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Common Vitamin Deficiency of Vegan (And How To Deal With It)

Common Vitamin Deficiency of Vegan (And How To Deal With It)

Nutrition and vitamin deficiency of a vegan diet is a hot topic of all time. Since vegan diets cut off all animal-derived foods, it’s easy to have the misconception that a vegan diet leads to nutrition imbalance. In fact, a well-planned vegan diet is able to maintain all the essential nutrients to improve your immune system.

Knowing the common vegan nutrition deficiency helps us to plan for a balanced vegan diet. Let’s talk about it, its symptoms, and what kind of food may help us deal with it.

Vegan vitamin A deficiency

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, and it has two types: preformed vitamin A which is mainly found in meat and dairy products, and provitamin A which is found in fruits and vegetables. It means that vegan diets don’t contain any preformed vitamin A. Since both types of vitamin A must be converted into an active form of vitamin A before it put into good use, maintaining sufficient amounts of provitamin A will be the key. 

The recommended daily intake amount of vitamin A for age above 14 is 900mcg RAE for males and 700 mcg RAE for females. Some health benefits of Vitamin A are enhancing the immune system, maintaining a good vision, and supporting tissue reproduction.

How to Avoid Vitamin A Deficiency?

Foods that rich in vitamin A are:

  • Green leafy vegetables like kale and broccoli, spinach;
  • Non-green vegetables such as carrot, sweet potato;
  • Fruits such as orange, pumpkin, apricot, tomato.

Vegan Iron Deficiency

Iron is a mineral with some important functions throughout the body, including helping blood cells carry oxygen and support brain health. Iron deficiency can cause anaemia, which limits the delivery of oxygen to cells around the body.

Other symptoms of iron deficiency include:

  •     Abdominal problems
  •     fatigue
  •     weakness
  •     difficulty concentrating or remembering
  •     Increased vulnerability to infection

How much iron do we need daily? The recommended dietary iron intake is 18mg per day for females above 18s and 11mg per day for males above 18s. 

How to avoid Iron Deficiency?

Plant-based iron sources include:

  • Legumes like lentils and beans.
  • Nuts and Seeds like pumpkin seeds
  • Leafy vegetables like spinach and kale
  • Fortified breakfast cereal

Vegan Calcium Deficiency

Calcium is an important mineral for bone health and muscle function. Disadvantages can increase the risk of problems such as osteoporosis or bone fracture.

Severe symptoms of calcium deficiency include:

  • Numb or tingling on the finger
  • abnormal heart rhythm.

How to avoid calcium deficiency?

Vegan food containing calcium includes: 

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Collards
  • Cabbage
  • Mustard greens
  • Chard
  • Peas
  • Soybean products

Vegan zinc deficiency

Some vegans don't realize it, but zinc plays a very big role in skin health, and if you lack it, you might have another problem, like dandruff, loss of appetite, and stomach.

How to avoid Zinc deficiency?

The top three foods that contain the highest amount of zinc are oysters, beef, and crab meat, all of which are not vegan or vegetarian.

With food like beans and cacao, vegans and individuals who lack zinc don't just live happily but full of zinc. So again, hummus and chocolate have saved that day.


Thyroid, butterfly-shaped glands in the neck, turning iodine into thyroid hormones - triiodothyronine and tetraiodothyronine, known as T3 and T4, respectively. These hormones help regulate crucial biological function, ascetic source metabolism.

The body does not produce iodine, so someone needs to get it from their diet. The recommended daily number for adults is 150 MCG.

Having iodine deficiency can cause hypothyroidism. Symptoms include: 

  • Inability to tolerate cooler temperatures
  • Fatigue
  • Putting on weight
  • Diagnosed Goiter

How to avoid Iodine Deficiency?

Some vegan iodine sources include sources:

  • Beryllium salt
  • Soy milk
  • Seaweed
  • Cranberry
  • Potato
  • Prunes

If the laboratory test reveals iodine deficiency, the person needs to take iodine supplements.


A vegan diet may not contain all the necessary nutrients, such as vitamin B12. One can overcome this shortcoming by adjusting their diet and taking vegan supplements.

It should also be noted that general nutritional information may not be tailored to people with a vegan diet. For example, someone might need twice the amount of iron suggested because the iron from plant-based sources is more difficult for the body to be absorbed.

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