If you’ve decided to go meat-free, especially if you’re ditching dairy on top of that, getting certain key nutrients—from iron to calcium—can be a real challenge. The good news: You can eat a plant-based diet and get all of the important nutrients you need to stay healthy and beautiful.
“A nutritionally balanced diet is possible without meat or animal foods,” says Kristine Duncan, a registered dietitian in Washington and author of The Veg Girl RD blog. “You just have to expand your food horizons beyond the standard burgers and convenience foods and include more whole foods.”
Here are five key nutrients that vegetarians and vegans should pay special attention to since they’re a bit harder to consume when you’re forgoing meat and/or dairy, along with the best plant-based sources of these nutrients—plus, delicious recipes so you can easily incorporate them into your daily diet. Now that’s a beautiful thing.