7 Essential Nutrients Your Plant-Based Diet May Be Lacking

Vitamin B2

Riboflavin helps convert macronutrients into energy, supports mucous membranes, hormone regulation, and maintains eye, skin, and nerve health. Found in meat, fish, dairy, and some vegetables; low in vegan diets.


Vitamin B3 aids energy conversion, hormone production, blood circulation, and cholesterol regulation. Sources include sweet potatoes, brown rice, nuts, seeds, and legumes; deficiency risks for alcoholics and plant-based diets.

Vitamin B2

Essential for red blood cell formation, nerve function, and DNA synthesis. Mainly in animal products, deficiency common in plant-based diets; linked to fatigue, anemia, and nerve damage.

Vitamin D

Critical for bone health, absorbs calcium and phosphorus. Sun exposure and diet sources like beef liver, fatty fish, fortified products, and mushrooms; deficiency in a quarter of Americans.


Vital for bones, muscles, and nerves. Dairy is a major source; alternatives for vegans include seeds, beans, almonds, soy, and dark leafy greens.


Essential for thyroid hormone production and metabolism support. Mainly in seafood, iodized salt, seaweed, prunes, and lima beans; deficiencies common across diets.


Crucial for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including energy production, muscle function, and nerve transmission. Found in nuts, seeds, whole grains, dark chocolate, and leafy.