Dark green vegetables, such as turnip and collard greens, kale and broccoli, are good plant sources when eaten in ample quantities. Calcium-enriched and fortified products, including soy milk, soy yogurt and tofu, are other options.
This is a component in thyroid hormones, which help police metabolism, growth and function of key organs. Vegetarians may not get enough iodine and may suffer a deficiency and possibly even a goiter.1/4 teaspoon of iodized salt provides a significant amount of iodine.
It is a central component of red blood cells. Sources include dried beans and peas, lentils, enriched cereals, whole-grain products, dark leafy green vegetables and dried fruit. Because iron isn't as easily absorbed from plant sources, the recommended intake of iron for vegetarians is almost double that recommended for nonvegetarians.
To enable your body absorb iron, eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli, at the same time as you're eating iron-containing foods.
Omega-3 fatty Acids:
These are important for heart health. Diets that do not include fish and eggs are generally low in active forms of omega-3 fatty acids. Canola oil, soy oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed and soybeans are good sources of essential fatty acids. However, because conversion of plant-based omega-3 to the types used by humans is inefficient, you may want to consider fortified products or supplements, or both.
Proteins sustain healthy skin, bones, muscles and organs. You can also get ample protein from plant-based foods if you eat a variety of them throughout the day. Plant sources include soy products and meat substitutes, legumes, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
This vitamin is essential to generate red blood cells and prevent anemia. This vitamin is almost only available in animal products, so it is quite tricky to get enough B-12 on a vegetarian diet. It’s imperative for vegetarians to consider vitamin supplements, vitamin-enriched cereals and fortified soy products.
Vitamin D plays an instrumental role in bone health. Vitamin D is mixed to some brands of soy and rice milk and cereals and margarines. Be sure to check food labels. If you don't regularly eat fortified foods and minimal sun exposure, you ought to consider a vitamin D supplement.
Zinc is a vital element for many enzymes and plays a role in cell division and creation of proteins. Zinc is not as easily absorbed from plant sources as it is from animal products. Cheese is an excellent alternative if you eat dairy products. Plant sources of zinc include whole grains, soy products, legumes, nuts and wheat germ.