Tag Archives: vegan nutrients

Where Do Vegans Get Their Vitamin D?

Everyone knows you get Vitamin D from the sun, and of course, almost every adult knows the joke version of where to get this nutrient, but I bet if you asked someone which plant foods have Vitamin D in them, they’d be at a loss.

I was even surprised to learn that the only plant based food that has naturally occurring Vitamin D is mushrooms. In fact, if I didn’t research it for this series, I probably wouldn’t have learned that. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there is Vitamin D in lots of vegetables, but the amount in other vegetables is so minimal, you can’t use them as your main source for the nutrient.

I was especially eager to do this nutrient, because as someone living in Toronto (Canada) where our weather is mostly winter, getting Vitamin D from the sun can be quite a challenge for the majority of the year. And as most people know, you can’t just go outside without sunscreen on for a few hours and ‘stock up’ on Vitamin D so you’re good for the year. (Though Vitamin D is fat soluble, meaning our bodies can store some extra)

So, what if you’re vegan and live somewhere with minimal sun, and don’t like mushrooms? Does that mean you’re just screwed?

Luckily, no! Similar to B12, there are foods available that have been fortified with Vitamin D, that are vegan friendly. Unfortunately, the list isn’t very long, but there’s definitely enough to have a bit of variety. Also, as someone who used to hate mushrooms, if you just make yourself eat them (in small amounts), eventually you’ll see they aren’t all that bad.

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Starting in the top left corner, going clockwise:

  • The Sun (10 minutes outside without sunscreen in summer)
  • Orange Juice (1C = 100IU)
  • Oat/Almond/Rice Milk (1C = 85-90IU)
  • Soy Milk (1C = 86IU)
  • Maitake Mushrooms (1C = 786IU)
  • Portobello Mushrooms (1C = 634IU)
  • Shiitake Mushrooms (1C = 26IU)
  • White Button Mushrooms (1C = 7IU)

For those who may be as confused as I was, IU stands for International Units. I’m not too sure why this is the unit of measure for this particular nutrient, but I’m sure there’s some scientific/important reason other than ‘just to be different’.

It’s recommended that people 1 year to 70 years old get 600-4,000IU of Vitamin D each day. This may sound like a lot, but don’t forget our bodies can store some excess Vitamin D, and even if you’re inside, if you’re by a window that’s in the sun, you’re still getting some Vitamin D.

Also, if you make a kick-ass mushroom dish (one of my favourites is a family recipe, called Peas and Mushrooms [can you guess what’s in it?]  or you could make a stir fry, stuffed mushrooms, pasta with mushrooms… there are tons of dishes you could make with mushrooms!) you’ll have plenty of Vitamin D stocked up.

And if you’re still worried, there’s always Tinder.


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Where Do Vegans Get Their Calcium?

This is the second entry in my new Vegan Nutrient collage series, (check out the first post here), and I figured the simplest way to go about this series would be in order of the most asked questions new vegans get, (and most asked questions new vegans are bound to have).

That’s why this entry, is focusing on calcium.

We definitely have no need to consume cow’s milk (or sheep, or goat), and with all the terrible side effects, why would you want to?

Not to mention, it’s an unnecessary and cruel industry. Seriously, why would you willingly fund such horrors?

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Starting from the top left corner, going clockwise:

  •  Tahini 325mg
  •  Fortified Non-Dairy Milk 200-300mg (depending on which kind)
  •  Seasame Seeds 280mg
  •  Tempeh 215mg
  •  Almonds 200mg
  •  Tofu 150mg
  •  Seitan 142mg
  •  Figs 120mg
  •  Oranges 50-60mg (depending on size)
  •  Blackberries 40mg
  •  Black Beans 294mg
  •  Kidney Beans 263mg
  •  Chickpeas 210mg
  •  Soy White Beans 175mg
  •  Romano Beans 160mg
  •  Navy Beans 125mg
  • Collard Greens 350mg
  • Turnip Greens 250mg
  • Spinach 230mg
  • Kale 180mg
  • Bok Choy 158mg
  • Broccoli 95mg

These are in no way the only plant based sources of calcium, but they are the Top 22 that have the most calcium in them (per 1 cup).

With only needing 1,000mg/day of calcium, you can see how easy it is to meet your daily requirements with plant foods.

I hope you found this collage helpful, whether you’re a new vegan or veg-curious.

Next month, I’ll be talking about vegan sunscreens.


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Where Do Vegans Get Their Protein?

This might just be the oldest question in the book there is pertaining to veganism. Even before going vegan, I knew protein wasn’t just in meat – it honestly baffle’s me that some people think that.

However, if you are genuinely wondering, yes, plants have protein, sometimes even more so then animal products!

This new Vegan Nutrient series will be focusing on just that – vegan sources of nutrients. This series is for any new vegans, the veg curious, and any/all family members/friends, etc. who are concerned for the well-being of the vegan they know.

I decided to start with protein, as this is still the #1 question most vegans get asked about. Next to calcium, iron and B12 (which I’ll also be covering)

So, to put your minds at ease, and to give you a nice easy to read poster (perhaps you can print it out and tape it somewhere for ease of access?) here are the top 23 sources of protein for vegans: (per 1 Cup)

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Starting from the top left corner, going clockwise:

  • Seitan 62g
  • Tempeh 41g
  • Tofu 11g
  • Peanuts 56g
  • Almonds 48g
  • Pistachios 48
  • Cashews 40g
  • Brazil Nuts 32g
  • Walnuts 32g
  • Soy/White Beans 29g
  • Black 15g
  • Kidney 13g
  • Pinto 12g
  • Garbonzo Beans 12g
  • Buckwheat 24g
  • Lentils 18g
  • Quinoa 9g
  • Peanut Butter 50g
  • Peas 9g
  • Spinach 5g
  • Raisins 5g
  • Sunflower 40g
  • Pumpkin 64g

As you can see, and will hopefully continue to see throughout this series, there are many different plant sources of protein, and all the other essential nutrients needed to survive. Also, with people only needing roughly 40-60g of protein per day, there shouldn’t be any problems in getting enough.

Hopefully these collages will help put your mind at ease that a vegan diet has all the nutrients you need – minus the cruelty! (This is just one video about what happens to chickens, don’t worry – there’s videos for cows and pigs, too.)

Also, in case you were wondering: ‘Humane’ slaughter is a lie.


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