Weak muscles and poor bone density are some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. But there are chances that lack of this vitamin can cause asthma in children, cognitive impairment at an older age, intolerance to glucose and multiple sclerosis. Quite serious illnesses, but they can be prevented. However, the rules differ for vegetarians. What are the healthy vegetarian sources of vitamin D?
Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin D
For those between 1-70 years, the daily allowance is 15 micrograms, that is, 600 International Unit (IU).
For those older than 70 years, it is recommended to have 800 IU daily that equals to 20 microgram.
Soy products like tofu and soy chunks are a healthy source of vitamin D. These products are easily available at a supermarket. Tofu may be a new ingredient for some, but Indians have been using soy chunks for a long time.
Oatmeals and breakfast cereals are fortified with different vitamins. Check the label to ensure that you are getting the right amount of vitamin D in your body.
You can eat mushrooms as starters or prepare a side dish for dinner; mushrooms are a favourite with the kids. This goes for non vegetarians too. If your child makes a fuss about eating, then try some delicious mushroom preparations.
Science textbooks highlight this fact – sunlight is the biggest source of Vitamin D. But remember to bask in the sun for 10 -15 minutes before 8am and at dusk. Beyond that you are asking for trouble, you don’t want skin ailments to plague your skin.
Most fruits lack vitamin D with the exception of oranges. A glass of orange juice is rich in calcium and vitamin D.
Word of caution: Use margarine like a miser, large portions of margarine can be unhealthy. Before purchase, check if the margarine is fortified with vitamin D.
Opt for alternative milk like soy, rice and coconut. Most mothers use coconut and rice milk with food, but what about soy? Dairy products like yogurt are now made from soy milk.