Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins, and one of the most common deficiencies. It is also quite difficult for vegans to get enough vitamin D from their diet. These are a few of the best vegan vitamin D sources to choose from.
Vitamin D is vital regulating calcium and phosphate, which keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. When your body receives vitamin D it is converted into a hormone (called activated vitamin D or calcitriol), and the body makes about 90% of its necessary vitamin D from contact your skin gets from UV light from the sun. This means that, when the sun is shining, your body converts vitamin D into calcitriol, and any excess it makes will be stored in your body fat as a backup. This vitamin is vital for your immune system, as well as aiding your kidneys and digestive system.
There have been recent studies (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/414878) which show that around 75% of teens and adults are vitamin D deficient, and vegans tend to struggle with deficiency more than omnivores. Some of the signs of a vitamin D deficiency include:
- Weak immune system
- Bone and back pain
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Slow wound healing
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
In order to minimise your risk of vitamin D deficiency, try to supplement some vegan vitamin D sources into your diet. This can include fortified foods, including dairy alternatives such as soy milk, orange juice, and tofu. Mushrooms which have been exposed to UV light can also provide vitamin D to your diet, and the best mushrooms for this are Portobello, morel, button, maitake, and shiitake. There are also vegan vitamin D supplements which can help to boost the amount you are consuming. However, be aware that many sources of synthetic vitamin D are made of lanolin, a derivative of sheep’s wool, so keep an eye out for truly vegan vitamin D supplements.
The best way to avoid vitamin D deficiency is to aim for 5-30 minutes of sun exposure, twice a week, to the fact, arms, legs, or back. By doing this when you can (without using sunscreen) you can boost your vitamin D intake in the most natural way possible. Allowing your body to store up calcitriol will allow you to prevent deficiency as much as you can during less sunny months.
There are several ways to supplement vitamin D in a vegan diet, and this will benefit your health and wellbeing. Vegan Supplement Store provide a wide range of supplements that will benefit muscle & mass, fat loss and health & wellbeing, and all of our products are vegan and organic.