Are you getting enough nutrients from your plant-based diet?

Take our FREE QUIZ to find out

We need a healthy, balanced diet, full of the nutrients and vitamins our body needs, to live healthily and happily. As vegans and vegetarians, there is no reason why a plant-based diet cannot provide every single nutrient we need... in an ideal world.

But in reality, we’re busy. We lead busy lives. And we’re all guilty, when we’re busy, of occasionally putting convenience over health benefits, and not eating as well as we should.

Neglecting any of the vital nutrients our body needs to be healthy for any length of time, however, we will start to see the effects. Longer term we may even find ourselves with a vitamin deficiency. This isn’t a medical blog – if you feel you might already have a vitamin deficiency you should seek medical advice.

Take our quiz to see which nutrients you are getting from your plant-based diet*.

*Please note, this quiz is NOT medical advice and you should always consult your GP if you have any concerns about your nutrition and general health. 

 

Vitamin A

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet: 

carrots-466854-edited.jpg

Carrots

 

Vegetable-545111-edited.jpg

Leafy green vegetables like spinach and broccoli

 

Sweet peppers-643778-edited.jpg

Sweet Peppers

 

Sweet Potato-422968-edited-639140-edited.jpg

Sweet Potatoes

 

carrots-466854-edited.jpg

Mangoes

 

apricots-2523272_1280-1-173389-edited.jpg

Apricots

 

Score 3 or more?

Great! You are probably getting the Vitamin A you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in Vitamin A.

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider getting more Vitamin A into your diet.
There are a multitude of benefits including keeping your skin healthy, helping boost and maintain your immune system and is also being responsible for allowing your eyes to be able to see in low light conditions.
Not getting enough Vitamin A can lead to fatigue, feeling run down, skin can become prone to acne or dryness and trouble sleeping.

 


Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet:

 

Nuts-945968-edited.jpg

Nuts

 

Seeds1-091132-edited.jpg

Seeds

 

Seaweed.jpg

Seaweed

 

Nutritional yeast -1.jpg

Yeast (particularly nutritional yeast)

 

Wholegrain Pasta-834761-edited.jpg

Wholegrain Pasta

 

Fortified cereal-1-384832-edited.jpeg

Fortified Cereal

 

Score 3 or more?

Great - you are probably getting the Vitamin B1 you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in Vitamin B1. It’s also worth remembering that B vitamins are soluble so don’t stay in your system.

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider getting more Vitamin B1 into your diet. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) helps keep our nervous system happy, and helps to break down food to release the energy and nutrients. Not getting enough Vitamin B1 can lead to problems with digesting food, and can also affect your mood.

 


Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet:

 

Seaweed.jpg

Seaweed

 

almonds-751244-edited.jpeg

Almonds

 

Tahini-942793-edited.jpg

Tahini (sesame seed paste)

 

Wholegrain Pasta-834761-edited.jpg

Wholegrain Pasta

 

Orange juice-461399-edited.jpg

Fortified Foods

 

Score 3 or more?

Great! You are probably getting the Vitamin B2 you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in Vitamin B2.

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider how to get more Vitamin B2 into your diet. Vitamin B2 helps with digestion and also plays a really important part in keeping our blood cells healthy. It also keeps our skin and hair in good condition. Not getting enough Vitamin B2 may lead to feeling sluggish and run down, and developing mouth sores and skin inflammation.

 


Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet:

 

flour-powder-wheat-jar-862248-edited.jpg

Wheat flour

 

sunflower-seed-1213766_1280.jpg

Sunflower Seeds

 

Tahini.jpg

Tahini (sesame seed paste)

 

split peas-664630-edited.jpg

Split green peas

 

Score 3 or more?

Great! You are probably getting the Vitamin B3 you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in Vitamin B3.

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider getting more Vitamin B3 into your diet. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) helps with digestion, keeps skin healthy and also boosts brain function. Not getting enough Vitamin B3 might lead to changes in your skin and your mood.

 


Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet:

 

Orange juice-461399-edited.jpg

Fortified Foods

 

Broccoli.jpeg

Broccoli

 

Tomatoes-502296-edited.jpg

Tomatoes

 

Oats-314051-edited.jpg

Oats

 

Mushrooms -133122-edited.jpg

Mushrooms

 

Avocado-251476-edited.jpg

Avocado

 

Lentils-191377-edited.jpg

Lentils

 

sundried tomatoes.jpg

Sundried Tomatoes

 

Score 3 or more?

Great! You are probably getting the Vitamin B5 you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in Vitamin B5.

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider getting more Vitamin B5 into your diet. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) helps to release energy from other foods. It also improves brain function. Not getting enough Vitamin B5 may lead to trouble digesting food, sleeping, irritability or low mood and muscle cramps and a burning sensation in your feet.

 


Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet:

 

Orange juice-461399-edited.jpg

Fortified Foods

 

soy-beans-968986_1280-918207-edited.jpg

Soya Beans

 

Pinto Beans-054592-edited.jpg

Pinto Beans

 

pistachio-679839-edited.jpg

Pistachio nuts

 

chickpeas-1882839_1920-1-262072-edited.jpg

Chickpeas

 

Avocado-251476-edited.jpg

Avocado

 

Potatoes-445292-edited.jpg

Potatoes

 

Brown rice-1-355678-edited.jpg

Brown Rice

 

Score 3 or more?

Great! You are probably getting the Vitamin B6 you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in Vitamin B6.

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider getting more Vitamin B6 into your diet. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) helps our body make hemoglobin that carries oxygen around the body in red blood cells. It is also a natural pain reliever and helps our immune system. Not getting enough Vitamin B6 can lead to fatigue and muscle cramps.

 


Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet:

 

Orange juice-461399-edited.jpg

Fortified Foods

 

Nutritional yeast -1.jpg

Yeast

 

beans-799943_1920-1-338739-edited.jpg

Beans

 

raspberries-1495713_1920-516710-edited.jpg

Raspberries

 

cauliflower-2383332_1920-484367-edited.jpg

Cauliflower

 

Avocado-251476-edited.jpg

Avocado

 

Score 3 or more?

Great! You are probably getting the Vitamin B7 you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in Vitamin B7.

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider getting more Vitamin B7 into your diet. Vitamin B7 (Biotin) helps to metabolise fats and also helps keep skin and hair healthy. We only need a tiny bit of Vitamin B7 but not getting enough can lead to skin and hair damage and digestive problems.

 


Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet:

 

Broccoli.jpeg

Broccoli

 

brussels-sprouts-1856711_1920-1-317799-edited.jpg

Brussels Sprouts

 

Spinach-509804-edited.jpg

Spinach 

 

asparagus-2178164_1920-858707-edited.jpg

Asparagus

 

Green-Peas-682497-edited.jpg

Peas

 

chickpeas-1882839_1920-1-262072-edited.jpg

Chickpeas

 

Fortified cereal-1-384832-edited.jpeg

Fortified Breakfast Cereals

 

Score 3 or more?

Great! You are probably getting the Vitamin B9 you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in Vitamin B9. If you are pregnant, or trying to conceive, you should seek medical advice about levels of folic acid you might need.

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider getting more Vitamin B9 into your diet. Folic Acid helps our body to form healthy red blood cells. Not getting enough folic acid can lead to fatigue and change in mood.

 


Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 is essential for everyone – it plays a key role in our nervous system, our immune system and in forming red blood cells. And a lot of us don’t get enough Vitamin B12.
For those following a plant-based diet, and for those not, it is recommended that you take a daily supplement of Vitamin B12.

 


Vitamin C

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet:

 

orange-188082_1920-1-213881-edited.jpg

Oranges

 

lemon-1117562_1920-366962-edited.jpg

Lemons

 

orange-188082_1920-1-213881-edited.jpg


Limes

 

grapefruit-1647688_1920-303974-edited.jpg

Grapefruit

 

strawberry-1180048_1920-104548-edited.jpg

Strawberries

 

Broccoli.jpeg

Broccoli

 

Peppers-709251-edited.jpeg

Peppers

 

Score 3 or more?

Great, you are probably getting the Vitamin C you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in Vitamin C and remember that your body doesn’t store Vitamin C - it’s a daily intake. 

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider getting more Vitamin C into your diet. Vitamin C protects our immune system, helps our body produce collagen, which keeps our skin wrinkle free and healthy, and is an antioxidant. Not getting.

 


Vitamin D

Our main source of Vitamin D is from the sun. Which isn’t always that possible in the UK! Not getting enough vitamin D, and a lot of sources will say we don’t, can lead to depression, lethargy and insomnia. For those following a plant-based diet, and for those not, it is recommended that you take a daily supplement of Vitamin D.

 


Vitamin E

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet:

 

carrots-466854-edited.jpg

Mango

 

Avocado-251476-edited.jpg

Avocado

 

sunflower-seed-1213766_1280.jpg

Sunflower Seeds

 

hazelnuts-264824_1920-243766-edited.jpg

Hazelnuts

 

Spinach.jpg

Spinach 

butternut-squash-109131_1920-342513-edited.jpg

Butternut Squash 

kiwifruit-400143_1920-163597-edited.jpg

Kiwi Fruits

 

Score 3 or more?

Great! You are probably getting the Vitamin E you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in Vitamin E.

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider getting more Vitamin E into your diet. Vitamin E is essential for healthy skin, eyes and for our immune system. Not getting enough Vitamin E is rare in our diet as it is found in many common foods.

 


Vitamin K

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet:

 

Spinach-509804-edited.jpg

Spinach 

 

Broccoli.jpeg

Broccoli

 

kelp-2147456_1920-529538-edited.jpg

Kelp

 

asparagus-2178164_1920-858707-edited.jpg

Asparagus

 

cauliflower-2383332_1920-484367-edited.jpg

Cauliflower

 

Kale-592881-edited.jpg

Kale

 

Cabbage-394785-edited.jpg

Cabbage

 

red-swiss-chard-2392728_1920-459793-edited.jpg

Swiss Chard

 

Score 3 or more?

Great! You are probably getting the Vitamin K you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in Vitamin K.

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider getting more Vitamin K into your diet. Vitamin K plays an important role in bone and heart health – it is also essential for blood clotting. Not getting enough Vitamin K can lead to health complications but this is rare.

 


Calcium

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet:

 

Vegetable-545111-edited.jpg

Leafy Vegetables

 

soy-milk-2263942_1920-147885-edited.jpg

Soya Milk

 

almond-milk-1623610_1280-372039-edited.jpg

Almond Milk

 

beans-316592-081203-edited.jpg

Kidney Beans

 

tofu-1478701_1920-193859-edited.jpg

Tofu

 

sesame-1627009_1920-633058-edited.jpg

Sesame Seeds

 

Score 3 or more?

Great! You are probably getting the calcium you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in calcium.

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider getting more Calcium into your diet. Calcium plays an important role in bone health – but is does far more than that. It is responsible for keeping the muscles in your heart healthy and also plays a vital role in blood clotting.

 


Magnesium

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet:

 

Vegetable-545111-edited.jpg

Leafy Vegetables

 

banana-344361_1920-031837-edited.jpg

Bananas

 

Avocado-251476-edited.jpg

Avocado

 

Potatoes-445292-edited.jpg

Potatoes

 

pumpkin-seeds-1323854_1920-203969-edited.jpg

Pumpkin Seeds

 

beans-799943_1920-1-338739-edited.jpg

Beans

 

Score 3 or more?

Great! You are probably getting the magnesium you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in magnesium.

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider getting more magnesium into your diet. And you’re not alone! A lot of us struggle to get enough magnesium. And it is necessary for a lot of functions in the body. The common causes are not eating enough vegetables and excessive alcohol consumption.

 


Zinc

Score one point for each of the following that are a regular part of your daily diet:

 

Vegetable-545111-edited.jpg

Leafy Vegetables

 

Mushrooms -133122-edited.jpg

Mushrooms

 

chickpeas-1882839_1920-1-262072-edited.jpg

Chickpeas

 

pumpkin-seeds-1323854_1920-203969-edited.jpg

Pumpkin Seeds

 

cashew-1750922_1280-730879-edited.jpg

Cashews 

 

Score 3 or more?

Great! You are probably getting the zinc you need from your diet. Keep an eye on your intake of foods rich in zinc.

SCORE less than 3?

You may need to consider getting more zinc into your diet. Present in every cell, organ, bone, tissue, and fluid in our bodies, zinc is what is called an essential trace element. We should be able to get enough zinc from a healthy diet.

 




So… how did you do?

You’ve reached the end of the quiz!

By now you should be able to make a list of vitamins and minerals you may need to work a little bit harder to ensure you are incorporating into your plant-based diet. You will also have a list of vitamins and minerals you are getting in abundance!

People choose a plant-based diet for a variety of reasons - whether for ethical, health, environmental, religious or reasons of personal choice, what we can see, looking at the nutrients we need, it is perfectly possible to still get all of the same nutrients and vitamins from a plant-based diet.

 

A Final Word on Supplements

If you have identified some vitamins and minerals you feel you could with more of in your diet, you might want to look into supplements. There are supplements specially developed for vegans and vegetarians from plant based extracts. Taking supplements is what it says - a supplement - an additional extra to a healthy diet. It can be a way to ensure you are always getting that base level of basic nutrients and vitamins, regardless of how busy you might be. Why not make a checklist of what you need in a supplement and see what you can find to match up.

Finally, if you feel like you may have a serious deficiency, it is worth reiterating that this isn’t a medical blog. You should seek medical advice and a proper diagnosis if you think this might be the case.

 

the ultimate guide to dietary supplements