As a vegetarian you take health seriously. But, are you getting enough of the key nutrients that vegetarians may fall short on? There are many but Vitamin D is a very important one and many people, especially vegetarians, fall short of their daily needed intake.
Vitamin D is made by the body upon exposure to UV rays from the sun. However, if you wear sunscreen, and by all means you should unless you don’t mind skin damage, wrinkling and sunburns, your body won’t get as much UV light as it needs to process vitamin D. Skin color (melanin protects skin from UV light), smog, cloud cover, season and age (elderly individuals do not manufacture vitamin D as well as younger adults and kids) also affect this process.
Other sources of vitamin D include fortified milk, some yogurts (also fortified), salmon, mackerel, tuna fish, and fortified orange juice, soy, almond and rice milk. But, here’s the kicker, though you can get vitamin D from fortified dairy alternatives, these beverages are fortified with a vegetarian form of vitamin D, vitamin D2. And, studies indicate that the vegan-friendly vitamin D2 does not raise the body’s stores of vitamin D nearly as well as vitamin D3 does. Plus, you would have to drink 10 glasses of fortified milk per day to get the minimum of 1000 IU of vitamin d that your body needs. That’s a lot of milk to drink!
Vitamin D Supplements
A very easy way to get enough vitamin D3 each day is by taking a vitamin D3 supplement of at least 1000 IU. Many experts are even recommending 2000 IU, depending on your risk levels and your other sources. Try taking a liquid vitamin D3 supplement for fast absorption and ease of swallowing. It works great for kids too and older adults that have difficulty swallowing pills.