nutrients. You will get around 2.4 mcg of vitamin D from just one cup of fortified almond milk. The same quantity of fortified rice milk can also provide 2.4 mcg of vitamin D.
Many breakfast cereals are fortified with several healthy nutrients, including vitamin D. If you look at the packaging of most breakfast cereals, you will see that they contain a certain amount of vitamin D. Typically, you will get around 0.2 to 2.5 mcg of vitamin D from each serving of breakfast cereals.
Even though sunlight is not a food, it is one of the easiest vegan sources of vitamin D. The human body can produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Spending 10 to 30 minutes in the sunlight thrice a week is enough to get an adequate amount of vitamin D.