Now that we’ve tackled macronutrients, let’s talk micronutrients. Micronutrients are equally important but are required in much smaller amounts than macronutrients. Good news is that choosing whole, nutrient dense plant-based foods will help you to get a balance of both.
Here’s a list of important micronutrients including their role in your health and the foods you can find them in.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps support the immune system1.
You’ll find Vitamin A in fruits and vegetables such as carrots and leafy greens.
VITAMIN B (B1, B2, niacin, biotin, pantothenic acid, B6, B12, and folic acid)
B vitamins help support the immune system and help transform food into energy2.
Find them in whole grains, beans, avocados, leafy greens, quinoa, and seeds.
VITAMIN B 12
Slightly harder to find on a plant-based diet, B12 is important for nerve function3.
Good news is you can find B12 in some kinds of nutritional yeast and Vega One® All-in-One Shake.
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that helps support your immune system and protect your body from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between oxygen reactive species (ROS) and the body’s ability to eliminate them. Environmental stressors like UV rays, pollution, and heavy metals (among others) can increase ROS production. Vitamin C is also an essential nutrient for collagen formation.4
Look for vitamin C in citrus fruits, red bell peppers, and strawberries.
Vitamin D is crucial in the proper functioning of your immune system. It’s required for your body to produce defenses that keep the body healthy. Vitamin D also plays an important role in the absorption of calcium, and the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.5
Your body can synthesize its own vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. But if you’re working inside all day, or live at a northern latitude, a supplement can be beneficial.
Vitamin D can be found in nutritional yeast and UV-exposed mushrooms and in Vega Sport Pro® Vitamin D
Iron forms your red blood cells, which deliver oxygen throughout your body.6 Symptoms of low iron levels are fatigue, difficulty concentrating and reduced athletic performance.
Spinach, legumes, and pumpkin seeds are plant-based sources of iron, and all are best paired with vitamin C rich foods to support iron absorption. If you have chronically low levels of iron, you should speak to a health professional about supplementing further.
Dairy is not the only source of calcium which you need to build and maintain strong bones. There are plenty of plant-based foods that contain calcium including almonds, broccoli, black and navy beans.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps your muscles (including the heart) function properly.7
Help get your magnesium needs met with whole foods including pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds.
Take the worry out of wondering if you’re getting enough of certain micronutrients. Vega One® All-in-One provides you with 20% DV (daily value) antioxidant Vitamin A and 40% DV Vitamin C. Vega One® Organic All-in-One Shake provides you with 20% DV antioxidant Vitamin A and 50% DV Vitamin C and Vega® Essentials provides you with 30% DV Vitamin C
- MedlinePlus – Search Results for: “vitamin a”. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://vsearch.nlm.nih.gov/vivisimo/cgi-bin/query-meta?v:project=medlineplus&v:sources=medlineplus-bundle&query=vitamin+a&_ga=2.122957643.1981351426.1590008333-1797335138.1590008333
- MedlinePlus – Search Results for: “vitamin b”. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/bvitamins.html
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin B12. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin C. (n.d.). Retrieved from
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin D. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Iron (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-Consumer/
Office of Dietary Supplements – Magnesium (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/