Known mostly as the sunshine vitamin, this incredibly essential vitamin is oftentimes misunderstood and underrated.

Vitamin D is a “nutrient found in some foods that is needed for health and to maintain strong bones … by helping the body absorb calcium (one of bone’s main building blocks) from food and supplements.” Yet, it’s not just about your bones, vitamin D is also essential for helping muscles move — “nerves need it to carry messages between the brain and every body part” — plus the immune system “needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.”

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So, why is vitamin D called the sunshine vitamin?

Turns out that the human body is even more amazing then you may have thought! When your “skin is directly exposed to the sun,” the body turns those warm rays into vitamin D. Yet, it’s a lot harder to actually get your vitamin D from the sun as your body needs actual direct exposure. Days that are overcast or cloudy or if you’re relying on sunshine through windows, won’t exactly do the trick.

Yet, vitamin D deficiency can be quite serious. Symptoms include routine sickness that just won’t go away, severe fatigue, bone and back pain, impaired wound healing, bone and hair loss, muscle pain, and even depression are all signs that you may not be getting the appropriate amount of vitamin D.

Alright, what if I can’t get direct sunlight every day, generally referring to almost every person on the planet at some point during the year. Unfortunately, there are very few foods that actually supply proper amounts of vitamin D, the list beginning and ending with mushrooms and fortified foods such as plant-based milk and cereals.

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So, it’s time to turn to supplements! If you’ve already consulted a medical professional and have been given the thumbs up to find a vitamin D supplement, here are a few vegan-friendly varieties that’ll do the trick!

1. Sports Research Vitamin K2 + D3 with Organic Coconut Oil

Sports Research Vitamin K2 + D3 with Organic Coconut Oil/Amazon.com

This Sports Research Vitamin K2 + D3 with Organic Coconut Oil offers a unique blend of 2-in-1 support with both 125 mcg of Vitamin D3 and 100 mcg of Vitamin K2 MK-7 —  which “activates proteins that play a role in blood clotting, calcium metabolism, and heart health.” This blend supports bone health, muscle function, and boosts energy. This product is vegan certified, non-GMO verified and wrapped in a tapioca soft gel capsule. Plus, this supplement is enhanced with coconut oil, as both vitamin D3 and K2 are fat-soluble, meaning the nutrients will be more effectively absorbed. A 60-capsule bottle costs $19.95.

Rashad says “My hair was shedding quite a bit, and my dermatologist-tested me for a Vitamin D deficiency (I hardly get any sunlight). Turns out it was pretty severe. This completely stopped and reversed the shedding (thickened my hair) and overall my mood was improved.”

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2. Garden of Life Vitamin D3

It’s almost impossible to have a list of trusted, high-quality, vegan supplements without adding at least one or two from Garden of Life! This Garden of Life Vitamin D3 is a special blend meant to support the immune system, boost calcium absorption, and provide a needy body with that essential vitamin D. This supplement comes in an organic raspberry lemon flavor with zero added sugar. Plus, this product is vegan-safe, certified USDA organic, and non-GMO verified. A 30-chewable tablet bottle costs $13.29.

Joanne H. says “I was looking for a vitamin D supplement and I have to say, so far these are my favorite. They’re certified organic, vegan and they’re tasty. Also, they’re not expensive and they’re one of the cleanest vitamin D supplements I’ve ever seen so far. Also, the guideline recommendation for adults trying to get their vitamin D levels back up is 1,500 to 2,000 daily. So these can be taken daily. I personally don’t take them every day, I take them about every other day. For anyone taking supplements, be careful when supplementing with fat-soluble vitamins, watch for the recommended dosage because you can overdose on fat-soluble vitamins and always check with your doctor! But anyway, these are great, I highly recommend!” 

3. NATURELO Vitamin D3

NATURELO Vitamin D3/Amazon.com

This NATURELO Vitamin D3 supplement is made from wild-harvested lichen with enhanced bioavailability from the cholecalciferol active form of D3. This supplement is designed to aid calcium absorption and facilitates muscle growth. Using only top-quality ingredients, NATURELO uses third-party verification. Plus this product is vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and does not contain any soy, dairy, corn, nuts, additives, preservatives, or coloring. A 180-capsule bottle costs $21.95.

R. Schlimbach says “I buy many of their vitamins and it’s so much better than the other name brands you find in stores such as RiteAide or Walgreens. Capsules are easy to swallow. A good company that backs up their vitamin line. Reasonably priced.”

4. Doctor’s Best Vitamin D3 2500IU with Vitashine D3

Doctor’s Best Vitamin D3 2500IU with Vitashine D3/Amazon.com

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This Doctor’s Best Vitamin D3 2500IU with Vitashine D3 features vegan-friendly cholecalciferol-based vitamin D3. This supplement is great for “supporting bone health, immune wellness, cardiovascular function, and for cellular gene regulation and metabolism.” Verified by the Vegan Society, this supplement also promises to use only sustainably harvested ingredients. A 60-capsule bottle costs $8.59.

Liz119 says “Honestly I was scrambling to find out what was wrong with me. I was constantly tired, no matter how much sleep, caffeine, food, water, and so on I got. Even after seeing my psychologist nothing seemed to help. I decided to give this a whirl and I’m seriously blown away. It gave me my energy back and more! I can work way longer than I could ever remember and I don’t yawn nearly as much throughout the day. I definitely recommend if you feel like your energy is depleting and you’re unsure why. Thank you for making this suitable for vegans. I would absolutely without a doubt purchase this again.”

5. Deva Vegan Vitamin D

Deva Vegan Vitamin D/Amazon.com

This Deva Vegan Vitamin D provides a high potency source of vitamin D with 2400 IU in each serving. This supplement is one hundred percent plant-derived, sourcing their vitamin D from ergocalciferol. This product is Vegan Society certified and incredibly high-quality. A 90-capsule bottle costs $5.31.

Abdul-Raheem says “I had a blood test done several weeks ago and it appears these Vegan Vitamin D tablets are working as advertised. No deficiencies were noted. My diet consists of vegetarian meals and I’m glad to know that these supplements are compatible with my dietary choice.”

6. Safe2m Doctor Formulated Vegan Vitamin D3 Supplement

Safe2m Doctor Formulated Vegan Vitamin D3 Supplement/Amazon.com

This Safe2m Doctor Formulated Vegan Vitamin D3 Supplement combines “the benefits of superior bioavailability of cholecalciferol (D3) with a 100 percent vegan, non-GMO, plant-based source that is lanolin-free.” This supplement offers 1000 IU of vitamin D3 meant to support healthy bones, strong muscles, and immune system health. Safe2m promises this product to use only the highest quality ingredients, using vegan-safe vitamin D3 derived from lichen that is sustainably grown. A 60-capsule bottle costs $12.95.

Ranch Girl says “I can’t take ANY supplements–they ALL bother my stomach. When I read that other sensitive people were able to take this successfully, I decided to try it. I do notice a tiny tiny “something” in my tummy when I take it (with food), but it is very mild and not enough to make me stop taking it. My Vitamin D levels are in the tank and I am hoping these help–blood tests later this week will show and I will post a follow-up. I recommend these if you have any stomach sensitivities to supplements!”

7. Country Life Vegan D3

Country Life Vegan D3/Amazon.com

This Country Life Vegan D3 uses 100 percent plant-derived, clean-sourced vitamin D. This supplement aims to support a healthy immune system and boost bone health by increasing calcium absorption. Using cholecalciferol, you’ll get the best “form of vitamin D that the skin makes from the sunlight.” This product is certified vegan by the AVA and certified glute-free. A 60-capsule bottle costs $21.54.

M Veg says “I had a blood test and found my Vitamin D levels were extremely low even though I was taking a Vitamin D2 supplement at the time. My doctor recommended I take a prescription D3 supplement with 50,000IU. I asked if I could try this over the counter D3 instead and she agreed. I took 10 pills per week (to add up to 50,000IU) for 10 weeks and we rechecked my levels and I was in the optimal zone already. I now just take 1 pill per week and my levels are maintaining in the optimal zone. I highly recommend this vegan D3!”

8. MaryRuth Organics Vegan Vitamin D3 Gummy

MaryRuth Organics Vegan Vitamin D3 Gummy/Amazon.com

MaryRuth is one of the most trusted brands of organic, vegan supplements on the market! This MaryRuth Organics Vegan Vitamin D3 Gummy is not only vegan and organic, but also non-GMO, paleo-friendly, gluten-free, wheat-free, yeast-free, corn-free, soy-free, and celiac. On top of that, this supplement contains no nightshades. These gelatin-free gummies come in lemon, orange, and strawberry flavors offering 1000 IUs per serving! A 60-capsule bottle costs $19.95.

LoveMuffin says “I’ve recently been told by my doctor that I need to add a Vitamin D supplement daily. At first, we tried a prescription but the insurance wouldn’t cover it. So I had to go with an over-the-counter product. I already take a ton of prescription pills a day and I didn’t want to add any more to my list. So I decided to search for a gummy supplement. I like that this Vitamin D by MaryRuth is vegan and organic. I really love the three flavors, lemon, strawberry, and orange. It seems like they may be lightly coated with sugar. Very tasty for a vitamin! Another great thing about these gummies is that one bottle will last two months for me.”

9. Whole Earth & Sea Pure Food Vegan Bioenhanced Vitamin D3

Whole Earth & Sea Pure Food Vegan Bioenhanced Vitamin D3/Amazon.com

This Whole Earth & Sea Pure Food Vegan Bioenhanced Vitamin D3 provides vitamin sunshine in a bottle! This formula aims to support healthy bone development and immune system health with 1000 IU of vegan-friendly vitamin D3. Whole Earth & Sea uses wild-harvested lichen that has been “extracted in a sustainable manner and carefully processed to ensure purity and stability.” Along with being vegan-friendly and third-party certified, this product is non-GMO. A 90-serving bottle costs $13.97.

Amazon Customer says “It is surprisingly difficult to get vegetarian D capsules, so I was so happy to find these. I have been taking them due to very low Vitamin D levels and they have done the trick! My levels have come up 15 points and are finally in the normal range.”

10. MaryRuth’s Organic Vegan Liquid Vitamin D3

MaryRuth’s Organic Vegan Liquid Vitamin D3/Amazon.com

Another MaryRuth product makes this list! If supplements simply aren’t your thing, try out this liquid form of vitamin D3. This MaryRuth’s Organic Vegan Liquid Vitamin D3 is an unflavored gentle oral spray that is not only vegan, but also non-GMO, all-natural, and organic. Perfect for kids that need a boost of vitamin D! A 24-milliliter bottle costs $21.95.

K. Berrada says “I was pleasantly surprised that there was, indeed, no taste. If you need vitamins but don’t like swallowing pills, then I would definitely recommend this spray. They put a lot of care into what does/does not go into the product. I was skeptical of spraying a vitamin instead of taking a pill, but I had the opportunity to test it for free and am glad I did.”

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

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