Minerals are chemical elements essential for normal growth and functioning of a body. There are over twenty minerals that humans need. Some of them are required in larger quantities (hundreds of milligrams), such as calcium, potassium, sodium or magnesium, while others are needed in much smaller quantities (several milligrams or less), such as iron, zinc or selenium. All minerals that human body needs are absorbed from dietary sources.
A balanced vegan diet can provide all minerals in sufficient quantities. However, vegans who do not eat certain kinds of foods should pay more attention whether they get all needed nutrients. There are two minerals that are considered the most "risky" for vegans because they are more concentrated in certain types of foods and it is easy not to get enough of them.
- Calcium – the most rich source of this mineral in a vegan diet are green leafy vegetables and certain nuts and seeds. For those who are not into this kind of food, calcium supplements are recommended.
- Iodine – it is found most consistently only in seaweeds. For those who do not eat them, iodine supplements are recommended.