Vegan Food List: Cheat Sheet for the Health Conscious

We are all searching for something in life. Most of us don’t even know what we are looking for let alone where to find it. So we wander around aimlessly, seeking answers to questions we never asked in an endless cycle. You finally decided on the what, a Vegan Food List, and the universe has provided you with that answer.

Welcome to what you manifested.

Veganism in a nutshell

As a Vegan, you have decided you are done with animal meat and their by products. Generally speaking this is in regard to ingestibles but possibly beyond that as well. You have taken a stand.

Now, we all do it for different reasons. Some people are in it to protect and preserve the rights of animals, some are focused purely on their health, others are taking it on as a challenge. There are an infinite amounts of reasons but, regardless of those stimuli, the rules are the same. Thou shalt not ingest the living in any form.

Now, this may just be a destination that you visit from time to time or a permanent location you plan to reside in. However, in either case you need a map to get there.

Navigating through the land of fruits and vegetables

The main items on your Vegan food List are going to be the all natural crops that have been cultivated for centuries without fail, fruits and vegetables. These provide so many necessities for the body so they will be the largest aspect of your Vegan diet.

Fruits and Vegetables provide a wide array of important vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants, fiber, phytochemicals and much more. Fruits and Vegetables have a very large impact on your bodies health and fighting off disease, fatigue and rapid aging amongst other things.

Always keep in mind that you should enjoy a wide array of fruits and vegetables to diversify the nutrients you receive. People seem to find the things they like and stick to them with to a fault but, there is such a wide variety available at your fingertips, so explore what nature has to offer and expand your horizons. I will be going over the ones I believe should be staples in all vegan diets but I encourage you try all the fruits and vegetables that you have access to.

Dark Greens

As a group these provide the body with an important B Vitamin called folate, which works in conjunction with other nutrients to provide cardiovascular health, help prevent birth defects and digestive issues.

  1. Swiss Chard (Rainbow)
  2. Broccoli
  3. Kale
  4. Arugula
  5. Collard Green
  6. Romaine Lettuce
  7. Turnip Greens
  8. Spinach
  9. Beet Greens
  10. Dandelion/Mustard

Root Vegetables

These are very high in fiber, providing the body with very necessary complex carbohydrates. They also have high levels of beta-carotene, helping maintain healthy skin, and also defend against inflammation which is a main component of many chronic ailments

  1. Sweet Potatoes/ Yams
  2. Beets
  3. Carrots (Rainbow)
  4. Onion
  5. Garlic
  6. Ginger
  7. Potatoes
  8. Yucca Root
  9. Turnips
  10. Kohlrabi

Vegetables

They providing the body with many nutrients like folic acid, fiber, potassium and a plethora of vitamins, helping maintain blood pressure, digestive health, and lowering the risk of heart disease amongst other things, .

  1. Asparagus 🙂
  2. Red Cabbage
  3. Brussels Sprouts
  4. Peas
  5. Okra
  6. Zucchini
  7. Scallions
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Corn
  10. Green Beans

Sprouts

These are densely packed with nutrition especially in comparison to standard vegetables. Containing many micro- nutrients, along with protein, enzymes and fiber. The best part about it is you can sprout a wide variety of grains, beans and seeds. They are generally delicious and great for the system

  1. Water Cress
  2. Mung Bean
  3. Wheat Grass
  4. Alfalfa
  5. Sunflower
  6. Chick Peas
  7. Lentils
  8. Radish
  9. Microgreen
  10. Azuki

Peppers

Peppers contain capsaicin aiding in pain relief, inflammation and helps control diabetes. They provide Vitamin C and E boosting the immune system and keeping the skin youthful as well enzymes that aid in macular degeneration.
Fruit

  1. Red Bell Pepper
  2. Anaheim Pepper
  3. Poblano Pepper
  4. Jalapeno Pepper
  5. Serrano Chile
  6. Banana Pepper
  7. Chipotle
  8. Other Bell Peppers
  9. Ancho Pepper
  10. Hot Wax Pepper

Berries

They are pack with antioxidants, one of the most exciting being anthocyanins, which help keep your memory and focus sharp. They also help improve your blood sugar levels and have anti cancer properties

  1. Blueberry
  2. Bilberry
  3. Black Berry
  4. Strawberry
  5. Raspberry
  6. Goji Berry
  7. Acai Berry
  8. Cranberry
  9. Lychee
  10. Gooseberry

Fruit

May protect against certain cancers as well as heart disease and stroke. A source of many essential nutrients and vitamins. Also, helps keep teeth and gums healthy along with repair body tissues.

  1. Grapefruit
  2. Pineapple
  3. Tomato
  4. Avocado
  5. Pomegranate
  6. Apple
  7. Cherry
  8. Orange
  9. Banana
  10. Durian
  11. Lemon
  12. Olive
  13. Watermelon
  14. Guava
  15. Papaya
  16. Grape
  17. Sour Sop
  18. Mango
  19. Jack Fruit
  20. Plum

Try to avoid genetically modified fruits, like pluots, apriums, some grapes etc. Also, when you can, try to go organic or all natural. I understand the prices may be an attributing factor in your decisions but keep it in mind. If your ever confused about whether a fruit or veggie is GMO, organic or conventional (pesticides) check the number on the sticker.

A 4 digit number that starts with a 3 or 4 (ex 4046) is generally (always in my experience) a fruit that was grown conventionally aka using pesticides. While a 5 digit number that starts with a 9 (ex 94046) is an organically grown item. A genetically modified fruit would be a 5 digit number with an 8 (ex 84046) but letting the consumer know the fruit is GMO is not always required.

Seasoning Your Veggies

Spices

These help with nasal congestion, inflammation, appetite and cravings, amongst other powerful health benefits. Spices help keep your body healthy while also making your food mouth watering. Win win.

  1. Turmeric
  2. Cumin
  3. Cinnamon
  4. Saffron
  5. Peppercorn (Rainbow)
  6. Nutmeg
  7. Coriander
  8. Curry Powder
  9. Star Anise
  10. Arrowroot

Fresh Herbs

Boost brain function, help soothe colon, prevent certain diseases and battle inflammation. While also adding an amazing layer of flavor to your food.

  1. Peppermint
  2. Sage
  3. Rosemary
  4. Basil
  5. Parsley
  6. Lemon Grass
  7. Oregano
  8. Thyme
  9. Cilantro
  10. Chives

The Grains of Greatness

There is a large demographic of people who believe that we shouldn’t eat grains or they have a negative effect on the body. I do not fall in that category. I believe that the right grains are essential to a quality vegan food list and whole grains are perfect for a properly balanced diet.

Refined grains are largely used on a wide array of products. They contain only a part of the grain and are intended to extend the shelf life of products as opposed to providing a nutritious diet. Whole grains come in many forms ground, split, flaked, and cracked. So be aware of that while you are shopping.

Whole Grains

Whole grains provide essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that aid in lowering cholesterol, maintaining digestive help, and reducing the risk of several diseases. These add a new element to your food in on average add about 10-12 grams of protein per serving (1/2 cup)

  1. Wheat Berry
  2. Quinoa
  3. Barley
  4. Kamut
  5. Teff
  6. Wild Rice
  7. Brown Rice
  8. Whole Rye
  9. Barley
  10. Bulgur
  11. Buckwheat
  12. Spelt
  13. Amaranth
  14. Millet
  15. Whole Wheat

What the Nut

In this Vegan Food List nuts and seeds will come in all shapes sizes and forms providing protein wherever they go. They will help with curbing your appetite and are great for snacking and adding to other elements of the vegan list to for texture, adding nutrients or taste.

Nuts

They are nutrient dense, have great levels of magnesium, iron, calcium and other nutrients. They add omega 3 fats and other antioxidants and nutrients.

  1. Almonds/ Peanuts
  2. Cashews
  3. Pistachios
  4. Brazil Nuts
  5. Hazelnuts
  6. Pine Nut
  7. Pecans
  8. Walnuts
  9. Macadamia
  10. Chestnut (Keep Refrigerated)

Nut Butter

Provide you with healthy fats the body needs as well as an array of amino acids and other nutrients. Most importantly in my opinion some nut butters can boost your immune system due to magnesium levels.

  1. Peanut Butter
  2. 7 nut and seed Butter
  3. Tahini (Sesame)
  4. Sun Butter (sunflower seed)
  5. Almond Butter
  6. Pistachio Butter
  7. Cashew Butter
  8. Walnut Butter
  9. Pumpkin Seed Butter
  10. Coconut Butter

Seeds

Play in a role in maintaining a healthy nervous system from complex B vitamins. Also providing the body with healthy amazing levels of essential fatty acids. They are very complete foods for the body, nutrient dense and complex.

  1. Hemp
  2. Sesame
  3. Pumpkin
  4. Chia
  5. Sunflower
  6. Pomegranate
  7. Wild Rice (Yes!! It’s a Seed)
  8. Flax
  9. Poppy (May cause false narcotic reading on drug test, so if you are tested routinely or at random than avoid)
  10. Grape Seeds

Nut Milk

Nut milk has all the benefits of nuts and seeds while providing you with a familiar creamy texture similar to milk without the cows’ involvement. Great for cereal lovers and even better for people seeking weight loss.

  1. Macadamia Milk
  2. Coconut Milk
  3. Almond Milk
  4. Hemp Milk
  5. Flax Milk
  6. Hazelnut Milk
  7. Pea Milk
  8. Cashew Milk
  9. Pistachio Milk
  10. Pecan Milk (Maple Pecan is best!!)

Please keep in mind that although delicious and providing a wide array of benefits, try not to over indulge because they are higher in fat than other items on the list and the Vegan Food List is here to provide you with balance.

Where are all the Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are essential to a Vegan Food List. They will add a great deal of protein to your diet amongst other great benefits. They are also easy to prepare and when done right add a great element to any meal. Always remember that they can be easily sprouted for increased nutrients, making them a fun and easy snack.

Beans/Legumes

Very Nutrient dense and filling. Incredibly high in protein as well around 15-20 grams per 1/2 cup. They do a great job at controlling appetite and on top of that assist in heart health, blood sugar, and the metabolism. They provide many vital nutrients and antioxidants while reducing the risk of cancer.

  1. Soy Bean
  2. Lentil Variations
  3. Split Peas
  4. French Beans
  5. Red Kidney Bean Variations
  6. Kidney Bean
  7. Winged bean
  8. Great Northern Bean
  9. Whiten Bean
  10. Black Eyed Pea
  11. Yellow Bean
  12. Navy Bean
  13. Fava Bean
  14. Lima Bean
  15. Garbanzo Bean

Oil, Fats and Nutrition?

There is a lot of controversy regarding oils and fats due to lack of understanding. Oil and good fats are an essential part of cooking especially in a Vegan diet as a lot of the items cooked conventionally add their own fat like beef and pork.

You have to keep in mind that natural oils have their own flavor. For instance if you are cooking something savory, coconut oil will add a sweet taste as opposed to a sesame oil which may complement it or sunflower oil which is more neutral.

Oils are also used when making dressing, sauces, creams etc So I will provide a wide variety on your vegan food list.

Cooking Oil

These oils have high smoke points meaning a high temperature before it starts to smoke or burn off. They also provide a decent amounts of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids.

  1. Avocado Oil
  2. Canola Oil
  3. Coconut Oil
  4. Rice-Bran Oil
  5. Light Olive Oil
  6. Palm Oil
  7. Vegan Buttery Spread
  8. Peanut Oil (Refined)
  9. Sesame Oil (Semi-Refined)
  10. Soy Oil (Refined Oil)

Unrefined Oil

These are oils that should be used for dressing low temperature cooking and for adding a little taste to foods items (ex coconut oil, sesame oil)

  1. Walnut Oil
  2. Pumpkin Seed Oil
  3. Almond Oil
  4. Grape seed Oil
  5. Flax seed Oil
  6. Sesame Oil
  7. Coconut Oil
  8. Avocado Oil
  9. Sunflower Oil
  10. Olive Oil

The Complete List of The Healthiest Items

There is a wide variety of different fruits, vegetables and other foods available to the modern day vegan. I encourage you to experiment and find the items you want to eat and add them to the list, that is what trying new things is all about.

What I provided you is merely a starting point, very similar to a skeleton. Yes it is a good base of where to begin and a necessity, but everything else that makes the body functional, muscles, tissues, organs etc needs to added to make an individual unique. Please check Something you Forgot for other items you may want to incorporate.

I hope this is what you were looking for and it can be used to further your journey, where it is you plan on going and you feel there is anything that should be added feel free to leave a comment below.

As Always, It was a Pleasure.

Stan -Founder Asparagus Tips

10 Comments

  1. I like your thinking as I to think certain grains are necessary for good health. Your list are very helpful. While I do follow a hundred percent vegan. I love vegetables enough I could. And I find the older I get the more I enjoy a veggie plate. I just retired and frequently I will bake a half of a small butternut squash. And find myself snacking on a handful of nuts, or having a pear or orange. At lunch to hold me to dinner. While not exactly intensional. I just don’t want something heavy like before. Thanks for your article it was affirmation of my choices.
    Blessings,
    Scarlett

    1. Yes, I am a firm believer in enjoying everyhting that this world has to offer merely moderate which things are more helpful to the body vs what is least. Im glad to hear that my list has been helpful for you.

      Congratulations on retiring that is very exciting news and I hope that you began to do all the things you wanted to while working.

      Regarding the veggies, there is just something so satisfying about a good plate of vegetables at times. It truly sounds like you are on track and doing very well.Im glad my article was able to affirm your decisions, that means the world to me.

      I hope we meet again and until next time, happy retirement and health.

  2. Stan,
    I found this post very informative. I think the list of foods under each category would stand out more if they were indented. Also, maybe there could be recipes posted in the future? It’s looking really good!

    Regards,
    Suzanne

    1. Hey Suzanne,

      Thank you for the feedback. I recently changed the list of foods so that it is easier on the eyes, I had some issue with my web formatting, thank you for bringing that to my attention.

      I plan on doing a wide array of post on recipes and possibly a small book as well in the near future.

      Thank you for coming by and I really appreciate your support.

  3. Thank you for the comprehensive list! You have me intrigued by a few of your selections. I have never heard of Azuki, Kohlrabi, and Sour Sop. I was wondering what Vegans have for breakfast? I used to be a vegetarian but missed cheese too much. Do you have a recommendation on a vegan cheese? I have yet to find any that taste good. Thank you

    1. Hello Colleen,
      Im glad you enjoyed it. I try to provide the most extensive list possibly without going to crazy so people are more inclined to try different things. Yes Adzuki beans were introduced to me when I was competing in the junior olympics. They are great for athletes and help add muscle mass and heart strength. Kohlrabi is basically a wild cabbage, it is tender and delicious and helps boost the immune system. Sour Sop aka Graviola has too many benefits for me to go over but assisting muscle function, regulating blood glucose, and strong support of the immune system are a few notable characteristics. It is one of my favorite plants and fruits.

      As far cheese goes I was never a big fan. I never liked cheese, I had bigger issues with texture than anything else but visit Vegan Alternatives for different cheeses and other tips.

      Breakfast can be whole gran cereal with nut or soy milk. Variations of oats, roasted plantain on a bed of sopas with chipotle seitan chorizo. Waffles, whole juices, Soyrizo, fruit smoothies, these are just a few the list goes on. The meals just get more creative.

      Thank you for dropping by and I hope I was helpful.

  4. I am not eating much meat anymore these days. I have started to incorporate more vegetables into my diet and slowly becoming a vegetarian and eventually vegan. I love your list. It’s very helpful. I am only eating a few kinds of vegetables and fruits. I am glad that I came to your post. Now I have more options to choose from when going shopping.

    1. Hello Hong,

      I’m glad I could assist you with more versions to choose from. I am a firm believer that being bored of something is directly related to it being stagnant. A wide variety will help keep your body from getting bored and assist you not necessarily in becoming a vegan but just incorporating more plant based items into your diet. That is truly the only goal.

      Thanks for stopping by it means alot.

  5. Hi Stan. This is a really good list of quality foods that will sustain any of us. As my mom has always said, ‘everything in moderation will keep us healthy.’ Too much of any one item will become boring, so it is always good to mix our diet up.
    I did not know about the numbering system on the fruit. We don’t have that in New Zealand that I am aware of. And as yet I don’t think that GMO’s are sold in the fruit and veg shops. Not sure about the supermarkets though!
    Although I am not a vegan, my diet consists mainly of vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds. I do it purely for health reasons and because these natural foods taste so good. I am lucky enough to be enjoying a different diet at the moment as I am in Thailand and making the most of the amazing fruits available here that we do not have at home.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge of healthy eating. Cheers.

    1. Your mother sounds similar to mine in that regard. I was not aware that other areas of the world didn’t do that, but it makes since. Many countries avoid some of the practices the US is known for when attempting to grow crops as quickly as humanely possible and cross breeding species etc so there would be no reason to differentiate between them.

      Your diet sounds incredible. Mainly fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds will leave your body wanting for nothing. When the body begans to crave for nutrients it should be getting daily for long periods of time, the immune system starts to break down and disease crawls within those cracks in the foundation.

      I’m actually going to Thailand for a few months early January, Im excited about what the region has to offer and to write a few post about the food available there and the lifestyle.

      I really appreciate you sharing and hopefully our travels run us into one another one day.

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