Great vegan sources of vitamins and minerals

As a vegan, I’ve often heard “that’s not a healthy diet” and “you’re not getting enough nutrients”. However, the people who say these things are just ignorant since there are so many vegan foods rich in vitamins in minerals. Albeit, it might take some planning to make sure you’re getting enough of a variety of nutrients. That’s why I’ve compiled a list a vegan foods high in vitamins and minerals so that you can plan your meals with these ingredients and be fabulously healthy!


Vitamin A has several important functions, such as:

  • helping your immune system protect you against infections
  • improving your vision, especially in dim light
  • helping form and maintain healthy skin
  • helping your organs function properly

Some good sources of vitamin A include:

  • sweet potatoes (368% RI* in 1 medium sweet potato)
  • carrots (203% RI in 1 medium carrot)
  • butternut squash (170% RI in 80g)
  • kale (160% RI in 80g)
  • spinach (150% RI in 80g)
  • lettuce (118% RI in 80g)

Vitamin B1 (thiamin) functions include:

  • helping the body break down food for energy
  • helping the nervous system function properly

Some good sources of vitamin B1 include:

  • sunflower seeds (28% RI in 1oz (28g))
  • pistachios (16% RI in 1oz)
  • sesame seeds (15% RI in 1oz)
  • garden peas (14% RI in 80g)

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) functions include:

  • helping the body break down food for energy
  • helping maintain healthy skin, eyes and nervous system.

Some good sources of vitamin B2 include:

  • portobello mushrooms (22% RI in 80g)
  • almonds (17% RI in 1oz)
  • spinach (11% RI in 80g)

Vitamin B3 (niacin) functions include:

  • helping the body break down food for energy
  • keeping the skin and nervous system healthy

Some good sources of vitamin B3 include:

  • portobello mushrooms (18% RI in 80g)
  • peanuts (17% RI in 1oz)
  • garden peas (8% RI in 80g)

Pantothenic acid functions include:

  • helping the body break down food for energy
  • helping produce red blood cells and some hormones

Some good sources of pantothenic acid include:

  • shiitake mushrooms (29% RI in 80g)
  • avocado (28% RI in 1 avocado)
  • sweet potato (10% RI in 1 medium sweet potato)

Vitamin B6 functions include:

  • helping break down proteins
  • helping to form haemoglobin – the substance that carries oxygen in red blood cells around the body
  • maintaining a normal blood sugar level, healthy metabolism and healthy nervous system

Some good sources of vitamin B6 include:

  • pistachios (24% RI in 1oz)
  • bananas (22% RI in 1 medium banana)
  • sweet potatoes (16% RI in 1 medium sweet potato)

Folic acid functions include:

  • forming healthy red blood cells while working with vitamin B12
  • helping produce DNA and RNA
  • promoting proper brain function
  • helping to reduce the risk of central nervous system defects

Some good sources of folic acid include:

  • black-eyed beans (42% RI in 80g)
  • avocado (41% RI in 1 avocado)
  • lentils (36% RI in 80g)
  • chickpeas (34% RI in 80g)
  • asparagus (30% RI in 80g)
  • spinach (24% RI in 80g)
  • peanuts (17% RI in 1oz)

Vitamin B12 functions include:

  • forming healthy red blood cells while working with folic acid
  • helping produce DNA and RNA
  • keeping the nervous system healthy
  • helping the body release energy from food
  • processing folic acid

Vitamin B12 does not occur naturally in plant-based foods. There are a few foods fortified with B12, such as some breakfast cereals, soya milks and nutritional yeast. However, the best way to get enough B12 in a vegan diet is to take a supplement.


Vitamin C is necessary for:

  • helping protect cells and keeping them healthy
  • helping produce collagen (a protein) to make muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and skin
  • producing and maintaining bones and teeth
  • helping heal wounds

Some good sources of vitamin C include:

  • bell peppers (253% RI in 1 medium pepper)
  • kale (160% RI in 80g)
  • papaya (159% RI in 1 small papaya)
  • kiwi (117% RI in 1 medium kiwi)
  • broccoli (86% RI in 80g)
  • strawberries (77% RI in 7 strawberries)

Vitamin D functions include:

  • maintaining normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus
  • helping the body absorb calcium
  • helping develop bones and keeping them strong and healthy, together with calcium

Vitamin D is naturally made by your body when your skin is exposed to sun. The middle of the day is the best time for getting sunlight. The length of time your skin is exposed to sun should be from about 15 minutes for a fair-skinned person to a couple of hours for a dark-skinned person. If you live closer to the equator it is easier to get enough sunlight and therefore vitamin D all year round. On the other hand, if you don’t live near the equator, a good option for getting enough vitamin D is by taking a supplement, especially in winter. Also, some fortified foods contain vitamin D, such as almond milks and cereals.


Vitamin E functions include:

  • acting as an antioxidant
  • promoting a proper functioning immune system

Some good sources of vitamin E include:

  • sunflower seeds (47% RI in 1oz)
  • almonds (37% RI in 1oz)
  • hazelnuts (21% RI in 1oz)
  • peanuts (12% RI in 1oz)

Vitamin K functions include:

  • helping blood clot

Some good sources of vitamin K include:

  • kale (817% RI in 80g)
  • spinach (483% RI in 80g)
  • cabbage (109% RI in 80g)
  • broccoli (88% RI in 80g)

Calcium is important for:

  • keeping your bones and teeth strong and healthy
  • helping with blood clotting, nerve function and muscle contraction
  • maintaining a normal heartbeat

Some good sources of calcium include:

  • poppy seeds (40% RI in 1oz)
  • sesame seeds (27% RI in 1oz)
  • black-eyed beans (13% RI in 80g)
  • kale (11% RI in 80g)
  • soybeans (11% RI in 80g)
  • Chinese cabbage (7% RI in 80g)

Iron functions include:

  • producing blood
  • helping red blood cells carry oxygen around the body

Some good sources of iron include:

  • sesame seeds (23% RI in 1oz)
  • lentils (15% RI in 80g)
  • poppy seeds (15% RI in 1oz)
  • kidney beans (13% RI in 80g)
  • soybeans (11% RI in 80g)
  • cashews (10% RI in 1oz)

* Reference intakes (RIs) provide the recommended nutrient requirements for the average person. They’re a good indication of the approximate amount of nutrients you should consume daily.

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