Nutrients to consider on a vegan diet

A vegan diet removes some sources of nutrients from the diet, so people need to plan their meals carefully to avoid nutritional deficiencies. People may wish to talk to a doctor or dietitian ahead of adopting a vegan diet, especially if they have existing health conditions.


Key nutrients that may be low in a vegan diet include:


Vitamin B-12:

Vitamin B-12 is mainly present in animal products. It protects the nerves and red blood cells. A lack of vitamin B12 can make you feel tired and weak. Getting enough vitamin B12, though, can be challenging for vegans because it can’t be found in plants.  To get your fill, stock up on fortified cereals, fortified rice and soy drinks — or take a supplement. The recommended daily amount for most adults is about 2.4 milligrams, but check with your doctor to see what’s right for you.

Plant-based sources of this vitamin include fortified cereals and plant milks, nutritional yeast, and yeast spreads.

More resources for B12 vitamin; nori , Shitake mushroom ,



Iron is important for blood health. Beans and dark leafy greens are good sources.

Vegan sources for iron ; lentils, chickpeas, beans, tofu, cashew nuts, chia seeds, ground linseed, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, kale, dried apricots and figs, raisins, quinoa and fortified breakfast cereal.



Calcium is crucial for bone health. Eating tofu, tahini, and leafy greens will help keep calcium levels up.

Vegan sources of calcium ; green, leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach , fortified unsweetened soya, rice and oat drinks , calcium-set tofu , sesame seeds and tahini, pulses , brown and white bread (in the UK, calcium is added to white and brown flour by law) , dried fruit, such as raisins, prunes, figs and dried apricots


Vitamin D:

Vitamin D protects against cancer and some chronic health conditions, and it helps strengthen the bones and teeth. Regularly eating vitamin D-fortified foods and spending time in the sun can boost vitamin D levels. exposure to sunlight, particularly from late March/early April to the end of September – remember to cover up or protect your skin before it starts to turn red or burn (see vitamin D and sunlight)

fortified fat spreads, breakfast cereals and unsweetened soya drinks (with vitamin D added)

vitamin D supplements


Omega-3 fatty acids:

Important for heart, eye, and brain function, there are three types of omega-3 fatty acid: EPA, DHA, and ALA. Walnuts and flaxseeds are good sources of ALA, but seaweeds and algae are the only plant sources of EPA and DHA. flaxseed (linseed) oil , rapeseed oil, soya oil and soya-based foods, such as tofu and walnuts



Zinc is important for the immune system and the repair of DNA damage. Beans, nutritional yeast, nuts, and oats are high in zinc. Read about zinc-rich vegan foods.


Iodine is important for thyroid function. Plant-based sources include seaweeds and fortified foods.