Before you say “nobody gets enough vitamin D, not just vegans“, let me save you some time: we know that. Vitamin D deficiency is a shared problem between vegans and non-vegans. It is estimated that one billion people around the world have vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. And there are several reasons why this may happen. However, people who have eliminated food groups, such as seafood, that are rich in this vitamin, are at a higher risk of developing this condition. At the same time, these foods also come with toxic heavy metals that accumulate in the human body. Moreover, consuming seafood is perhaps one of the worst things you can do for the environment. It is linked to harmful overfishing methods that deplete entire species of fish from our oceans. With all these in mind, here is a list of vegan sources of vitamin D. (and no, we are not suggesting photosynthesis)
Vitamin D, also known as calciferol, is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids. This may have answered your initial question but created another one. Now you are probably wondering what fat-soluble secosteroids are. The short answer is that they are steroids with a broken “ring” that can dissolve in fats, oils, and lipids. In humans, the most important compounds are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. They both play countless roles in our body, with the main one being the one of aiding the absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate. Without vitamin D, people are more are at risk of developing a number of diseases, from multiple sclerosis and heart disease to rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes. Moreover, this vitamin helps regulate our mood and fight depression, while supporting weight loss.
In an essence, it does the following:
The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to sources of vitamin D, is sunlight. That is because the major natural production of calciferol occurs in the lower layers of the skin thanks to a chemical reaction from sun exposure. However, many people nowadays spend most of their days indoors with little to no sun exposure. Not only that but dermatologists also warn us to stay away from the sun and use sunscreen.
The other thing that comes to mind when thinking of sources of vitamin D is seafood. Salmon, sardines, tuna, you name it. However, more and more people are eliminating seafood from their diets for various reasons. Therefore, it is essential to find plant-based sources of vitamin D that are 100% plant-based and safe. The list contains many fortified foods, such as fortified cereal, but also mushrooms! Mushrooms are a great source of this vitamin, as long as they are exposed to UV light while growing. Many vegans also choose to supplement this vitamin, however, it is always recommended to consult a doctor before doing so. That is because the danger of vitamin D toxicity due to the build-up of calcium is always present.
Plant-based sources of vitamin D:
Seafood alternatives are now entering the market at a great speed. They look and taste like fish but they are based on plants. They usually carry all the nutrients we get from seafood but exclude toxic heavy metals and microplastics. Revo Foods is an Austrian start-up that develops and produces high-quality seafood alternative products. Our first product, Revo Salmon, not only tastes like conventional smoked salmon but it is also nutritious. It is rich in proteins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D. To be more precise, 100 grams of Revo Salmon can provide you with 1,5 μg of this vitamin.