If you want to avoid nutritional deficiencies on a plant-based diet, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Plant-based diets have been proven to be much healthier than those that have an abundance of animal products. However, you still want to pay extra attention to your nutrition to make sure you don’t miss out on certain nutrients. Here are some ways that you can eat a complex and healthy plant-based diet. That will keep your body happy and healthy.

How to Avoid Nutritional Deficiencies in a Plant-Based Diet

Source: Heather Nicholds/YouTube

It is common for most people to experience nutritional deficiencies no matter the diet they follow. But without animal products, you will want to be more aware of the nutrients in your food. Deficiencies can come with nasty side effects, and you want your diet to cultivate health, not sickness. So, here are some tips to help you eat a balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals!

Eat a Range of Foods

The best way to avoid nutritional deficiencies on a plant-based diet is to eat a wide range of foods. This will help you to get in a steady flow of nutrients from a balanced variety of food groups. Try to eat plenty of servings of fruits and vegetables, as well as a few servings of beans, grains, nuts, and seeds every day. Together these food groups should sustain you with the necessary vitamins and minerals that your body needs. 

Don’t be afraid to try new foods, either! Always try to add new types of food to your diet to get an even broader range of vitamins and minerals.

Eat the Rainbow

This tip goes hand in hand with eating a range of food groups. Don’t forget about how important it is to eat a rainbow of colors in your diet. Different vegetables and fruits that are of different colors contain different vitamins and minerals. Yellow and green foods contain high amounts of vitamin C, while very dark green vegetables have plenty of antioxidants and fiber.

Try to eat produce of all ranges in colors to get in all of these important nutrients without having to supplement them in your diet.

Eat Fortified Foods

There are all kinds of amazing fortified foods that can help you to avoid nutritional deficiencies on a plant-based diet. Fortified foods are foods that already contain vitamins and minerals as they have been added to them. Some people are against this as it can be a form of supplementation, but it is still a good option for most.

Foods like plant milk, nutritional yeast, and breakfast cereals all are considered to be fortified foods. Perfect for getting in those extra minerals and vitamins for a healthy and balanced plant-based diet.

Have Regular Blood Work Done

One great way to keep an eye on your vitamin and mineral intake is to have blood work done yearly. Twice a year is even better! This is a great thing to do if you are interested in keeping an eye on your diet and how it is affecting your health. Blood work can help to show any deficiencies that you might have. 

If you worry about how to avoid nutritional deficiencies on a plant-based diet, this is a great option. It can help you to have more peace of mind and know what changes to make to your daily diet.

Take Supplements As Needed

If you struggle to get enough vitamins and minerals from your diet, you can always use supplements. This is not an ideal option, especially if you can get your nutrients naturally through your food, but it is still a good option. Sometimes we do not absorb nutrients properly, which can make it hard to avoid deficiencies. This is not just a plant-based problem. Many people experience this no matter what diet they follow.

Just make sure to only take supplements if necessary. Some vitamins and minerals can be dangerous if you take too much without actually needing them. Always have blood work done and discuss it with your doctor beforehand.

Drink Smoothies

Drinking smoothies is a great way to double up on your servings of vitamin and mineral-rich foods. You can drink two to four servings of vegetables and fruit in just one smoothie! This is a good way to get in all of those vitamins and minerals without having to eat carrots and kale all day long. You could even skip the smoothie and make a fresh juice instead if you don’t want all of the fiber!

Signs That You Are Nutritionally Deficient

Source: Breakfast Television/YouTube

If you are worried that you aren’t able to avoid nutritional deficiencies on a plant-based diet. Here are the three most common signs of a deficiency.  These are universal and will most likely occur for any kind of deficiency if you have one.

Unhealthy Hair and Nails

One of the most common signs of a nutritional deficiency is unhealthy hair and nails. This will happen when they aren’t getting enough vitamins and minerals from your diet.

Your scalp may be dry and flaky. Your hair may be brittle and even start to fall out. Your nails will likely be brittle and break off very easily.

Oral Health Problems

Another common sign of a deficiency is poor oral health.

This can come in the form of gums that bleed very easily, either when eating, brushing your teeth, or flossing. You can also get frequent oral ulcers or cracks at the corners of your mouth.

Fatigue and Lightheadedness

Fatigue and lightheadedness are two common signs that your body isn’t getting enough of something. Thus, if you find that you are tired more often and have a hard time concentrating, it might be vitamin-related. A deficiency can also make you feel lightheaded and even a bit dizzy.

Related Content:

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take the initiative by standing up against fast fashion pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that are raising awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and important stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!