Most Common Nutrient Deficiencies That Can Happen In Vegans

Plant-Based Food
Plant-Based Food
Plant-Based Meal
Plant-Based Meal

Even though vegan diets can provide you a large number of health benefits, it can result in some nutrient deficiencies too. Studies suggest that people who follow vegan diets are more prone to such deficiencies when compared to people who follow omnivorous diets. Plant-based foods can lack some nutrients that are commonly found in animal products. Therefore, it is important for vegans to plan their plant-based meals carefully to acquire such nutrients through their diet. Otherwise, they should take supplements to compensate for nutrient deficiency.

The following are some of the common nutrient deficiencies found in vegans. Hence, if you also follow a vegan diet, you should be aware of them for preventing such deficiencies.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

This is a commonly found deficiency in vegans. Vitamin B12 is mainly present in different animal-derived foods like eggs, fish, meat, poultry, and dairy products. Most people get vitamin B12 from these sources. But vegans will have to look for plant-based foods to get this important nutrient. This vitamin is absent in most plant-based foods except for some fortified products like soy milk, nutritional yeast, and certain cereals. Including them in your diet can help to get vitamin B12, but they may not able to provide you an adequate amount of this vitamin required for your body.

If you cannot acquire enough vitamin B12, it can lead to deficiency. Some of the common symptoms associated with the deficiency of this vitamin include:

  • Anemia
  • Weakness, lightheadedness, lethargy, fatigue
  • Pale skin
  • Dizziness and trouble with coordination
  • Tingling sensation
  • Mood changes
  • Shortness of breath

If you are suffering from this deficiency, it is important for you to take vitamin B12 supplements.

Vitamin D Deficiency

This is another common deficiency in vegans. Exposure to the sun can help your body to create this vitamin. Different plant-based sources with vitamin D include fortified soy milk, mushrooms, fortified cereals, etc. However, a lot of vegans suffer from vitamin D deficiency.

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:

  • Poor immunity
  • Depression, lethargy
  • Fatigue, tiredness
  • Pain in bones and muscles
  • Bone loss

If you are also suffering from vitamin D deficiency, then make sure to take vitamin D supplements.

Iron Deficiency

Even though some plant-based foods contain iron, they will be present in a form that cannot be easily absorbed by the body. This can lead to iron deficiency in humans. The symptoms of this deficiency are:

  • Anxiety, fatigue, tiredness
  • Pale skin
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry skin and damaged hair
  • Headaches and dizziness

Having vitamin C can help to increase the absorption of iron. Hence, including oranges, lemons, etc. in your diet can help your body to absorb more iron. However, if you still suffer from iron deficiency, you will have to take iron supplements.