What to Eat on a Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet

When I switched to a whole-food, plant-based diet in early 2019, my friends and family had lots of questions, and I was happy to answer them as best I could.

But one of the questions they asked – and that I am still asked – baffles me a bit.

That question is…

What do you eat?

The answer is, a LOT of things!

You can eat delicious, healthy, satisfying, and beautiful food on a whole-food, plant-based diet, as this short video from Forks Over Knives shows:

Answering that question every time I’m asked could take HOURS, as the list of plant-based foods is VERY long!

Because so many people ask this question, I thought I’d compile a list of all the things people on plant-based diets can eat.

Here we go!

 

Fruits and Vegetables

Acerola cherries

Acorn squash

Alfalfa sprouts

Apricots

Apples

Artichoke

Arugula

Asian pear

Asparagus

Avocado

 

Banana

Beans

Beets

Belgian endive

Bell peppers

Blackberries

Black currant

Blueberries

Bok choy

Boysenberries

Broccoflower

Broccoli

Broccoli rabe

Brussels sprouts

 

Cabbage

Carambola (star fruit)

Cassava (yuca)

Cauliflower

Celery

Chayote

Cherimoya

Cherries

Chicory (curly endive)

Clementine

Coconut

Collard greens

Corn

Cranberries

Cucumber

 

Daikon radish

Dates

Dragon fruit (pitaya)

Dried Plums

 

Eggplant

Elderberries

Endive

Escarole

 

Feijoa (it’s a fruit!)

Fennel

Figs

 

Garlic

Gooseberries

Grapefruit

Grapes

Green beans

Green onions

Greens

Guava

 

Honeydew melon

Horned melon

 

Iceberg Lettuce

 

Jackfruit

Japanese eggplant

Jerusalem Artichoke

Jicama

 

Kale

Kiwifruit

Kohlrabi

Kumquat

 

Leeks

Lemons

Lettuce

Lima Beans

Limes

Longan

Loquat

Lychee

 

Mandarin oranges

Malanga

Mangos

Mulberries

Mushrooms

 

Napa

Nectarines

 

Okra

Olives

Onion

Oranges

 

Papayas

Parsnip

Passion fruit

Peaches

Pears

Peas

Peppers

Persimmons

Pineapple

Plantains

Plums

Pomegranate

Potatoes

Prickly pear

Prunes

Pummelo

Pumpkin

Purple sweet potato

 

Quince

 

Radicchio

Radishes

Raisins

Raspberries

Red cabbage

Rhubarb

Romanesco broccoli

Romaine lettuce

Rutabaga

 

Shallots

Snow peas

Spinach

Sprouts

Squash

Star fruit (carambola)

Strawberries

String beans

Sweet potato

 

Tangelo

Tangerines

Tomatillo

Tomato

Turnip

 

Ugli fruit

 

Water chestnuts

Watercress

Watermelon

 

Yams

Yellow squash

Yuca (cassava)

 

Zucchini

 

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Legumes

The legume family consists of plants that produce a pod with seeds inside. The term “legume” is used to describe the seeds of these plants.

Legumes are a great source of protein and fiber.

Common edible legumes include:

Beans

Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

Lentils

Peanuts

Peas

Soybeans (tofu and tempeh are soybean products)

 

Nuts and nut butter

Almonds

Brazil nuts (limit your intake to a few a day – eating too many can cause selenium toxicity)

Cashews

Chestnuts

Coconut

Hazelnuts

Macadamia

Pecans

Pistachios

Walnuts

*Watch for added sugar and oil in nut butter products – choose products that do not contain anything but nuts, or make your own by grinding nuts in a food processor or blender

 

Seeds

Chia

Flax

Hemp

Pumpkin

Sesame

Sunflower

 

Grains and pseudo-grains

Amaranth

Barley

Buckwheat

Bulgur

Farro/Einkorn/Emmer/Spelt

Kamut

Millet

Oats

Quinoa

Rice

Sorghum

Teff

Wheat

Wild rice

 

Did I miss anything?

Please tell us about your favorite whole plant foods in the comments!

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