Plant-Based Nutrient Sources

plant based nutrient sources

When switching to a plant-based diet or including more vegan meals into your week, it’s important to eat a wide range of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes. Eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet is incredibly beneficial for your health and will leave you feeling full of energy! We aren’t nutritionists, so we’ve summarised information from Viva Health.

Viva Health “monitor the scientific research linking diet to health and provide accurate information on which you can make informed choices about the food you eat”. They work with health professionals and nutritionist for up to date information. We definitely recommend checking out their website for more information.

Please note, the recommended requirements is an average. Everyone’s bodies are different and this will vary how much of these nutrients you will need!

Protein

The average person needs 0.8grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. Protein is essential for cell function, vital reactions, and processes in our body. We often hear that plants aren’t a complete source of protein, however, this is outdated and if you are eating a range of sources you’ll hit all of the essential amino acids!

SourceGrams
Red Lentil Pasta (Keep it Cleaner, per serve)26g
Chickpea Pasta (Keep it Cleaner, per serve)25g
Quinoa, raw (180g)24.8g
Tofu, steamed or fried (100g)23.5g
Green Pea Pasta (Keep it Cleaner, per serve)22g
Veggie burger – soya based (115g)19.1g
Oats (160g)17.4g
Bean-burger (115g)12.2g
Wholemeal spaghetti (220g)10.3g
Peanut butter (40g)9g
Chickpeas (3TBS, 105g)7.6g
Kidney beans – canned (3TBS, 105g)7.2g
Mixed nuts (one handful, 30g)7.1g
Baked beans in tomato sauce (135g)6.8g
Cooked wholegrain rice (180g)6.5g
Peanuts – dry roasted (small bag, 25g)6.4g
Hummus (2-3 TBS, 90g)6.1g
Walnuts (12 halves, 40g)5.9g
Almonds (12 nuts, 26g)5.5g

* From Viva Health

Iron

Iron is important for the development of red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. Women have higher iron requirements than men due to menstruation. The recommended amount is 8.7mg for men over 18, and 14.8mg for women from 19-50, and 8.7mg after 50 [x].

In addition to these, herbs and spices contain high amounts of iron, from 20-100mg per 100g. So start chucking them regularly in your meals and you’ll hit your target!

SourceMG
Blackstrap molasses (2TBS)7.2
Lentils, cooked (1cup)6.6
Tofu (1/2 cup)6.6
Spinach, cooked (1cup)6.4
Kidney beans, cooked (1cup)5.2
Chickpeas, cooked (1cup)4.7
Soybeans, cooked (1cup)4.5
Tempeh, cooked (1cup)4.5
Lima beans, cooked (1cup)4.5
Black-eyed peas, cooked (1cup)4.3
Beetroot, cooked (1cup)4
Bagel, enriched (1 medium)3.8
Black beans, cooked (1cup)3.6
Pinto beans, cooked (1cup)3.6
Prune juice (240ml)3
Quinoa, cooked (1cup)2.8
Beet greens, cooked (1cup)2.7
Tahini (2TBS)2.7
Peas, cooked (1cup)2.5
Cashews (1/4 cup)2
Brussels sprouts, cooked (1cup)1.9

* The Vegetarian Resource Group

Potassium

Potassium helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve signals. Research has found that a diet high in potassium can reduce blood pressure and water retention, protect against stroke, and prevent osteoporosis and kidney stones! An adult requires around 3,500mg of potassium every day. Including a range of vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes will mean you will hit this!

SourceMG
Potatoes, baked (medium, 180g)1080mg
Apricots (6 dried, 48g)902mg
Acorn squash (baked, 1 cup, 205g)902mg
Sweet potato, baked (180g)864mg
Potatoes, new boiled (175g)660mg
Avocado (1 medium, 145g)653mg
Spinach (baby raw, average serving, 90g)614mg
Dried figs (3 fruits, 60g)582mg
Butternut squash (1 cup, 205g)574mg
Soya beans, cooked (2-3 TBS, 90 g)460mg
Broccoli, steamed (large portion, 110g)410mg
Adzuki beans, boiled (2TBS, 70g)400mg
Banana (one large without skin, 120g)396mg
Lentils, green and brown, cooked (120g)372mg
Tempeh – fermented soya beans (100g)370mg
*Soya beans – edamame (large portion, 90g)385mg

* From Viva Health

Magnesium

Magnesium is necessary for nerve and muscle function, a healthy immune system, heart health, and strong bones. Men need around 300mg and women around 270mg per day.

SourceMG
*Quinoa, cooked (medium portion, 180g)115mg
Peanuts, plain (medium bag, 50g)105mg
Wholemeal spaghetti (average portion, 220g)101mg
Wholegrain rice, boiled (medium portion, 180g)86mg
Brazil nuts (6 nuts, 20g)82mg
Pumpkin seeds (average serving, 28g)76mg
Tahini – sesame seed paste (1 heaped tsp, 19g)72mg
Spinach (baby raw, average serving, 90g)72mg
Sesame seeds (1 heaped tsp, 19g)70mg
Almonds (12 whole nuts, 26g)70mg
Tofu, steamed, fried (typical portion, 100g)67mg
Baked beans in tomato sauce (half a can, 210g)63mg
Sunflower seeds (1TBS, 16g)62mg
*Soya beans – boiled (medium portion, 70g)60mg
*Edamame, cooked (medium portion 90g)58mg
Cashew nuts (20 nuts, 20g)54mg
Molasses – black treacle (1 TBS, 20g)48mg
Oatmeal or rolled oats (40g portion)46mg
Hazelnuts/filberts (1 handful, 28g)45mg
Lentils, green and brown, cooked (120g)41mg
Pecan nuts (5 nuts, 30g)39mg
Pistachio nuts (1 handful, 28g)36mg
Peanut butter, smooth (20g)36mg
Soya milk, 1 glass (200 g)36mg
Wheat germ (2 TBS, 14g)34mg
Walnuts (6 halves, 20g)32mg
Lentils, red, cooked (120g)31mg
Cocoa powder (1 heaped tsp, 6g)31mg
Spinach (mature, boiled, average serving, 90g)31mg

* From Viva Health

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is essential for bone and teeth health, it also helps our cells, DNA, and maintaining our PH levels. Adults need approximately 550mg per day.

SourceMG
Peanuts, plain (medium bag, 50g)1849mg
Peanut butter, smooth (20g)1089mg
Quinoa, cooked (medium portion, 180g)414mg
Wholemeal spaghetti (average portion, 220g)273mg
Tofu, steamed, fried (typical portion, 100g)270mg
Pumpkin seeds (average serving, 28g)238mg
Rice, wholegrain, boiled (medium portion, 180g)225mg
Tempeh – fermented soya beans (100g)200mg
Lentils, green and brown (120g)156mg
Oatmeal or rolled oats (40g portion)154mg
Edamame (cooked) medium portion (90 g)152mg
Wheatgerm (2TBS, 14g)147mg
Almonds (12 whole nuts, 26g)143mg
Tahini – sesame seed paste (1 heaped tsp, 19g)139mg
Oatcakes, plain, (4 cakes, 36g)138mg
Sesame seeds (1 heaped tsp, 19g)137mg
Corn on the cob (kernels only, 125g)134mg
Lentils, red, cooked (120g)120mg
Brazil nuts (6 nuts, 20g)118mg
Cashew nuts (20 nuts, 20g)112mg
Sunflower seeds (1 TBS, 16g)102mg
Cola (one can 330ml)99mg
Pecan nuts (5 nuts, 30g)93mg
Peas (boiled, medium portion, 70g)91mg
Hazelnuts/filberts (1 handful, 28g)84mg
Walnuts (6 halves, 20g)76mg
Wholemeal bread (medium slice, 36g)73mg
Parsnips, boiled (90g)68mg
Chickpeas (2 TBS, 70g)57mg

* From Viva Health

Zinc

Zinc is an important mineral for new cell development and enzymes that are responsible for reactions in the body. It also helps process carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and improves our immune system. Women need around 7mg a day and men 9.5mg.

SourceMG
Tempeh – fermented soya beans (100g)3.24mg
Wholemeal spaghetti (average portion, 220g)2.64mg
Tofu, steamed, fried (typical portion, 100g)2mg
*Quinoa, cooked (medium portion, 180g)1.96mg
Wheat germ (2 tablespoons, 14g)1.96mg
Pumpkin seeds (average serving, 28g)1.85mg
Lentils, green and brown (120g)1.68mg
Couscous, plain, cooked (150g)1.35mg
Wholegrain rice, cooked (medium portion, 180g)1.26mg
Lentils, red, cooked (120g)1.2mg
Cashew nuts (20 nuts, 20g)1.18mg
Tahini – sesame seed paste (1 heaped tsp, 19g)1.03mg
Sesame seeds (1 heaped tsp, 19g)1.01mg

* From Viva Health

Selenium

Selenium acts as an antioxidant, is part of our cell defence mechanism and helps thyroid glands function properly. It also protects our ovaries and sperm from radical damage. Men need 75mg a day and women 60mg.

SourceMG
Brazil nuts (6 nuts, 20g)50.8mg
Lentils, green and brown, cooked (120g)48mg
*Tofu, fried (typical portion, 100g)28.6mg
Wholewheat spaghetti (average portion, 220g)13.2mg
Mushrooms, fried (average portion, 44g)10.6mg
Sunflower seeds (1 TBS, 16g)7.8mg
Wholegrain rice, cooked (medium portion, 180g)7.2mg

* From Viva Health

Vitamin B1 – Thiamine

Vitamin B1 help the body convert carbohydrates from food into fuel for energy. Women need just 0.8mg a day and men 1mg.

SourceMG
Nutritional yeast with B12 (5g serving)2.25mg
Wholemeal spaghetti (average portion, 220g)0.46mg
Fortified vegan breakfast cereals (Shreddies, medium portion, 50g)0.4mg
Oatmeal or rolled oats (40g portion)0.36mg
*Acorn squash, baked (1 cup, 205g)0.35mg
Yeast extract – Marmite/Vegemite (1 portion, 8g)0.33mg
Wheat germ (2 tablespoons, 14g)0.28mg
Sunflower seeds (1 TBS, 16g)0.26mg
Brown rice (boiled, medium portion, 180g)0.25mg
Corn on the cob (kernels only, 125g)0.23mg
Pecan nuts (5 nuts, 30g)0.21mg
Tomato ketchup (20g)0.2mg
Peas (medium portion, 70g)0.18mg
Tahini – sesame seed paste (1 heaped tsp, 19g)0.18mg
Sesame seeds (1 heaped tsp, 19g)0.18mg
Oranges (1 medium, 160g)0.18mg
Avocado (1 medium, 145g)0.15mg
Brazil nuts (6 nuts, 20g)0.13mg
Lentils, red, cooked (120g)0.13mg
Hazelnuts/filberts (1 handful, 28g)0.12mg
Soya milk (average glass, 200g)0.12mg
*Soya beans – edamame (medium portion, 70g)0.11mg

* From Viva Health

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

Vitamin B2 is necessary for growth, eyesight, red blood cell production. All B vitamins help protect cells and DNA from damage. Men need 1.3mg and women 1.1mg of B2 everyday.

SourceMG
Yeast extract – Marmite/Vegemite (1 portion, 8g)0.95mg
*Nutritional yeast with B12 (5g serving)0.9mg
Quinoa (medium portion, 180g)0.72mg
Muesli, Swiss style (large portion, 80g)0.49mg
Fortified vegan breakfast cereal (Shreddies, medium portion, 50g)0.42mg
**Soya milk (average glass, 200g)0.42mg
Avocado (1 medium, 145g)0.26mg
Almonds (12 whole nuts, 26g)0.2mg
Wild rice, cooked (medium portion, 180g)0.14mg
Mushrooms, fried (average portion, 44g)0.15mg
Mange-tout peas, boiled (medium portion, 80g)0.13mg

* From Viva Health

Vitamin B3 – Niacin

Vitamin B3 is essential for our nervous system, healthy skin, and releasing energy from food. Men need 17mg a day and women 13mg.

SourceMG
*Nutritional yeast with B12 (5g serving)17.1mg
Peanuts, plain (medium bag, 50g)6.9mg
Fortified vegan breakfast cereals (Shreddies, medium portion, 50g)5.5mg
Quinoa (medium portion, 180g)5.2mg
Muesli, Swiss style (large portion, 80g)5.2mg
Yeast extract – Marmite/Vegemite (1 portion, 8g)5.12mg
Wild rice, cooked (medium portion, 180g)4mg
Wholemeal spaghetti (average portion, 220g)2.9mg
Corn on the cob (kernels only, 125g)2.5mg
Brown rice (boiled, medium portion, 180g)2.3mg
Acorn squash (baked, 1 cup, 205g)1.9mg

* From Viva Health

Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid

Vitamin B5 is needed for hormone synthesis, immune function, and energy release. Women and men need 5mg a day [x].

SourceMG
*Nutritional yeast with B12 (5g serving)7mg
Fortified vegan breakfast cereals (Shreddies, medium portion, 50g)1.9mg
Avocado (1 medium, 145g)1.6mg
Acorn squash (baked, 1 cup, 205g)1mg
Plantain, fried (1 cup, 118g)0.9mg
Baked potato (medium with skin, 180g)0.8mg
Corn on the cob (kernels only, 125g)0.8mg
Sweet potato, boiled (two medium, 130g)0.7mg
Mushrooms, fried (average portion, 44g)0.6mg
Oranges (1 medium, 160g)0.6mg
Mange-tout peas, boiled (medium portion, 80g)0.5mg
Pecan nuts (5 nuts, 30g)0.5mg
Oatmeal or rolled oats (40g portion)0.5mg
Chestnuts (5 whole nuts, 50g)0.3mg

* From Viva Health

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

B6 helps store energy from protein, carbohydrates, and fat, keeps our immune system and nerve system functioning. Women need just 1.2mg and men 1.4mg a day.

SourceMG
*Nutritional yeast (5g serving)1.7mg
Muesli, Swiss style (large portion, 80g)1.28mg
Avocado (1 medium, 145g)0.52mg
Fortified vegan breakfast cereals (Shreddies, medium portion, 50g)0.49mg
**Pistachio nuts (1 handful, 28g)0.48mg
Wheat germ (2 TBS, 14g)0.46mg
Acorn squash (baked, 1 cup, 205g)0.39mg
Banana (medium without skin, 100g)0.29mg
**Quinoa, cooked (medium portion, 180g)0.22mg
**Sunflower seeds (1 TBS, 16g)0.22mg
Corn on the cob (kernels only, 125g)0.19mg
Wholemeal spaghetti (average portion, 220g)0.18mg
Brussel’s sprouts, boiled (90g)0.17mg
Spring greens, boiled (medium portion, 95g)0.17mg
Chestnuts (5 whole nuts, 50g)0.17mg
Hazelnuts/filberts (1 handful, 28g)0.17mg
Oranges (1 medium, 160g)0.16mg
Tahini – sesame seed paste (1 heaped tsp, 19g)0.14mg
Sesame seeds (1 heaped tsp, 19g)0.14mg
Tomatoes, grilled (1 medium, 85g)0.14mg
Walnuts (6 halves, 20g)0.13mg

* From Viva Health

Vitamin B12

For B12, we recommend taking a supplement. There is nothing wrong with taking supplements and supplements aren’t just for vegans – the pharmaceutical industry is worth billions on dollars, due to poor diets not being complete with a range of food.

Alternatively, there are so many plant-based foods are fortified with B12, from yeast flakes to plant milks, mock meats, cereals, and vegan yoghurts.

Did we miss something?

You’ll notice that a lot of the sources listed overlap and help us meet all of our daily requirements!

If you are worried about another nutrient or do you have any other questions, please drop them in the comments below, or check out Viva Health website! We also recommend downloading the Daily Dozen application by Dr Michael Greger.


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