Health, Health Education, Nutrition, Self-Care, Special Diet, Vegan, Weight Loss

Is The Raw Food Diet Perfect? Nutrient Deficiencies To Watch As A Vegan Or Raw Vegan: Part 3

If you haven’t already, please check out Part 1 and Part 2 to learn the first 5 nutrients to watch on a plant-based (or any) diet.

All of the the nutrients I mention in this series are EXTREMELY important to succeeding on a raw vegan or vegan diet.

It’s irresponsible to think you can get everything you need by just eating fruit or whole foods plant-based.

People on Standard American diet have deficiencies…

People on keto and high fat programs have deficiencies…

Vegans and raw vegans can have deficiencies…

It’s possible to miss out on certain vitamins and minerals on ANY dietary plan.

We live in a crazy modern world, and our soil is nowhere near as nutritious and alive as it once was.

Sanitation, antibiotics, and other practices are wildly transforming the bacterial landscape.

As a result, we can miss out on essential nutrients even if we are eating “perfectly.”

In this post, I share the last two nutrients that are commonly problematic on a raw vegan or plant-based plan.

The last one will not surprise you!


If you’re having underactive thyroid issues, it could be due to iodine deficiency.

Don Bennett shared great information about iodine that you can check out here. I worked with him 4 years ago, and again now, to treat my low thyroid function.

Four years ago, I was able to get off Synthroid, a synthetic thyroid hormone treatment. For three years, my thyroid hormone labs were normal.

But I made a critical mistake…

I stopped the process. I did not take a maintenance dose of iodine, and continue checking my iodine levels.

Four years later, my thyroid is less than optimal once again.

In my most recent lab work, my TSH was a little high (hormone that stimulates the thyroid), and my free T3 was a little low. Antibodies were fine.

Elevated antibodies indicate an autoimmune response.

Five years ago, my thyroid antibodies were elevated, and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune thyroid condition.

My current blood work does not indicate Hashimoto’s. Simply a slightly underactive thyroid.

Well guess what?

My holistic doctor was quick to prescribe Nature Thyroid, which is desiccated pig thyroid.

I know…gross. But, I’m not going to take it!

First, I tested my iodine levels again with a urinary spot and loading test, as these are the quickest and most accurate tests to measure iodine. It’s been a good four years since my last test.

Then, if needed based on the test results, I will supplement with iodine, and check my iodine levels as well as my thyroid levels. I want to try and correct this imbalance with iodine therapy first, following Don Bennett’s counseling and protocol.

Standard Treatment of Hypothyroid Problems

Standard treatment of low thyroid is to use synthetic or natural thyroid hormone from pigs.

When we give the body this hormone, it basically tells our thyroid, “Hey, you’re off the hook. Relax. I don’t need you anymore.”

The catch is that you will have to take the synthetic or natural thyroid hormone for the rest of your life, because you have effectively shut off and shut down your thyroid gland.

This sucks. Really, I think it’s criminal business to just turn off a gland that is underactive, instead of supporting it to return to healthy function. Come on, now!

That’s not to mention the energetic effects of shutting down the thyroid, also known as the throat chakra. This can get really deep really fast, and have significant energetic effects as well as physical effects.

Why We Need Iodine

This is straight from Don Bennett’s article on Iodine, which I encourage you to check out here.


  • “supports apoptosis (programmed cell death which prevents cancer)
  • is involved in ATP (energy) production and management, prevents premature fatigue, helps to keep insulin requirements normal
  • supports protein synthesis
  • destroys pathogens, molds, fungi, and parasites
  • helps excrete toxic halogens and lead, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, and mercury
  • regulates estrogen production and helps prevent polycystic ovarian disease
  • helps prevent heart disease
  • affects IQ all throughout life
  • supports pregnancy
  • is needed for healthy nails, hair, teeth, and bones
  • is required to achieve and maintain your ideal weight
  • prevents cancer of the breasts, colon, lungs, ovaries, pancreas, prostate, stomach, and thyroid”

My Current Supplementation Strategy

Raw vegan sources of iodine include: kelp, dulse, and nori. I eat nori about once a week. Raw sushi for the win!

I am currently waiting for my iodine test results. Then, if needed, I will take iodine and iodine co-factor supplements, according to the protocol given to me by Don Bennett.

I highly recommend working with Don Bennett (or another qualified health care provider with iodine therapy experience) while going through iodine therapy to treat thyroid issues. 

Iodine is a dangerous supplement to just “wing it.”


Just kidding! But also, not really.

Make sure you’re eating enough calories, as well as green vegetables. Including small amounts of nuts and seeds will also be helpful.

The holistic doctor reviewing my lab work encouraged me to eat more protein. She wanted me to take a protein powder supplement.

I asked her if there was anything in my lab work to indicate protein deficiency.

She said no. She could not find any sign of protein deficiency in my lab work. Still, she insisted I eat more.

This is BS.

We get enough protein as long as we eat enough calories.

Eat enough calories, and your protein will be sufficient.

Add in extra dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds if you’re concerned.

Or better yet, run labs and see for yourself!

That’s all I’ll say about protein for now. Expect a more in-depth post or series coming soon!

Concluding Thoughts

The nutrients to watch on a raw vegan or vegan diet include:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D3
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Vitamin K2
  • CoQ10
  • Iodine
  • Protein

Be smart, and get regular labwork.

This is crucial to long-term success on a plant-based raw or cooked diet.

Don’t be a statistic ex-vegan who went back to eating animals…unless you want to!

Be responsible, and don’t listen to gurus who say your diet is perfect…it may not be!

Don’t know your dosha?

Go here! It’s 100% free!

My Books:

FREE or by donation SWEET recipe e-bookRaw Food Ayurveda: Volume 1

Raw Food Ayurveda: Volume 1 is available in paperback here.

Check out my SAVORY recipe e-book, Raw Food Ayurveda: Volume 2 here.

Do you want ongoing support in achieving your health goals?

Check out the coaching that I offer here. 

I chef retreats too! 

Email me if you need a raw vegan chef for your retreat!

Youtube Channel: Taylor A Norris

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