More and more people are discovering the many benefits of a vegan lifestyle. Switching to a plant-based diet not only offers numerous health benefits, it also helps reduce the carbon footprint and animal welfare, which you can read more about in our blog: why switch to a vegan diet!

If vegans choose a diet without animal products, however, they may face nutrient challenges, especially when it comes to necessary vitamins and minerals. While a plant-based diet offers many health benefits, it is essential to be aware of potential deficiencies and ways to supplement them for optimal health!

Why vegans are more at risk

Vegan diets are generally rich in fiber, antioxidants and other healthy nutrients, but the absence of animal products can sometimes make it more difficult to get certain essential nutrients and lead to an increased risk of deficiencies. This is because some vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12 and iron, are naturally found primarily in animal products and less abundant in plant foods.

In addition, plant foods may contain certain nutrients in forms that are less well absorbed by the body than their counterparts from animal products, for example non-heme iron, which occurs from spinach and beans is less well absorbed than if it occurs from meat and fish. Also, some plant foods contain proteins that are of lower biological value than animal proteins. Therefore, these plant proteins sometimes do not contain all the essential amino acids in optimal proportions, which can lead to reduced protein absorption and utilization by the body. In Jake’s products, we use pea protein and oats. In pea protein, all the essential amino acids are present and even in greater proportions than they are present in some animal products such as eggs. (Continue reading about the benefits of the pea protein in our products).

Moreover, a lack of variety in vegans’ diets can also contribute to the development of deficiencies. When they do not plan to consume a wide range of foods, they may well overlook certain nutrients.

List the most common deficiencies

–  Vitamin B12: is essential for a healthy nervous system and the production of red blood cells. Is one of the most important common nutrients that vegans are often deficient in because it is found mainly in animal products.
–  Iron: Although iron is also found in plant foods, the type of iron (non-heme iron) is sometimes less absorbable than the iron from animal products (heme iron). An iron deficiency can lead to anemia and fatigue.
–  Calcium: This mineral is important for strong bones and teeth, but vegans should make sure they get enough calcium because dairy products are one of the most important sources.
–  Zinc: An essential mineral for a healthy immune system and metabolism. However, zinc is also less common in plant foods than animal foods.
–  Omega 3 fatty acids: The two main omega-3 fatty acids that are critical for health are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are mainly found in fish and other seafood.

Preventing deficiencies

Fortunately, there are several ways for vegans to prevent or supplement these deficiencies and get all the nutrients.


  • A varied Diet
    For everyone the importance of a varied diet and eating pattern is of course important to get all nutrients. For vegans it is especially important to pay extra attention to enough legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit.


  • Jake Meal Replacements
    A very convenient and especially nutritious option for vegans are meal replacements such as Jake’s. This is because Jake Shakes and Vitaminbars contain all the essential vitamins and minerals needed for a balanced diet. Our meal replacements are completely vegan and contain a balanced blend of ingredients to meet nutritional needs. For this reason, they also contain the high-quality protein sources such as pea protein and oats. By incorporating Jake into the diet, vegans can get all the necessary other nutrients such as carbohydrates, fiber and unsaturated fats with great ease, even if you are on the go or don’t have time to cook and struggle to get all the necessary nutrients from food sources!


  • Fortified foods
    One way to supplement deficiencies is by consuming fortified foods. Many foods such as breakfast cereals, plant-based milk and meat substitutes are fortified with vitamin B12, calcium, iron and other important nutrients. The regular inclusion of these foods in the diet can help prevent deficiencies and ensure and ensure that you are getting all the nutrients.


  • Supplements
    Taking supplements of the risk vitamins and minerals, can be a good addition (but not a replacement), especially if one does not use meal replacements or fortified foods. This is especially true for vitamin B12; vegans are at the highest risk for this vitamin. In addition to vitamin B12, vegans may want to consider other supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and iron. Consulting a physician or dietitian for individual advice on supplementation is recommended here.


By being aware of any risks of deficiencies and taking advantage of all options to prevent or accommodate them, vegans can ensure that they are getting all the nutrients needed for a healthy and balanced diet.


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