Vegans and Vitamin D

Fitness Lifestyle Science

Adopting a vegan diet is a great way to get and stay healthy.  However, there are a few areas that vegans need to be especially mindful of.  And in this case, vitamin D intake is something that vegans certainly need to be aware of.

Vitamin D plays a vital role in the well-being of the human body.  A deficiency in it can cause a whole range of health issues, including hair loss, muscle fatigue, mental health issues, heart and cardiovascular problems and is even a precursor to developing some cancers.

Non-vegans can obtain their vitamin D from things like eggs or oily, fatty fish such as salmon, through to beef liver or cheese to a lesser extent.  For vegans however, those are most certainly off the menu, so they need to look elsewhere for their sources of vitamin D.  Thankfully, it’s more than doable.

Vegans can ensure that they get their vitamin D intake from mushrooms, fortified breakfast cereals as well as fortified plant milks and orange juice.  Always check the label before buying to see if it’s vitamin D fortified (a little research can go a very long way!).  And if push comes to vegan shove, supplements are always a vitamin D option.

Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin” because reasonable exposure to the sun actually allows the body to manufacture its own vitamin D.  It is recommended that exposure to sunlight is for between 5 to 30 minutes at least twice a week, between 10.00am and 3.00pm, allowing for the face, arms, legs or back to receive exposure to the sun. [1]

Consequently, many people in the northern hemisphere, especially where sunlight is limited, suffer from vitamin D deficiency but don’t even know it. And that actually includes non-vegans as well as vegans.  So just another reason to get out and enjoy the sunshine when you can!

As vegans, ensuring that you get sufficient amounts of vitamin D can be a little bit of a challenge.  But, like all challenges, they are there to be overcome!

[1] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional

About Author:

Dave Hewitt – British vegan spreading the word from the shores of Lake Erie, Ohio!  Doesn’t matter where you live though – life is life!  Go vegan – for the animals, for your health and for the planet.

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