Vitamin D plays a vital role in bone health, but can you get enough of these nutrients every day without dairy? Absolutely! Most of your plate must be filled with whole-plant foods including plenty of fruits, greens, beans and other colorful vegetables. It helps to get outdoors too!
The best part of eating for bone health is the results for your overall health too. Your brain, heart, kidneys and just about every organ in your body make use of the nutrients in beans, greens and veggies. A plant-based plate and moderate sunshine pair perfectly to help you get enough calcium and vitamin D.
Hot To Get Vitamin D Without The Dairy
The number one way to get vitamin D is through safe sun exposure. The body can turn UVB sun rays that touch the skin into vitamin D. The amount of time spent in the sun to produce vitamin D varies depending upon a variety of factors which include how light to dark your skin is, the season, a clear or overcast sky, air pollution, your age and the time of day. For example, darker skinned individuals need to stay in the sun longer than fair skin individuals to produce the same amount of vitamin D.
Fortified Soy, Rice or Almond Milk
People who do not drink dairy products may substitute regular milk with soy, rice or almond milk. Fortified versions of these products contain added calcium and vitamin D.
Cold Water Fish
Some cold water fish are a natural source of vitamin D including salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines.
Mushrooms are the only plant food that naturally contains vitamin D. Recently, companies have been increasing the amount of vitamin D in mushrooms by exposing them to UV light for several minutes. UV exposure does not affect the levels of the other essential nutrients in mushrooms and they are safe to eat. Look for mushroom products that state they are enhanced with UV sunlight.
The easiest way to get enough vitamin D is through taking supplements. Many multivitamins for both children and adults supply a day’s worth of vitamin D. If you don’t take a daily multivitamin, you can buy vitamin D separately.
If you are a leafy green veggie-lover, then spinach is one of the best vegetables containing vitamin D & calcium. Spinach is an excellent source of quick energy and is a delicious ingredient in any food.
Fortified Breakfast Cereals
Breakfast cereals have become healthier over the past few years by dropping a lot of the sugar and adding vitamins and minerals. When buying a breakfast cereal, look for one that says it is fortified, meaning they have added essential nutrients like vitamin D.
Fortified Orange Juice
The typical fortified orange juice contains about 100 IU of vitamin D per eight ounce serving. Another benefit of fortified orange juice is it contains calcium. For people who do not drink milk, a good fortified orange juice can give them substantial amounts of their daily calcium and vitamin D.