Vegan Sources of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for calcium absorption and is vital for strengthening bone structure. It is usually sourced from fatty fish, eggs, and dairy products, which can be a problem for vegans.


Given that vitamin D plays a prominent role in various bodily functions, you should regulate your daily intake, especially on a vegan diet.


Since much of vitamin D comes from non-vegan options, you’ll have to take extra measures to ensure you’re getting enough, or else it could lead to underlying health problems.


Luckily, there are several vegan-friendly options to meet the daily recommended intake of vitamin D. Here are some of the best ones:

Vitamin D Supplements

One of the best options for vitamin D is dietary supplements. Vitamin D can be taken in pills and are also typically found in multivitamins.

How Much Is in It?

The amount of vitamin D found in supplements and multivitamins varies depending on the brand, but they usually have a minimum of 400 IU.


It is common for multivitamins to have anywhere from 400 IU to 1000 IU of vitamin D; however, they can have more.


When choosing a vitamin D supplement, keep in mind that according to Mayo Clinic, the recommended dosage for an adult is around 600 IU – 800 IU a day.

Other Nutrients

The other nutrients found in a multivitamin depend on which kind you get. Some common supplements are vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, zinc, and calcium

Best Uses

Vitamin D supplements are best taken in the morning after you wake up. This will ensure that they are properly absorbed in your body and don’t interrupt sleep.

Other Benefits

Since vitamin D supplements are measured to satisfy daily values, you’ll always get enough of the vitamin when you take them.


Any other benefits are contingent on your multivitamin’s other ingredients/supplements.

Raw White Mushrooms

Another excellent source of vitamin D for vegans is raw white mushrooms. While other mushrooms such as portobellos have trace amounts of vitamin D, white mushrooms have been shown to have the highest density of it.

How Much Is in it?

Half a cup of raw white mushrooms has 366 IU of vitamin D. That’s roughly 46% of the daily value.

Other Nutrients

White mushrooms are a good source of protein, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. They are also incredibly low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

Best Uses

To fully reap the benefits of white mushrooms, they are best eaten raw or cooked. If you’re not too fond of snacking solely on uncooked mushrooms, try adding them to salads or dipping them into some vegan ranch.


They’re great sauteed, baked, or grilled if you’re cooking them and make a fantastic side to almost any entree.

Other Benefits

Studies have shown that regular mushroom consumption lowers your risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.


They are also packed with antioxidants and low in calories, making them perfect for weight loss and fat regulation.

Oatmilk, Almond Milk, and Soy Milk Fortified With Vitamin D

Various vegan-friendly milk can also be a decent source of vitamin D if they’re fortified with it. Before you buy, make sure that the brand you’re purchasing has been supplemented with adequate vitamin D.

How Much Is in it?

Once again, values will depend on the product and brand, but you can usually expect around 100 – 200 IU of vitamin D.


This falls between 13% and 25% of the daily recommended value.

Other Nutrients

Most alternative kinds of milk have a decent amount of calcium and protein and may also be supplemented with other nutrients similar to vitamin D.

Best Uses

These vegan milks are most effective when drunk cold at the recommended serving size, but they may lose their nutritional value when cooked into other dishes.


If you can’t get behind the raw taste, many will come in different flavors, such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Just make sure that they are still fortified with vitamin D.


They are also great alternatives for smoothies, shakes, and cereal.

Other Benefits

In addition to being a good source of vitamin C and protein, many of these milks are low in fat and calories compared to their dairy counterpart.


This makes them a healthy alternative to cow’s milk and is perfect for vegans, lactose-intolerant people, and weight loss.


These milks are also less cruel and much better for the environment.


Orange Juice Fortified With Vitamin D

Like almond, oat, and soy milk, orange juice can also be fortified with vitamin D and serve as a valid source for vegans. Also, like fortified milk, orange juice does not naturally have adequate amounts of vitamin D, so make sure the brand you buy is strengthened with it.

How Much Is in it?

One serving of orange juice fortified with vitamin D will typically fall around 100 IU, which is 10% of the DV.

Other Nutrients

Orange juice is most well known for being an exceptional source of vitamin C and a respectable amount of potassium, magnesium, and folate.

Best Uses

Orange juice is the best way to start your day and can add a nutritional boost to your breakfast in the morning.


You’re best off drinking 1-2 glasses a day, but be wary of the high sugar and carb intake.

Other Benefits

Orange juice has a multitude of benefits.


It can prevent the risk of kidney stones, improve overall heart health, and decrease bodily inflation. However, given that OJ is also a source of antioxidants, it’s also suitable for your immune system and may even help prevent cancer.

Best vegan cereals FAQ

Fortified Vegan Cereals

Milk and OJ aren’t the only things you can fortify with vitamin D: cereal is also a major contender to source your daily intake of the vitamin.

How Much is in it?

Fortified cereals will often have exactly or around 10% of the DV. This amounts to 80 IU of vitamin D per serving.

Other Nutrients

Seeing as how cereals are nutritional powerhouses, you’ll find many other nourishing ingredients on the label.


You’ll most likely be getting large amounts of vitamins A through E, iron, thiamin, calcium, niacin, and many other nutrients.

Best Uses

The best use for cereal is, well, eating it as is. It makes a quick and easy breakfast (or any meal) and goes well with your favorite vegan milk.


Like orange juice, you’ll want to moderate the amount you eat if the cereal is high in sugar and sodium.

Other Benefits

Since fortified cereals have every nutrient under the sun, you’ll eliminate the risk for most nutrient deficiency-related issues and round out your diet. You’ll also be fighting your risk of heart disease and cancer.


Cereal is widely accessible and doesn’t take any prep, so there’s no hassle making it either.

Fortified Tofu

Did you know that tofu can be fortified as well? While basic tofus don’t have everything your body needs to maintain a healthy diet, tofu enhanced with various vitamins and minerals can be a great source of nutrition for vegans and vegetarians.

How Much Is in it?

You can expect 120 IU to 160 IU of vitamin D for each serving of fortified tofu. This will be between 15% and 20% of the DV.


As with most fortified foods, this value may change depending on the brand and manufacturer.

Other Nutrients

Tofu may have more nutrients than you think, even the non-fortified version. Tofu is an excellent source of calcium, manganese, copper, selenium, vitamin A, iron, phosphorus, zinc, and magnesium.


Despite being so nutrient-dense, tofu is low in calories and carbs.

Best Uses

Tofu is a highly versatile food item that you can use in many vegan-friendly dishes. While it is sometimes used as a substitute for meat, there are many dishes where tofu is the star of the show. 


Since tofu doesn’t have a strong taste, it takes on the flavors of whatever you’re cooking with and is pretty popular amongst vegans and in Asian cuisine. Tofu can be eaten hot or cold and is one of the best alternatives to meat you can include in your diet.

Other Benefits

In addition to having high amounts of nutrients, tofu also has a variety of antinutrients, which help regulate nutrient absorption and prevent your body from intaking too much of a vitamin or mineral.


Tofu is fermented, so it is also the host to a bunch of healthy bacteria. This will help improve gut health and promote better digestion.

Soy Yogurt

Soy yogurt is the perfect vegan snack to combat those hunger pangs and get a good amount of vitamin D.

How Much Is in it?

Soy yogurt will have between 80 and 100 IU of vitamin D or 10% – 15% of the DV.

Other Nutrients

Other nutrients in soy yogurt are typically reasonable amounts of protein, calcium, iron, and potassium.

Best Uses

Soy yogurt is a low-calorie, low-fat alternative to regular yogurt and can be eaten as a light breakfast meal or a midday snack. The only thing to watch out for here is the large amounts of sugars and artificial sweeteners.

Other Benefits

Soy products have been shown to lower cholesterol and even lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Soy yogurt specifically is the host to quite a few healthy fats, amino acids, and carbs. This will help improve cardiovascular functions and overall health.

Sunlight (UV Rays)

The most natural way to regulate vitamin D is to get some sun shining on your skin. When those UV rays hit your body, you begin to convert cholesterol to vitamin D.


Obviously, too much sun can be bad for your health (sunburn, cancer, etc.), but too little can be just as detrimental.


Try to get around 5 to 30 minutes of sunshine a day, as recommended by the National Institute of Health.

Fruits and Vegetables

Many fruits and vegetables have trace amounts of vitamin D, such as broccoli, mangos, okra, bok choy, spinach, bananas, kale, figs, and other green superfoods.


While this amount is less than 1% of the DV for vitamin D, eating a well-rounded diet with plenty of fruits and veggies can help balance and maintain a healthy bone structure.


If you mix in the low amounts of vitamin D from the vegetables and fruits, you eat with an adequate amount of sunlight, and you can avoid any potential health risks or deficiencies.


You’ll also be getting all the other benefits from the many different nutrients found in these superfoods, so don’t shy away from them.

Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

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Since most vitamin D is sourced from animal products, you may not be getting enough of your daily recommended percentages if you’re vegan.


If you don’t consume enough vitamin D, you may develop a vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to other underlying health concerns.


Here are some common symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency:


  • Muscle or bone pain
  • Brittle bones 
  • Mood changes
  • Depression
  • Fatigue 
  • Muscle weakness
  • Cramps


If you let a vitamin D deficiency go on for too long, you can develop health issues such as:


  • Osteoporosis
  • Bone thinning
  • Broken or misshapen bones
  • Rickets 
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Scoliosis


Here is a complete list of symptoms and potential conditions revolving around a vitamin D deficiency. Consult your doctor if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or aren’t sure if you’re getting enough of it in your diet.

The Bottom Line

In the end, vitamin D is a nutrient vital to having strong bones and muscles. Vegans are even more susceptible to not getting enough of their daily value because a lot of it comes from meat and dairy.


Still, just because you don’t eat animal-based products, that doesn’t mean you can get enough vitamin D. You can certainly live a normal life on a plant-based diet.


Hopefully, this article has given you a good idea of the best foods to eat for vitamin D to live your best life. If you’d like to learn more about the vegan lifestyle and fitness, go here for similar articles, tips, and lists.

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