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By: Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry
Are you considering going vegan? Many people are considering doing the same, especially when they see so many people making meatless dietary changes throughout Hollywood! It is great to consider adding vegetarian meals to your life, but people that are new to plant based diets often make mistakes when they first transition. A meatless diet can be very healthy, but vegetarians—especially vegans—need to plan carefully so that they do not experience vitamin and mineral deficiencies. There are 4 key micronutrient deficiencies that you should consider, so that you can properly plan your diet. These micronutrients are vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and zinc. Of these four, a B12 deficiency is the greatest concern for vegetarians and vegans, since B12 is only found naturally in animal products. Raw vegans are particularly at risk for B12 deficiency.
Potential Toxic Effects of Micronutrient Deficiencies and Alternative Food Sources for Vegans and Vegetarians
1. B12 deficiency can lead to anemia and neurological toxicity, including confusion. Plant-based foods containing B12: It is nearly impossible for vegans to get B12 without a supplement. Nutritional yeast is the only source for raw vegans. Other vegans can get B12 in fortified meat-substitute products.
2. Calcium deficiency can cause bone softening and bone loss. Plant-based foods containing calcium: Juiced collard, turnip, and mustard greens, almonds, broccoli, figs, and molasses.
3. Iron deficiency can cause anemia, tongue inflammation, and lesions at the corner(s) of your mouth. Plant-based foods containing iron: Almonds, avocado, beets, beans, cashews, greens, parsley, peaches, and seaweed.
4. Zinc deficiency can cause impaired growth delays in sexual development, reduction in sexual hormones, and can reduce your ability to taste. Plant-based foods containing zinc: Molasses, beans, and pumpkin seeds.
Dr. Noreen formulated and developed a vegetarian, plant-based food supplement that supports the health of the liver and kidneys, our bodies natural detoxification system. This all-natural product is available at
Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry, better known as “Dr. Noreen, The Tox Doc,” is a professional toxicologist and medical scientist, with 20 years of professional experience working in the fields of toxicology, petrochemicals, microbiology and chemistry. Dr. Noreen studies contaminants found in our environment and the impact that they have on human health. She is the owner of NKM Environmental Health Sciences. This consulting firm works with environmental, legal, medical, construction and real estate concerns. Dr. Noreen also works for NASA* where she initially served as the first female NASA* Space Toxicologist, one of only seven space toxicologists in the world. Dr. Noreen has spoken internationally and is routinely featured on TV, radio and online.
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