How to Get Heart-Healthy Nutrients That Vegans Need

Even Vegans Aren't Immune to Heart Disease

Being that February is heart health month, it's a good time to review how to keep your ticker ticking properly. Ditching artery-clogging meat and dairy products, which increase risk for heart disease, sounds like a step in the right direction, but unfortunately going vegan like Alicia Silverstone doesn't automatically put you on the safe list. According to research, vegans may not be getting enough iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids from their diets, which are all essential for a healthy cardiovascular system.

On the plus side, vegans do tend to have lower BMIs (body mass index) and cholesterol levels. But to do their hearts good, vegans need to make sure to get their fill of the heart-healthy essential vitamins and nutrients mostly found in meat and dairy products. Learn where to find those nutrients in a plant-based diet.


Vitamin or Nutrient Recommended Daily Amount Vegan Food Source
Iron 18 mg
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans: 3.4 mg
  • 1/2 cup tofu: 6.2 mg
  • 1 tbsp. molasses: 3.3 mg
Zinc 8 mg
  • 1 oz. pumpkin seeds: 2.1 mg
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans: 2.1 mg
  • 1 oz. cashews: 1.6 mg
Vitamin B12 2.4 mcg
  • 1 cup Edensoy Extra vanilla soy milk: 3 mcg
  • 1 tbsp. Red Star nutritional yeast: 4 mcg
  • 3/4 cup Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal: 2.4 mcg
Omega-3s 1.1 g
  • 1 tbsp. flaxseeds: 1.8 g
  • 1/8 cup walnuts: 1.1 g
  • 1/2 cup edamame (soybeans): 2.8 g

Source: WireImage
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