Nutrient and vitamin deficiencies with a vegan diet include:
Normally, vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria found in our intestines. Lactic-acid bacteria - Lactobacillus spp.(species), Propionibacterium spp. or Bifidobacterium spp. can produce B12 and other B-vitamins.
Lactobacillus reuteri is the bacteria that is typically found in humans that produce B12.
Propionibacterium freudenreichii is a genetically engineered bacteria that is used is laboratories to produce B12 for the vitamin & supplement industry.
The huge amount of antibiotics and pesticides we are exposed to have destroyed much of our natural gut flora, and have contributed to many people being unable to produce their own B12.
For people that are B12 deficient, supplements will be necessary. The best whole food vegan source of vitamin B12 is found in spirulina.
This blue-green algae is packed full of vitamins. Below are the nutritional info from two different brands.
Sprouts 500mg spirulina (6 tablets)
vitamin A 2250mg RAE (Beta-Carotene)
vitamin K 27mcg
Thiamin 4.5 mcg
Vitamin B12 3mcg
Xanthophylis 7.5mg (50% as xeanthin)
Nutrex Hawaii powder 1tsp (3g)
Sodium 50mg 2%
Vitamin A (as Beta Carotene) 2,715mcg 4%
Vitamin K (K1, K2) 40mcg
Vitamin B12 7mcg 290%
Iron 5mg 30%
Magnesium 15mg 4%
Manganese 0.2mg 10%
Chlorophyll a 19mg
Total Carotenoids 13mg
Fermented foods, such as sourdough whole wheat bread, kimchi, fermented soy bean products, etc; using the right type of bacteria will produce small amounts of B12 in our foods. Be sure to do some research of what bacteria strains are found in sourdough cultures, or even store bough live food (kombucha, non-dairy yogurt, etc). You can make your own fermented foods with those probiotics.
Some sources say only 2.4mcg of B12 is needed per day, while others recommend 4-7mcg per day.
We do need to take into consideration of everyones bacteria balance in their gut. It may not be necessary for every person to need supplements!
Many of us a brought up to believe that we get most of our calcium from dairy and seafood.
The following calcium requirements were taken from:
Age Range (Years) Calcium (mg/Day)
51-70 (Men) 1,000
51-70 (Women) 1,200
Over 70 1,200
Here is a comparison of some animal products vs vegan food
Sardines, canned with bones 3 oz 325 mg
Salmon, canned with bones 3 oz 180 mg
Shrimp, canned 3 oz 125 mg
Ricotta, part-skim 4 oz 335 mg
Yogurt, plain, low-fat 6 oz 310 mg
Milk, skim, low-fat, whole 8 oz 300 mg
Yogurt with fruit, low-fat 6 oz 260 mg
Mozzarella, part-skim 1 oz 210 mg
Cheddar 1 oz 205 mg
Yogurt, Greek 6 oz 200 mg
Collard greens, frozen 8 oz 360 mg
Broccoli rabe 8 oz 200 mg
Kale, cooked 8 oz 180 mg
Soy Beans, green, boiled 8 oz 175 mg
Bok Choy, cooked, boiled 8 oz 160 mg
Figs, dried 2 figs 65 mg
Broccoli, fresh, cooked 8 oz 60 mg
Oranges 1 whole 55 mg
almonds 1 cup Calcium 367mg
silk almond milk 1 cup 450mg
molasses 1 TBS 41mg
There are many more vegan options for getting calcium. I will eventually update this website to include meal plans that will provide a lot more information on how to get enough calcium in our diets.
Iodine deficiency has been a problem world wide, and some problems include: goiters, thyroid problems, and mental retardation> The government's strategy is Universal salt iodization. This calls for all salt used in agriculture, food processing, catering and household to be iodized.
Many of us do not use iodized salt, some of us will need to get some food sources of iodine.
Below are some vegan sources of iodine.
Seaweed, whole or sheet (1g) 16mcg to 2,984mcg
Iodized salt, 1.5 g (approx. 1/4 teaspoon) 71mcg
Bread, white, enriched, 2 slices 45mcg
Fruit cocktail in heavy syrup, canned, 1/2 cup 42mcg
Prunes, dried, 5 prunes 13mcg
Lima beans, mature, boiled, 1/2 cup 8mcg
Green peas, frozen, boiled, 1/2 cup 3mcg
Banana, 1 medium 3mcg
1 oz dried cranberries (1/4 cup) 100 mcg
More detail about iodine rich foods will eventually be uploaded to this website under the meal plan section (under development)
Most of us get enough Vitamin D from sun light. The exact amount of sunlight that we require is not known. Some sources state that 20-30 minutes of sunlight exposed to our face, arms, and hands 2-3 times per week should be enough for most of the population.
Non-fortified food sources have small amounts of vitamin D.
Vegans that are truly vitamin D deficient should consult a Doctor about supplements
Vegans have many sources of protein, but many people argue that vegans do not get a complete protein. That can be true for many foods that vegans eat for protein.
Be sure to visit https://nutritiondata.self.com (shown in video) to help find out more on combining foods to make a complete protein.
When the meal plans section of this website is complete, many complete protein recipes will be uploaded as well.
Amino Acids are categorized into essential, non-essential, and conditional.
Essential amino acids are a requirement for health, and they are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Non-essential amino acids are produced in our own body (the liver) and are: alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid.
Conditional amino acids are needed based on our own health, or we may need more of them when we are sick. They are: arginine, cysteine, glutamine, tyrosine, glycine, ornithine, proline, and serine.
For example, Lentils have a huge amount of protein, but are low on the amino acids: Methionine, Cystine, Isoleucine
We can add 1 other ingredient that have a lot of the missing amino acids to make a complete protein. Lentils combined with any of these will make a complete protein: Barley, Cassava, Cashews, Coconut, Coffee, Corn or Cornmeal (cornbread with lentil chili, grits, Masa), Couscous, Dates, Kamut, Kiwi fruit, Nectarines, Oats (cookies, oatmeal), Popcorn, Rice, white or brown, Sesame seeds (tahini), Shtitaki mushrooms, Spelt, Sunflower seeds, Teff, Walnuts, Wheat Germ. White flour, Whole wheat flour, Wild rice.
If you want to make things very easy. Use soy sauce or liquid aminos on your food.
Liquid aminos have 16 amino acids:
Liquid aminos taste a lot like unsalted soy sauce. Adding some to any vegan dish will help make sure that we get a complete protein in almost any vegan dish!
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