The summer is upon us, and the sun cannot be more ruthless it seems. Spending just an hour outside seems to be a challenge in itself. But you know, there is no escaping that. And come to think of it, you should not try to escape it either. Sunlight is said to be the best source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential to absorb calcium and promote stronger bone and teeth. Vitamin D deficiency is said to be linked with osteoporosis and arthritis, where bones tend to weaken with age. Doctors also recommend adolescents and young adults to include enough vitamin D-rich foods in their diet to promote better bone health. Fatty fish, egg yolks, liver oil, shrimps, oysters are dubbed as some of the best sources of vitamin D, but if you happen to be a vegetarian, then fret not; there are enough vegetarian vitamin D food sources you can rely on too. Before we look at Vitamin D-rich foods, let's look at why the vitamin is important for the body and what are the health benefits of consuming it.
Health Benefits of Vitamin D Foods
Here are some health benefits of Vitamin D-rich foods:
1. Vitamin D may help boost weight loss.
2. Vitamin D may keep depression at bay.
3. Vitamin D may reduce risk of heart diseases.
4. Vitamin D is important for making bones strong.
5. Vitamin D may boost the immune system.
6. Vitamin D maintains health of nervous system and the brain.
Here are 4 Vegetarian Sources Of Vitamin D-Rich Foods
All dairy products are very good sources of calcium and vitamin D. Milk is often dubbed as complete food. Milk comprises almost all the essential nutrients. It is rich in protein, calcium, vitamin D, fat and good carbs. If you are not lactose intolerant, you can down a tall glass of milk as it is or you can enjoy some nice summer smoothies and shakes.
(Also Read: Should You Boil Milk Before Drinking it?)
Another yummy dairy product, cheese along with being an excellent source of vitamin D, also packs decent amount of good fats that are essential for skin and brain health. But make sure you choose the right kind of cheese. Feta, cottage cheese, ricotta are some of the healthy cheeses you can add to your diet.
(Also Read: Say Cheese! These 4 Healthy Cheese Varieties Are Diet-Friendly)
The fleshy mushrooms are said to be an excellent source of the sunshine vitamin. You can add it to soups, stir-fries, stews or salads. Mushrooms can synthesise vitamin when exposed to UV light. Mushrooms can be used as stir-fried along with meats and can even use them in vegetarian stuffings for sandwiches and subs.
(Also Read: Kadai Mushroom Recipe: How To Make This Lip-Smacking Delicacy At Home?)
Yogurt, or curd, is a summer staple we cannot do without. Yogurt is a good probiotic, for those who are not suffering from any diary allergies. It is rich in protein and lower in calories as compared to cheese. It is also a good source of calcium and vitamin D. So, include more yogurt in your diet this season. You can blend it in raita, sweet lassi and yummy chaas.
(Also Read: 5 South Indian Raita Recipes with Beetroot, Gooseberry, Coconut and More)Yogurt, or curd, is a summer staple we cannot do without
A healthy and balanced diet has a good mix of all essential nutrients. Apart from consuming right amount of macro-nutrients, you may benefit from paying attention on essential micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals as well.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)
About Sushmita SenguptaSharing a strong penchant for food, Sushmita loves all things good, cheesy and greasy. Her other favourite pastime activities other than discussing food includes, reading, watching movies and binge-watching TV shows.