Kristen Zaier, ​​Plant-Based RD

Nutrients of Concern

Everyone needs to pay attention to their diet to ensure that they are getting adequate nutrients. This is true whether you are an omnivore or if you are strictly plant-based. For omnivores nutrients that are often lacking include fiber, calcium, folate, iodine, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin E. For those following a strictly plant-based diet  vitamin B12, calcium and iodine are often not obtained in adequate amounts.

Please make sure that you review the following nutrients to ensure that you are meeting your needs while following a plant-based diet:

Check out this video by Dr. Greger discussing the topic of nutrient deficiencies among omnivores vs. vegans:

Nutrition Facts



  • USDA DRI Tables
  • Understanding Nutrition, Eighth Edition, Eleanor Noss Whitney and Sharon Rady Rolfes
  • National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, Iodine Quick Facts
  • FDA Labeling Guides
  • Nutriton Action Health Letter, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Volume 33, Number 9, November 2006
  • Krause's Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy, 11th edition, L. Kathleen Mahan and Sylvia Escott-Stump
  • Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, 4th edition, Sareen Gropper, Jack Smith and James Groff
  • Lecture by Dr. Mat Lederman, "The Role of Supplements", from course 3 of the certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition (eCornell and T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies)
  • ​USDA Agriculture Research Service Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26
  • Choline in Vegetarian Diets by the Vegetarian Nutrition group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Linus Pauling Institute Website
  • CDC Website- Sodium
  • The Starch Solution, John McDougall, MD and Mary McDougall
  • Brenda Davis, RD website- ALA content of foods


The following pages provide you with a basic overview of individual essential nutrients including the amounts needed and plant-based food sources for each nutrient. References used to source this data can be found at the bottom of this page. The information on these pages and throughout this website is geared towards adults. For specific nutrient information regarding infants, children, pregnancy and lactation please check out the tables developed by the Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board by clicking here