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The simplest way to get vitamin D is sunlight on your skin—that stimulates the body to produce its own D. But in winter or more northern latitudes (or if you’re rarely outdoors), you’ll need to get more from your diet. Unfortunately for vegans, dairy products, fish, and eggs are among the richest food sources. Most adults need about 600 IU of vitamin D per day, according to the National Institutes of Health.
A cup of vitamin D-fortified plant-based milk (such as almond milk or coconut milk) or fortified orange juice will provide about 90 IU of vitamin D. So unless vegans drink six or more cups daily, they’ll probably need to supplement. However, check with your doctor first, and be sure to read this before you start taking vitamin D supplements.
Much like a vegan diet, an ovo-vegetarian approach to eating excludes your main dietary sources of vitamin D. Ovo-vegetarians eat plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and beans, and also incorporate eggs, but not dairy.
Ovo-vegetarians may be able to meet their vitamin D needs by drinking fortified juices and plant-based milk and eating eggs and wild mushrooms. Mushrooms are the only plant-based sources of vitamin D because they can create vitamin D from sunlight—but only sunlight-exposed wild mushrooms provide significant amounts. Two large eggs provide about 90 IU vitamin D, while a cup of chanterelle mushrooms has about 115 IU.