Plant based, low on zinc, iron, calcium among a few others

I started chronometer because I am mostly plant based ..and low on zinc and iron and looking to up my protein. Finding after a few days I am not getting enough which I figured. And I ate way more than usual to try to hit goals. A lot of nuts, beans, greens, fruit, flax seed, chia. Trying to add in more brown sprouted rice. Any advice?


  • Hello!

    Vegan dietitian here, so you are in the right place. :)

    Here are two blogs that may be useful on eating plant-based:

    Vegan zinc and iron will be found with vegan sources of protein:

    • Beans and lentils
    • Tofu, tempeh
    • Seitan
    • Quinoa
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Sunflower seeds

    Other really good sources of zinc include wheat germ and hemp seeds.

    Regarding calcium, I'm actually quite happy if a healthy adult (under 50 years) hits 700 mg per day. There is still debate over exact calcium needs but research suggests that the alkalinity of a plant-based diet means that a slightly lower intake could be acceptable. I do recommend including at least 1 cup of fortified plant milk per day in a smoothie, tea/coffee, oatmeal, pudding/homemade yogurt, etc.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • Hi. I am whole food plant based low fat no added salt sugar. I also have osteopenia and fractured my hip three weeks ago. Have a total hip replacement. DR’s are pushing me to take calcium supplement (500mg), but I am very reluctant. Causing constipation and concerned about possible cardiac effects. I am 67. Can chronometer tell me what foods to include to get 700-1000 ml of calcium from food sources. I do eat at least 2 c of kale a day now

  • @Sdubois

    High calcium intake is indicated in osteopenia and osteoporosis, but you can meet this through food or supplements.

    If you want to go with the former, I recommend consuming at least 500 mL plant milk per day (fortified); you can add this to smoothies, oatmeal or make chia seed pudding, popsicles, etc. from it. Total intake should be ~1200 mg, which I wouldn't be particularly worried about in regards to cardiac function.

    You can find other sources of calcium rich food by accessing the Oracle:

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • edited May 2019


    Here is a breakdown of my Calcium Trend from the last three weeks.
    Please note that I can reach the min. required although I am on a calorie restricted wfpb diet with 2000kcal per day.
    Without supplements it is easy possible to reach the calcium level by using Fortified Plant Milk as @Susan_RD_101 noted. Here in my country if you buy Organic Plant Milk with "Calcium" then it is fortified with Algaes to bring in the Calcium as in organic stuff it not allowed using chemical calcium.
    Always make sure to shake the milk before to get all the stuff that sticks on the bottom of the bottle.
    I put 200ml in the morning cereal, and another 200ml in the afternoon for the protein shake. Sometimes some recipes or dressings requires plant milk - another place to put that in.
    Also I found out that my bottled water has 120mg Calcium per Liter, so another good reason to drink more water. ;)

  • I looked up Natumi Oat Drink and it appears to be a replacement for heavy cream as does the Soya product. Am I looking at the wrong product?

  • @cherylmcg

    Not sure where you live. My oat drink from Natumi is from Germany and is not a cream replacement.

  • Oh, I see. It’s not available in California.

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