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10 essential nutrients your plant-based diet may be lacking

Vitamin B12:

Found primarily in animal products, vitamin B12 is important for nerve function and red blood cell production.


Plant-based sources of iron (non-heme iron) are not as easily absorbed as heme iron from animal products.


While dairy products are a common source of calcium, plant-based sources include fortified plant milks, tofu, leafy greens like kale and collard greens, and almonds.

Omega-3 fatty acids:

Important for heart health and brain function, plant-based sources of omega-3s include flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds.


Plant-based protein sources include legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), tofu, tempeh, edamame, quinoa, and nuts and seeds.


Important for immune function and wound healing, plant-based sources of zinc include legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Vitamin D:

While sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, it may be challenging to get enough from sunlight alone, especially in certain climates.


Plant-based sources of iodine can vary depending on soil content. Sea vegetables like seaweed are a good source, but their iodine content can be high and variable.


Important for muscle and nerve function, magnesium is found in whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and leafy greens.

Vitamin A:

Important for vision, immune function, and skin health, vitamin A is found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, and carrots.