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Do you know the importance of vitamin D in our body? Do you know that lack of vitamin D can make a person lethargic and exhausted all the time. People with deficiency of vitamin D are likely to experience muscle weakness and joint pains as well. Sunlight is a good source of vitamin D. Besides sunlight, there are other available vitamin D sources for vegetarians and non-vegetarian food items. In this post, we are talking about the top vegetarian vitamin D rich foods. But before that, let us gain some basic knowledge about vitamin D3 foods for vegetarians and their importance.
As already discussed, Vitamin D is an important nutrient required by our body. Also known as sunshine vitamin, it is produced by our body naturally when we get exposed to sunlight. However, since many people do not get enough sun exposure due to busy schedules and other reasons, they show a lack of this essential nutrient in their body in the form of pain and weariness etc. Thus, it is important to intake enough food rich in vitamin D to compensate for the lack of sun exposure.
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Yes, Vitamin D help calcium to absorb in our body and thus keeps our bones healthy. Further, this vitamin help the body with many other benefits like:
How are you supposed to know if you are suffering from a deficiency of vitamin D? What symptoms are seen when your body lacks the sufficient quantity of vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to many health issues, especially our bone health. If you have vitamin D deficiency your body may show symptoms of diseases like Rickets, Muscle Weakness, Inflammation and Joint Pain, Low Bone Density, Low Immunity and Deformity of Bones etc. It can also show symptoms like Fatigue, Dizziness, Excessive Sweating, Digestive Issues and so on.
Let us now check the various vitamin d rich food items available for vegetarians that can be consumed to have a balanced vitamin D requirement in our body.
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Below is a detailed list of the top 10 vitamin d foods for vegetarians:
Dairy products of all kinds are rich in vitamin D. So, by consuming milk, butter, yogurt etc. you can fulfill the requirement of vitamin D in your body.
Alternative milk options like coconut milk, almond milk, rice, and soy milk are also vitamin D rich vegetarian foods and can be consumed by people who are allergic to dairy products or who don’t want to consume dairy items.
Cheese is another vitamin D rich food option for vegetarians. Cottage cheese is the best source of vitamin D along with other cheese options like Cheddar, Monterey, Fontina etc. A 50 gram serving of any cheese can give your body about 0.6 micrograms of vitamin D.
If you are looking for the best vitamin D foods for vegetarians, don’t forget to count soy products like tofu or soy chunks. Though a new product in India, Tofu has been very popular in western countries for a long time. It is a rich source of vitamin D along with calcium and protein.
Fortified cereals is another source of vitamin D that is available in the form of oatmeal, muesli etc. Have a combination of fortified cereals for breakfast and have enough vitamin D in your body.
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There are some types of mushrooms that are rich in vitamin D if they are grown under the sun. Hence, they serve as a good source of vitamin D.
Oranges and bananas also allow vegetarians to gain vitamin D in good quantities. Moreover, they are also rich in vitamin C and calcium.
Like fruits, there are certain vegetables that allow your body to gain vitamin D. Spinach is one such ideal vegetable that is a rich source of vitamin D, A, iron, as well as fiber.
Margarine is another rich vitamin D food. Intake of a spoonful of margarine allows 0.5 micrograms of vitamin D into your body.
Last but not the least, sunshine is the most essential and freely available source of vitamin D. Anyone can easily refill their body with vitamin D by sitting under the early morning sun for 10 – 20 minutes. Morning sunshine is recommended as it is free of ultraviolet rays.
Vitamin D intake can also be enhanced by vegans with the intake of vitamin D supplements. However, you must keep in mind that not all supplements of vitamin D rich food for vegetarians are vegan-friendly. Hence, it is necessary to research for a good brand before planning to buy vitamin D supplements.
For better benefits, it is suggested to take the supplement of vitamin D with your meal. Further, you can include food/fruits that come with a good amount of fat. Some such food items include nuts, seeds, and fruits like avocados, which especially help with greater absorption of vitamin D.
Studies reveal that people who get high vitamin D rich vegetarian food supplements or high vitamin D intake along with a high-fat meal are likely to have 32 % enhanced vitamin D in their bloodstream in 12 hours as compared to those who consume a meal without any fat intake.
The quantity of vitamin D required by an individual on a per day basis depends on their age. As per studies, 400 to 800 IU of Vitamin-D intake is enough for 97% of people on a daily basis.
However, there is an upper limit of vitamin D intake in terms of diet for people above the age of 9, which is 4,000 IU per day. Intake of vitamin D supplement beyond that might cause symptoms, such as loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, constipation, weakness, and vomiting etc. Excess of vitamin D can even enhance the calcium levels in an individuals’ blood, which in turn causes an irregularity in your heartbeat.
To Sum Up
Vitamin D is an indispensable nutrient required by our body. It helps calcium to get properly absorbed and retain the phosphorus levels in the body as well. Everyone including children should have adequate quantities of vitamin D by means of early morning sun exposure and proper intake of foods rich in vitamin D. Non-vegetarians have enough options of vitamin D rich food that they can consume. However, vegetarians also have equally good options of vitamin d3 foods that can be used to level the intake of sunshine vitamin in their body. Deficiency of vitamin D can cause diseases like rickets and bone deformation among others. Children as well as adults can have various issues due to lack of vitamin D.
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Thus, getting enough vitamin D is important from various sources like sunlight, non-vegetarian and vegetarian food items which are available in plenty.
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Mushrooms provide a good amount of vitamin D. Some mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster and portobello are high in vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D in them depends on how they are grown.
Oranges are high in vitamin D because their juice is fortified with calcium and vitamin D. This is one of the greatest vitamin D sources for people who are lactose intolerant and cannot consume milk or dairy products.
Whole plant food including leafy greens and colourful vegetables and fruits can be consumed for vitamin D rich foods in veg along with moderate amount of sunshine to get vitamin D without consuming dairy.
Below are vitamin d sources vegetarian:
# Spend some time under the sun
# Eat enough mushrooms
# Eat fortified food
# Take a supplement of Vitamin D
# Consume leafy green and fruits
Almonds and Anjeer are a rich source of Vitamin D.
Fatigue, sleep deprivation, bone ache, depression, loss of hair, weak muscle, loss of appetite etc.
Vitamin D deficiency leads to weak bone density, which in turn contributes to osteoporosis or broken bones.
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