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The most important nutrients for a plant-based diet

Easy ways to stay on top of your health

The most important nutrients for a plant-based diet

Following a plant-based diet is a choice more and more people are making. It can be a super healthy way to eat, but as with any dietary approach that excludes specific foods, it’s important to consider whether certain nutrients need boosting or replacing. Here, Nutracheck shares four essential nutrients you need to know about if you follow a plant-based diet.

Vitamin B12

Our body needs vitamin B12 for a healthy nervous system and to make red blood cells. B12 is only really found naturally in animal based foods, so fortified foods or a supplement should be considered when excluding all animal derived products.

Good fortified sources include:

–Some breakfast cereals

–Some non-dairy milks

–Yeast extract


Another important nutrient worth careful consideration when following a plant-based diet is omega-3. It is an ‘essential’ nutrient, which means we can’t make it ourselves, so we must get it from our diet. Omega-3 is important for maintaining healthy cells and plays a particularly important role in heart health. Omega-3 is primarily associated with oily fish – but if fish isn’t on your menu, don’t stress.

These plant-based sources will help to up your intake:


–Soya beans

–Soya based foods e.g tofu

–Flaxseed and flaxseed oil

–Rapeseed oil

–Chia seeds


Did you know there are two different types of iron: haem iron and non-haem iron? Haem iron is found in animal-derived foods and is easily absorbed by our body. Non-haem iron is contained in plant-based foods and is not as easily absorbed as haem iron.

Iron is important for keeping our energy levels up! When following an entirely plant-based diet, eating foods rich in vitamin C with foods rich in non-haem iron can help to increase absorption.

Try these combos to ensure you’re getting enough:

–Porridge topped with strawberries

–Broccoli and cashew nut stir-fry

–Quinoa-stuffed roasted peppers

–Dried fruit and a glass of OJ


Calcium is one of the important nutrients we need to pay attention to if following a plant-based diet. It’s essential for bone health, so is vital to get enough throughout all stages of life as it not only helps with bone development, but also ongoing bone health.

Dairy foods provide some of the best sources of calcium, but if you’re dairy-free and totally plant-based, you’ll need to focus on other sources.

To keep your calcium intake up in a dairy-free diet, make sure you include these foods instead:

–Fortified non-dairy milk and yoghurt alternatives

–Soya based foods e.g. tofu

–Dried fruit and nuts

–Green leafy veg

For more nutritional advice and to stay on top of your health goals, visit: