Power Sources

The Physicians Committee

Power Sources


To consume a diet that contains enough, but not too much, protein, simply replace animal products with grains, vegetables, legumes (peas, beans, and lentils), and fruits. As long as one is eating a variety of plant foods in sufficient quantity to maintain one’s weight, the body gets plenty of protein.
Learn more: The Protein Myth

Tofu, lentils, red beans, tempeh


The most healthful calcium sources are green leafy vegetables and legumes, or "greens and beans" for short. If you are looking for a very concentrated calcium source, calcium-fortified orange or apple juices contain 300 milligrams or more of calcium per cup in a highly absorbable form. Many people prefer calcium supplements, which are now widely available. Learn more: Calcium and Strong Bones: Protecting Your Bones

Brussles sprouts, broccoli, kidney beans, kale


Iron is abundant in plant-based diets. Beans, dark green vegetables, dried fruits, blackstrap molasses, nuts and seeds, and whole grain or fortified breads and cereals all contain plenty of iron.


Iron rich foods: oatmeal, dried apricots, beets, chickpeas

Vitamin D

The natural source of vitamin D is sunlight. In colder climates during the winter months the sun may not be able to provide adequate vitamin D. During this time the diet must be able to provide vitamin D. Fortified cereals, grains, bread, orange juice, and soy- or rice milk are healthful foods that provide vitamin D. All common multiple vitamins also provide vitamin D.

Vitamin D sources: sunshine, fortified cereal, whole wheat bread, fortified orange juice


B12 needs can easily be met by consuming a variety of vegan foods. Fortified breakfast cereals, fortified soymilk, and fortified meat analogues contain a reliable source of the vitamin.
Learn more: Vitamin B12: A Simple Solution

B12 foods: fortified cereal, multi-vitamins, soymilk

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Whether you are interested in promoting cardiovascular health, ensuring the proper growth and development of your child, or relieving pain, a vegetarian diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes can help you achieve adequate intake of the essential fatty acids.
Learn more: Essential Fatty Acids

Omega3 foods: flax seed, leafy green vegetables