Skimping on protein
Protein is vital for a healthy body, and not getting the recommended 50-175 grams a day can result in zapped energy, loss of muscle, weakened immune system, impaired vision, and anemia. A good way to meet your protein needs? Combine complementary plant protein sources to make complete proteins. Stir fry tofu or tempeh with veggies, and serve over quinoa for a protein-packed meal. Beans and lentils are also good sources. Added bonus: plant-based diets that include foods like the ones above have been shown to decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease.
The body needs vitamin B12 for a lot of vital tasks—making red blood cells, nerve creation, DNA formation—but many plant foods don’t contain B12. Vitamin D is essential for strong bones because it helps the body use calcium. Get your allotment of B12 by using nutritionally enhanced yeast or taking a B12 supplement. To up your D intake, soak up some sun, eat fortified grain products, or take a vitamin D supplement. Severe vitamin B12 deficiency can even lead to depression, paranoia, loss of taste and smell, or incontinence, so see your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms: strange sensations, numbness, tingling in the hands, legs, or feet; difficulty walking or balance problems; yellowed skin; inflamed or swollen tongue; memory loss; paranoia or hallucinations.