Natural Sources of Vitamin D

Woman with her arms up in the sun at the beach

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D, also known as calciferol, is a group of fat-soluble vitamins that help to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. The NHS recommends an intake of 10 micrograms of Vitamin D a day during the winter months when sunlight is less frequent. However, with more of us staying indoors, it’s important that we monitor how much Vitamin D we are currently getting. Knowing what natural sources of vitamin D are can help us keep track of whether we’re getting the right amount.

What Does Vitamin D Do?

Vitamin D helps to keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy! It can also help with our mental well-being as getting outside in the sun not only gives us the vitamins we need, but can help boost our mood. Studies have even found that Vitamin D can contribute to mood regulation and can therefore be a way to help ease the strains of depression.

Immune System

Vitamin D also helps strengthen our immune system. According to research Vitamin D can boost our immunity to certain viruses and help protect against some harmful diseases. Most recently, the NHS recommends taking Vitamin D supplements to help protect against coronaviruses.

In these unprecedented times, building a strong immune system is more important than ever, and increasing your Vitamin D intake can help you do just that! From great food sources of Vitamin D, such as fish, egg yolk and vegetables, to the sun’s UV rays absorbing into our skin, we can all make sure we are getting enough of this amazing vitamin.

Vitamin D Sources:

1. The ‘Sun Vitamin’

Vitamin D is most well known as the sunshine vitamin! It’s very different from other vitamins because it’s actually a steroid hormone produced from cholesterol when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Therefore, the best way to get your full dose of Vitamin D is to soak up the beautiful sunshine – we don’t need telling twice!

Although it’s no secret that we don’t get as much sun as we would like in the UK, so we have to keep an eye on our Vitamin D intake. Luckily, there are modern solutions to British problems. With UV lamps helping to recreate the natural process of the skin absorbing Vitamin D through UV light, all year round!

2. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are not only delicious, but one of the few plant-based foods high in Vitamin D – making them a must have for vegans and vegetarians alike. Believe it or not, mushrooms get their Vitamin D from the sun, just like us humans do. It doesn’t matter what kind of mushroom tickles your fancy because different varieties like portobello or shiitake mushrooms all contain natural levels of Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.

3. Vitamin D Fortified Foods

Arguably fortified foods aren’t natural sources of Vitamin D because ‘fortified’ means that the vitamins have been added to the food for extra nutritional value. However, the fact that we can then eat and intake these added nutrients means they are a great, natural way of getting Vitamin D into our systems.

These Vitamin D sources include fortified cereals and oatmeals – making the perfect, nutritious breakfast. You can even have a side of fortified orange juice to wash it all down, which is also high in Vitamin C for even more natural goodness!

4. Dairy Alternatives

Good news for vegans everywhere – dairy alternatives are great sources of Vitamin D. There’s an old myth that the vegan diet lacks nutrients, but in this case non-dairy foods contain higher amounts of Vitamin D than their dairy counterparts.

For example, in the UK cows milk is not considered a good source of Vitamin D because it is not fortified. Soy milk on the hand is a fantastic source of Vitamin D , as well as gorgeous almond milk, meaning you can take your pick of milk alternatives when you’re ordering your next coffee.

Vitamin D is also found in yogurt, but thankfully the vegan option of soy yogurt contains a whole bunch of Vitamin D as well! If you love dairy-alternatives then you’ll be happy to know that all our Nakd Bars are dairy-free for you to enjoy! Checkout all the scrumptious flavours like our Peanut Delight, Strawberry Sundae and Pecan Pie fruit and nut bars just to name a few!

Now that you’re a Vitamin D expert, get outside and bask in the glorious sunshine! Don’t forget to treat yourself to some yummy vegan food sources of Vitamin D whilst you’re at it! As if that wasn’t enough, you can learn more about the wonderful world of vitamins in our amazing ‘Guide to Essential Vitamins’.

 

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