Are there any non-animal whole foods that provide vitamin D₃? I know that vitamin D₃ can be obtained through supplements and vitamin D₂ is found in some mushrooms. Is sunlight the only other way for vegans to get vitamin D₃?
From what I can gather, there does not seem to be vegan food sources that provide vitamin D3. From This source, they first provide a table with the recommended daily intake of vitamin D:
Since the US government still doesn’t count the value of D2 and D3 as being different, they only report an RDA for the umbrella category of vitamin D.
This source then lists the
Top 10 vegan sources of vitamin D
and how much vitamin D they contain as:
- Maitake 1 cup of diced portabella contains only 9 IU. For white button, it’s 5 IU and for crimini, it’s 2 IU.
- Morel 136 IU in a 1 cup (66 g) serving when fresh
- Chanterelle 1 cup (54 g) contains 114 IU
- Oyster (the fungus, not the seafood) 1 cup (86g) only contains 25 IU
- Shiitake 4 mushrooms (15 g dried) offers 23 IU
- Alfalfa Field-grown alfalfa exposed to the sun was found to contain 1920 IU of vitamin D2 per kilogram (2.2 lbs) tests showed that same amount of alfalfa contained 25 IU of D3
- Fortified cereal General Mills’ Cheerios provides 60 IU per serving, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies have 90 IU, Kellogg’s Raisin Bran has 60 IU.
- Fortified non-dairy milk Depends on the product.
- Lichens Figure was not provided.
- Vegan D3 supplements Figure was not provided.
From this list, only two items (excluding the supplements) specifically mention containing D3 - Alfalfa and Lichens. However, the article goes on to say how these sources aren't safe for human consumption. Therefore, I would conclude that the best (and safest) way to get a source of vitamin D3 is via supplements.
With vegan supplements, both the article, and the vegan society warn that all vitamin D2 supplements are vegan, but not all vitamin D3 supplements are since
vitamin D3 can be derived from an animal source (such as sheep’s wool) or lichen (a vegan-friendly source)