Missing nutrients in a raw or plant-based diet

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Missing nutrients in a raw or plant-based diet

Many people ask me if they are doing a raw food or plant-based diet the “right” or “proper” way; they worry they are missing essential nutrients on a raw or plant-based diet.

Whether it is spurred by pressure from concerned family members or, rather, from an emphatic raw foodist who tells you that you need copious amounts of so-called “superfoods” to thrive, all this information can be conflicting. And don’t forget those that say no supplementation is necessary if you eat a whole-foods diet! 

What is a person supposed to do? 

You definitely need some key supplements on a raw food or predominantly plant-based diet (omnivores, take note too because you really need these too).

Many of you will know that I refuse to sell you any new superfood potion or mineral-enhanced water that stands to make copious amounts of money and then turns out to be a sham two years later (I don’t sell supplements at all). I advocate a return to basics

The supplements I recommend are based on common sense, established science (I recognize the inherent limitations of traditional science but I also commend (and adore) the advances (plus it never hurts to have peer-reviewed studies on your side)).

Unfortunately, soils today (where vegetables are grown) are not as nutritious as they once were.

This doesn’t mean we’re doomed but – yes – we do have to supplement to a degree.

Vitamin B12, for example, something that only used to be a vegan worry, is now far more deficient among omnivores as well. Why? In order for B12 to grow, it needs healthy bacteria which is killed by antibiotics given to farm animals (travels to the soil) – sad but true.

And – to do superfoods justice – they can be great (future post) but they are also really expensive which is why I don’t push them. I see them as a luxury, not a staple.

More importantly we need to return to basics, real food, simply prepared, inexpensively and deliciously. Kale is as much a superfood as anything on the market! Or what about wheatgrass? A true superfood (made very cheaply too – attend my class to see how). 


Here is my list of needed supplements (see how short it is):

B-12 – Especially if you are vegan you must, must take a B12 supplement. Take a daily supplement of at least 10 micrograms (mcg). Try to get this from a reputable company that sells sublingual tablets. As well, try to add Red Star nutritional yeast to your diet also (sprinkled on salads is one way). I do not work for this company but it is the only brand I believe contains true B12 due to the way it is produced (don’t assume that all nutritional yeast has B12 – it likely doesn’t).

Vitamin D – This is easier to get during the summer if you spend a lot of time outdoors but, it is safest to supplement in temperate climates, especially during the colder months (also I do not sunbathe for many reasons (wrinkles and skin cancer being two!)). It is suggested adults supplement with about 600IU (15 mcg per day). Note that most vitamin D supplements are animal based (called D3). Look for a D2 supplement to ensure it is plant-based. 

Essential Fatty Acid Supplement – Yes, you need an essential fatty-acid supplement! This is a common missing element in almost ALL diets, including raw vegan or plant-based diets. This doesn’t mean you have to add fish supplements to your diet – there are new and great algae based DHA and EFA supplements available on the market (essentially you’re going right to the source that the fish get it from – the algae).

A multi-vitamin (optional): There are days where even I occasionally skimp on my needed nutrients, so this is just like a little insurance. As well, try to opt for a high-quality naturally sourced multivitamin.

A vegan probiotic supplement (also optional): Mainly I recommend this for all women (and for men who are sensitive to yeast overgrowth). As well it can help if you have gas or bloating.


And that’s that. Simple, direct and relatively inexpensive. Have fun and flourish with your raw vegan, plant-based (or omnivorous diet). 

Did you notice your life changed when you started adding a few essential supplements? Or not? Any opinion at all? Why not share? I’d be delighted to hear.





© 2012, ohmyraw!. All rights reserved.



  1. I stick with the D3 and a D with Calcium, Magnesium only because from what I understand D2 is not as readily absorbed as the D3 variation.

    • Yes, Jill. Studies show that D3 is more easily absorbed. So if you do have a deficiency, it is easiest to replenish your levels with D3 (your doctor can give you the right amount) even though it isn’t vegan. The best idea is to get your blood tested at your doctors office to make sure your levels are good.

      However, if one is worried about non-vegan products, regular sun exposure (no more than 15 minutes a day in midday sunlight on arms or leg with no sunscreen) is, according to some sources, to produce about 800-1500IU however, in the winter months this is greatly diminished (to almost nil), so supplementation is a very good idea.

  2. http://www.vitashine-d3.com/
    This seems to be the only D3 vegan supplement out there but it does exist !

    • That’s great, Jill! Thanks so much for the info. I remember learning that D3 is always non-vegan, so I really appreciate you updating me.

  3. Wow Jill, thank you so so much for sharing the vegan vitamin D3 on this blog. For ages I’ve been looking for a vegan and potent vitamin D to no avail. Even Dr. Gabriel Cousens, a raw foodist I really respect for his vast and science based knowledge is not aware of this, at least was not aware of this last March 2012.

    This seems to be The Real Deal!

    Thank you!

  4. But is it available in the Ottawa region?

  5. I like your website I must say. I changed my diet completly back in April. Doing green blends every other day. I have alot of toxins in my body I already knew that so still have nausa from time to time however I was always wondering about supplaments when you are eating green and blending if you needed as much. Thanks this helps alot. I don’t think I need a multi vitamin anymore except on days I don’t blend. I have recently added b-12 subling and D3 5000 ium a day and have found a tremendous difference in how I feel in general. Had problems with depression and adrenal fatigue now don’t have to take anything for that. I think vitamin d3 and b12 are sooo important more than we realize. I have also now off my high blood pressure meds. Back to normal after being told I would be on it for the rest of my life because it was so high and spiratic in nature. So happy.

    • Thank you so much!

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