All About Vitamin D for Vegans
You’ve probably heard plenty about Vitamin D lately – how important it is for your body, especially your immune system. As a plant-based eater, Vitamin D is up there with one of the main vitamin deficiencies that you’re susceptible to. Make sure you’re giving your body what it needs to not just survive, but to thrive! By focusing on this important vitamin, you're helping to give your body the protection it needs to feel vital and strong for life.
The importance of Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin and acts like a steroid hormone. Vitamin D controls the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body. An important part of your overall health, it deeply affects your immune system and the health of your muscles, bones and teeth. Low levels of Vitamin D leave you more susceptible to respiratory illnesses and infections, and an increased risk of pneumonia.
Not only is Vitamin D important for your immunity, studies also focus on the connection between serotonin synthesis and Vitamin D – could this be part of the reason behind SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)? When you’re tired and moody, look to a dose of sunshine. Plus, Vitamin D may play a role in you living longer, influencing the length of telomeres that protect your DNA against damage.
General risk factors for Vitamin D deficiency:
You have naturally darker skin
You are overweight or obese
You are avoiding the sun on purpose
You are over 70 years old
Sources of Vitamin D:
For humans, Vitamin D is primarily sourced at Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) formed in the skin through the action of ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. That means – get sun, get Vitamin D.
The challenge is that one in four Aussies are deficient in Vitamin D, even those living in sunny climates. For this reason, you must look to other sources of Vitamin D. Found mainly in animal products, this makes Vitamin D harder to source for plant-based eaters. Fortified milks and cereals, UVB-treated plant-based oils and mushrooms can all provide some Vitamin D, but even if you were eating these regularly, you're still only hitting 5-10% of your daily requirements. As a result, supplementation is often recommended for both vegans and non-vegans alike.
A closer look at Vitamin D supplementation:
You'll find there are two different types of supplemental vitamin D: ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) and the Vitamin D3 already mentioned. Vitamin D2 is plant-based and is created by exposing fungi to UV-B rays. Vitamin D3 is usually derived from animal sources, though there are some vegan versions available.
Which is more valuable?
According to research, Vitamin D2 is able to temporarily increase Vitamin D levels in the blood, but not as much as Vitamin D3. Therefore, the main recommendations for addressing Vitamin D deficiencies are
1) Getting out in the sun (yes, you can and should still wear sunscreen)
2) Opting for Vitamin D3 supplementation
Where can you find a plant-based source of Vitamin D3?
Luckily, at B Raw, we've got you covered in a comprehensive blend that includes 25mcg of plant-based Vitamin D3: 100% of your the general daily requirements.
Inner Beauty is a supercharged greens supplement with vegan collagen boosters and a wide spectrum of vitamins, including Vitamin D3. By having a scoop of this delicious blend daily, you're giving your immunity the support it needs. Plus, you'll have extra nutritional and collagen-boosting aids that will help preserve your inner and outer beauty. Shop now to give your body and mind that precious ray of sunshine!
*Disclaimer: Always talk to your healthcare professional before taking any supplements. Vitamins and minerals are not a sole source of nutrition.