Fruits for Vegans will help you to find out which fruits are safe for vegans to eat. It also tells you which fruits are best for vegans we can eat in large quantities. many fruits that are ideal for vegans. These fruits include persimmon, camu camu and luma. None of these fruits are very popular in North America. In fact, there are several plants that are not suitable for a vegan diet because they contain some products that come from animal sources. These products include honey, royal jelly and silkworms.
FRUIT FOR A NUTRITIOUS VEGAN DIET
Fruit is a staple food group for a nutritious vegan diet. Sometimes the health benefits of fruit are up for discussion. Messages about the sugar content of fruit and the need to limit fruit in the diet are sometimes debated. Learn how to include more fruit in your vegan diet.
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WHAT IS FRUIT?
When talking about fruit as a food group, it’s understood to mean a plant that is often sweet and usually fleshy, edible for humans. The botanical definition of fruit is a seed-bearing structure of a plant . Whereas vegetables are any other part of a plant that don’t contain the seed (ex. stems, roots etc.).
We never use the botanical definition of fruit in the culinary or nutrition world because it includes any plant that humans eat, which has seeds in it. So technically, tomatoes, squash, pumpkin, bell peppers and many other vegetables are botanically fruits. Grains are also seeds, as are legumes. So while all these foods could be classified as fruits, we keep food separated based on nutritional value and use in culinary applications rather than the true botanical meaning of the word.
For the purpose of defining a food group, it’s often aimed at grouping together nutritionally similar foods. This is the use of the word fruit that this article (and everything else written on this site) uses.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF FRUITS
There’s plenty quality evidence that suggests fruit is a nutritious and beneficial part of balanced diets.
Research suggests that eating a variety of fruit is beneficial for preventing disease. This is thought to be due to a range of antioxidants, polyphenols and phytochemicals present in different types of fruit.
Eating fruit has been linked to decreased risk of many diseases including heart disease stroke , some types of cancer (prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer in smokers and colon cancer), type 2 diabetes, inflammation, erectile dysfunction, dementia, mental health disorders, metabolic syndrome and all-cause mortality.
All nutrition research has limitations, so it can’t be definitively said that eating fruit prevents these diseases. However, research shows a lower risk of these diseases with increasing fruit consumption. Research on fruit and disease is strongest for heart disease. When it comes to cancer, the research is quite mixed between showing fruit as beneficial vs fruit being neutral (not harmful, but not beneficial).
Therefore, research clearly suggests that fruit can be included as part of a balanced diet.
NUTRITION CONTENT OF FRUIT
Each type of fruit provides varying levels of these nutrients. Different antioxidants are also present in each variety and color of fruit, so eating a range of colorful fruits likely provides the greatest nutritional benefit.
Many people do not get enough of these nutrients in their daily diet and would benefit from more whole fruits to boost intake.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF FRUIT VS THE SUGAR CONTENT
Fruit contains varying amounts naturally occurring sugar. For this reason, many people demonize fruit as being unhealthy or separate fruit into high vs low sugar lists, with the intention of avoiding high sugar fruits. However, the health benefits of fruit outweigh the sugar content, even for the fruits that are higher in sugar.
Fruit is so much more than just sugar. The other nutrients present are important for human health and are often lacking in standard Western diets (which typically lack fruit and vegetable intake).
Cutting out fruit for fear of sugar means you may not meet intake requirements for the nutrients above. It also limits the variety of antioxidants found in fruit from your diet. Antioxidants are important for fighting diseases and are found in whole plant foods, especially colorful fruits and vegetables.
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO EAT FRUIT AS A VEGAN
Most vegans I know don’t struggle to consume enough fruit; however some do. Getting in a variety of fruit increases the variety of antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds in the diet. This could be beneficial for health since it’s not really known which specific plant compounds are working to keep us healthy.
Much of the nutrients found in fruit are also found in vegetables. That’s why, traditionally, fruits and vegetables are grouped together into one food group. However, by separating them we can put focus on the importance of getting both fruit and vegetables into a balanced diet.
The other reason to include fruits in a balanced vegan diet is for taste! Fruits are sweet and palatable which makes them easy to enjoy. They are great to add to meals to enhance flavor and make for a great starting point for a tasty dessert.
LIST OF FRUITS TO INCLUDE ON A VEGAN DIET
People often ask for a list of foods to include in their diet. The reality is that any food can be included in an overall balanced diet. When it comes to selecting fruit, the only rule is that you need to enjoy the taste!
Any and all fruits can fit into a healthy diet. Choose what you like and aim for variety if you can. Some favourites include:
- Apples, pears and grapes
- Citrus (oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, pomelo, mandarins etc.)
- Stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, cherries)
- Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, currants etc.)
- Tropical (bananas, mangoes, papayas, pineapple, coconut, kiwi, passion fruit, guava, lychees, rambutan, star fruit, pitaya (aka dragon fruit), jackfruit etc.)
- Melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew etc.)
HOW TO INCLUDE MORE FRUIT INTO YOUR VEGAN DIET
Adding fruit into your vegan diet is hopefully a fun goal. If you already eat a couple of servings per day, you may not need to add any more. It’s important to not focus too much on any one food group and aim to get in a balance of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices!
If you struggle to include fruit in your vegan diet, here are my top tips:
- Buy frozen: Fresh fruit can be expensive (especially in the winter) and this can be a huge barrier for people. Buying frozen fruit provides about the same nutritional benefit so stock up when there is a sale! Great in oatmeal, smoothies or as a cold snack.
- Get snacking: A piece of whole fruit can be a quick, easy and convenient snack! Add nuts and/ or seeds to make it more filling.
- Try a new fruit each month: Since variety is fantastic, broaden your horizons and try a new fruit every month. There are tons of options at most grocery stores, farmers markets and Asian/ International grocery stores!
- Have dessert: Fruit on its own can be a great dessert option but fruit is also a fantastic starting ingredient for making an even tastier dessert. Try baking apples, mashing up strawberries, making avocado pudding or a fruit crisp! Fruit salad is another choice.
- Add fruit to salads and soups: Fruit can be a great way to add a bit of sweetness to a soup or salad recipe. While that may sound weird, the sweetness can actually round out the flavors of other ingredients and make for a tastier dish.
A Guide to Temperate & Tropical Fruit
Fruit can add so much to a vegan diet. It’s well worth your time to explore as many varieties as possible. You’ll get a nice nutrition boost while enjoying uniquely delicious flavors. With so many kinds of fruit available, you always have something new to try. So let’s explore some possibilities that are too good to neglect.
Common Varieties of Fruit
The first thing you should know about fruits is that the variety grown in colder climates is entirely different than what you can find in the tropics.
Here are the most common fruits grown in temperate climates, in roughly the order they come into season:
- Peaches, Plums, and Nectarines
- Raspberries and Blackberries
Fruits rarely disappoint, but temperate tree fruit—especially peaches, nectarines, and apricots—is potentially sublime. Unfortunately, you’ll never be able to purchase the transcendent stuff at a supermarket, since it must be picked perfectly ripe. An outing to an orchard or farmers’ market offers your only chance to experience these fruits in their Platonic ideal. It’s always worth the trip. A summer without a bite of tree-ripe fruit is a summer wasted.
Additionally, you’ll never find sour cherries (often referred to as cooking cherries) at any sort of market. Their flesh is just too fragile too ship, but that same flesh makes them uniquely succulent. And their color has a psychedelic glow. You can pretty much only find sour cherries at you-pick orchards, and they’re well worth seeking out.
Moving on, here are some of the most popular tropical fruits:
The above list of tropical fruits only scratches the surface of what’s available, since several of the most delicious tropical fruits can’t withstand shipping and are rarely exported. These include starfruit, soursops, egg fruit, and jackfruit. What’s more, the bananas, pineapples, and mangoes sold in the tropics are far tastier than the exported varieties.
If you love fruit, the tropics are an incomparable place to live. Since the weather remains relatively constant near equator regardless of the time of year, a wide variety of fruit never goes out of season.
A good mango has my vote as being the tastiest of all tropical fruits, but the deliciousness depends on the variety—of which there are dozens. Smaller long and thin orange or yellow mangoes like the Ataulfo are among the most consistently tasty mangoes. Be sure to avoid Tommy Atkins mangoes, which rank in quality alongside the godawful Red Delicious apple.
While most tree-grown fruits are sweet, two notable and delicious exceptions are avocados and breadfruit.
Avocados thrive in both tropical and mildly temperate climates. They come in numerous varieties. Hass avocados are widely available and I think by far the tastiest variety. You can find avocados in nearly every country, since Mexico exports them to every part of the world. If you often find yourself disappointed by the avocados you cut open, don’t miss our guide to selecting perfect avocados.
Breadfruit has a flavor and texture like potatoes and it is magnificent sliced and sauteed with some garlic. Unfortunately, breadfruit bruises easily and rots quickly, so it’s rarely exported. In many parts of the tropics, breadfruit sells for practically nothing since the trees yield a massive amount of fruit.
Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant are all nightshades—a family of savory fruits that grow on poisonous vines. Italian cooking relies heavily on nightshades. Farmers plant nightshades in the spring, as soon after the first frost as possible, and they die in autumn with the first frost. Every sort of nightshade is delicious when combined into an Italian sauce.
Eggplant is also a staple of Middle Eastern cooking, and is the key ingredient for a classic dish called baba ghanouj. Made traditionally in a wood-fired oven, the baked eggplant gains a smoky flavor and a wonderfully rich texture.
When shopping for produce, remember that smaller varieties of a given fruit or beery tend to have more complex and intense flavors. That goes for bananas, tomatoes, blueberries, and especially strawberries. Larger fruits may seem more eye-catching, but often their size seems to dilute their flavor.
The first rule of buying fruit is to avoid the terrible mass-market varieties, specifically red delicious apples, Tommy Atkins mangoes, and Cavendish bananas—all of which are dreadful. If you can, find out where your fruit was grown. Anything trucked in from thousands of kilometers away is generally devoid of flavor and low quality.
Ripeness is Key
When it comes to taking the most pleasure from food, one of the very best skills to have is to reliably know when a fruit is at its peak of ripeness. You’ll get better at telling by look and by touch, but for most fruits smell is the fail-proof indicator. Since every fruit starts out as a flower, it’s no surprise that many fruits are naturally fragrant. In fact, often the best way to judge the ripeness of your fruit is not by sight but by smell. For peaches and cantaloupes in particular, smell tells you everything about whether the fruit has reached peak ripe-fullness.
Many other fruits, particularly cherries, are best judged by appearance. A plump beautiful cherry invariably delivers one of the great flavors of spring. That said, looks can mislead. You’ll often encounter gorgeous, flawless-looking fruits that are practically tasteless.
For other fruits, scent and texture are the two best ways of discerning ripeness.
Know Your Seasons
You’ll get the most delicious and the cheapest fruit if you buy at peak of season. Strawberries come to market in the spring. In early summer cherries are the first tree fruit to ripen. By mid-summer, peaches, plums, and nectarines reach peak of season, along with raspberries and blackberries.
In early autumn, blueberries start coming in. The further north (or south, in the southern hemisphere), the later the blueberries ripen and the better they’ll taste. The fruit season closes out in late autumn with apples and persimmons. Persimmons may be the most delicious fruit of all—when perfectly ripe their flesh has a texture like pudding.
No fruit comes into season during the winter, but you can get freshly-picked apples and persimmons through late fall. Since apples can hold up well in cold storage for a couple months, they’re probably the best fresh fruit to eat over the winter. By the time spring rolls around, you should switch from apples to freshly-harvested spring produce.
If you’re in the tropics and have mountains nearby, you can have simultaneous access to the best of both worlds when it comes to fruit. You get the full assortment of tropical fruits from the lowlands, plus delicious temperate fruits from the chilly, higher elevations.
A 100 Percent Vegan Grocery List for a Plant-Based Diet
Those who aren’t already onboard with Vegan Atlantic may still have heard the in-flight announcements of eager passengers — the lifestyle can promote personal and environmental health, as well as the welfare of the lil’ piggies and cows.
And with an overwhelming range of meat alternatives on offer, with even some major fast-food giants getting involved, more noobs than ever are getting involved with a plant-based patty when they eat out.
However, we can’t eat burgers everyday (plant burgers are still burgers — I know it’s easier to pretend otherwise). Being vegan at home can be hard, and stocking the parlor with sustainable products that never saw an udder or chicken coop is a mission.
Even those not on the veganism quest themselves may have a bae or BFF to cater for.
Let us be the Q to your Bond and make this mission much easier for you. But instead of exploding bubble gum or whatever, we’ll send you into the kitchen branding sheer willpower and flaxseed.
The good news is that you’ll still be scooping your regular vegetables, fruits, and grains from the shelves. This is about leaving the yogurt, eggs, and chicken sausage at the store. We know it can be a wrench. But if you’re going to commit, commit. I don’t see no ring on this finger.
Grab your sustainable grocery bags, because we’re going shopping, vegetabuddies.
The bulk: Plant protein for pros
Contrary to popular (and annoying) opinion, it isn’t hard to get enough protein on a vegan diet. Plus, these proteins are generally much leaner than your average hamburger, so you’ll get the protein without the extra gunk.
Nuts and seeds
- brazil Nuts
- hemp seeds
- macadamia nuts
- pine nuts
- pumpkin seeds
- sesame seeds
- sunflower seeds
- tahini (sesame seed butter)
Beans and legumes
- adzuki beans
- black beans
- black-eyed peas
- fava beans
- kidney beans
- lima beans
- mung beans
- navy beans
- pinto beans
- split peas
- string beans
- white beans
- wheat protein (seitan)
- soy, rice, hemp, or pea protein powders
Against the grain: Cereals and all that
All grains are fair game on a vegan diet, but complex carbohydrates are better sources of energyTrusted Source and even help improve gut health.Trusted Source
People should try to stick with whole-grain, fiber-rich options instead of refined flours. Plus, they can help you poop with a smile on your face by bulking out crapsTrusted Source like a real hero. They don’t all wear capes.
- oats and oat bran
- rice (white and brown)
- wheat berries
- white flour
- whole-wheat flour
Eat your greens: Veggie mayhem
I mean, duh. There shouldn’t really be any restrictions on vegetables on an average vegan diet. You thought you’d escape that easily?
Veggies supply that poop-enhancing fiber with aplomb, as well as rounding out the balance of vitamins and minerals with some kick-ass antioxidants. Up yours, oxidants.
- acorn squash
- artichoke hearts
- brussels sprouts
- spaghetti squash
- tomatoes (we know it’s technically a fruit but it plays an excellent vegetable)
- bok choy
- collard greens
- Swiss chard
- butternut squash
- sweet potato
Nature’s candy: Fruitful purchases
Like vegetables, fresh fruits are one of the main pillars of a vegan diet. Try making a fruit salad without fruit or salad and see how far you get.
Some varieties, like mangos and grapes, are higher in fructose than, say, berries. Fructose is a natural sugar in fruits that can stand in for Musketeer bars when you have a craving.
However, unless you’re really trying to watch your sugar intake, the natural kind in fresh fruit shouldn’t pose too many problems.