What can vegans eat list of foods?

Vegans follow a plant-based diet that excludes all animal products including meat, dairy and eggs. This means vegans need to be creative with their eating choices to ensure they get all the nutrients their bodies need. Luckily, there are plenty of foods and ingredients vegans can eat to have a healthy, well-rounded diet.

Fruits and Vegetables

All fruits and vegetables are vegan friendly. Fruits like apples, bananas, berries, citrus fruits, mangos, melons and more are great options. For vegetables, vegans can eat leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms and many others. Eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies ensures vegans get important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.


There are many vegan whole grain options including rice, oats, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, millet, amaranth and more. Vegan breads, pastas and other products made from these grains are also fine for vegans as long as they don’t contain non-vegan ingredients like eggs or dairy. Whole grains provide fiber, protein and important nutrients.

Legumes and Beans

Legumes like lentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans and soybeans are nutritious vegan protein sources. Tofu, tempeh and edamame made from soybeans are excellent options too. Beans and legumes are great sources of plant-based protein and also contain fiber, iron, magnesium and folate.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios and nut butters are vegan friendly. Flax, chia and hemp seeds are nutritional powerhouses with healthy fats, fiber and protein. Nuts and seeds make great vegan snack options and can be added to salads, cereals, yogurt and more for extra nutrition.

Healthy Fats

While dairy fat is off limits, vegans can enjoy healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, seeds and nut butters. These provide essential fatty acids and vitamin E for hair, skin and nail health. Moderate amounts of healthy fats support vegan nutrition needs.

Herbs, Spices and Condiments

Herbs like basil, cilantro, rosemary, thyme and oregano are great for vegan cooking. Spices like garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and chili powder add flavor. Condiments and sauces like soy sauce, ketchup, mustard, relish and hot sauce are usually vegan too. Using herbs, spices and condiments allows vegans to create exciting and delicious meals.

Fortified Foods

Certain foods like non-dairy milks, breakfast cereals, breads and nutritional yeast flakes are often fortified with important vitamins and minerals that can be lacking in vegan diets like vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and iron. Choosing some fortified foods helps support vegan nutrition needs.

Meat and Dairy Substitutes

There are many vegan versions of popular animal products available including faux meats, non-dairy cheeses, yogurts, ice creams and more made from plant-based ingredients. While processed, these can make following a vegan diet more convenient and enjoyable.


Water, tea, coffee, plant-based milks, fresh juices, smoothies, wine, cocktails and sodas without animal products are all vegan friendly drink options. Staying hydrated is important for overall health.

Snack Foods

Many packaged snack foods happen to be vegan or have vegan versions including chips, pretzels, granola bars, crackers, dried fruits, trail mixes and popcorn. Just check labels since dairy ingredients can sneak in. Whole food snacks like fruits and veggies are healthy vegan options too.

Food Group Vegan Food Options
Fruits and Vegetables Apples, bananas, berries, melons, leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, peppers, etc.
Grains Rice, oats, pasta, quinoa, bread, etc.
Legumes Lentils, beans, chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, etc.
Nuts and Seeds Almonds, walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, nut butters, etc.
Oils and Fats Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, etc.
Herbs and Spices Basil, cilantro, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, etc.
Fortified Foods Non-dairy milk, cereal, bread, nutritional yeast, etc.
Meat and Dairy Substitutes Plant-based meats, non-dairy cheese/yogurt, faux ice cream, etc.
Beverages Water, coffee, tea, non-dairy milk, juice, wine, etc.
Snacks Chips, granola bars, dried fruit, popcorn, etc.

Nutrition Considerations for Vegans

While many healthy foods are naturally vegan, there are some nutrients that may need special attention in vegan diets:

  • Vitamin B12: This vitamin is mostly found in animal products, so vegans may need a supplement or fortified foods.
  • Iron: Plant-based sources aren’t absorbed as well, so vegans need almost twice as much iron daily.
  • Calcium: Found in dairy, so vegans need to eat plant sources like leafy greens, tofu, tempeh and fortified foods.
  • Vitamin D: Fatty fish are a major source, so vegans need more fortified foods and sun exposure.
  • Zinc: Oysters have the most zinc, so vegans should eat whole grains, nuts, legumes and fortified cereals.
  • Omega-3s: Primary source is fish, so vegans need plant options like walnuts, flax and chia seeds.
  • Protein: Variety of plant proteins needed to meet needs for muscle and strength.

As long as vegans eat a varied diet with whole plant foods and fortified products, they can get all the nutrients needed to be healthy. Following a well-planned vegan diet is suitable for all stages of life.


Despite dietary restrictions, vegans have a wide array of delicious and nutritious foods they can eat. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, plant-based proteins, healthy fats and fortified foods provide ample nutrition. The key for vegans is eating a diverse diet with whole foods and being mindful of key nutrients that may need special attention like vitamin B12, iron, calcium and omega-3s. With appropriate meal planning, vegans can enjoy satisfying, healthy diets.

Leave a Comment