Sources of Minerals and Nutrients in a Vegan Diet
Here are some vegan sources of key nutrients, including protein, carbs, fats (including essential fatty acids), minerals and vitamins. Many of the vegan foods listed are also good sources of fiber (soluble and insoluble), phytochemicals and other micronutrients.
Sources of Protein
Whole grains (eg. whole wheat flour, bread and pasta, brown rice, oats, rye), nuts (eg. hazels, cashews, brazils, almonds), seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin), legumes/pulses (peas, beans, lentils), soy products (flour, soy milk, tofu, tempeh).
Sources of Carbs
Whole grains (e.g. wheat, oats, barley, rice), whole-wheat bread, pasta and other flour products, lentils, beans, potatoes, dried and fresh fruit.
Sources of Fats
Nuts and seeds, nut and seed oils, vegan margarine, avocados.
Sources of Essential Fatty Acids
Two polyunsaturated fatty acids not made by the body are linoleic acid (omega 6 group) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3 group).
Linoleic Acid (omega 6)
Safflower, sunflower, corn, evening primrose & soy oils.
Alpha-linolenic Acid (omega 3)
Flaxseed, pumpkin seed, walnut, soy & rapeseed (canola) oils.
Note: The correct balance for omega-6:omega-3 intake is roughly 3:1
Sources of Vitamins
Carrots, spinach, pumpkins, tomatoes, dark greens, vegan margarines
Nuts, wholegrains, oats, muesli, pulses (peas, beans, lentils), yeast extracts, green leafy vegetables, potatoes, mushrooms and dried fruit
B12 supplements, fortified yeast extracts, soy milks (eg Plamil), TVP products, some breakfast cereals (eg. Nutri-Grain) - check labels. Seaweed and fermented products (eg. tamari, miso and tempeh) may contain some B12 but they are not reliable sources.
Red and blackcurrants, berries, citrus fruits (e.g. oranges, lemons, grapefruit), green vegetables, potatoes.
Action of sunlight on the skin, vitamin D-fortified foods like vegan margarines, some soy milks (eg. Plamil) and supplements.
Nuts, seeds, whole grains and flours, vegetable oils
Wheatgerm, raw/lightly-cooked green leafy vegetables (eg. broccoli, spinach), yeast, yeast extracts, nuts, peas, green ‘runner beans’, oranges, dates, avocados, whole grains.
Nuts, seeds, pulses (eg. soy beans, tofu, miso-fermented soybean curd, haricot beans), molasses, carob, parsley, figs (dried), sea vegetables, grains (eg. oatmeal), fortified soy milks.
Nuts, seeds, pulses, grains, dried fruit, sea vegetables, parsley, green leafy vegetables, molasses, miso.
Wheatgerm, whole grains (whole wheat bread, rice, oats), nuts, pulses, tofu, soy protein, miso, peas, parsley, bean sprouts (alfalfa).