A Rainbow of Nourishment

Here is a handy list of the essential vitamins and minerals we need and which raw foods contain them.

Vitamin A (as Beta-Carotene)
Carrots, kale, spinach, leafy greens, pumpkin, collard greens, watermelon, cantaloupe melon, apricot, mango, papaya, pear, broccoli, winter squash, sweet potato.

pumpkinVitamin B1 – Thiamine
Romain lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, watermelon, carrots, pineapple, oranges, Swiss chard, collard greens, sesame seeds, grapes, sunflower seeds, sprouted lentils, green peas, yellow corn, asparagus, crimini mushrooms, aubergine, Brussels spouts, cabbage, summer squash, cauliflower

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin
Bananas, Swiss chard, spinach, romaine lettuce, collard greens, kale, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, persimmons, crimini mushrooms, broccoli, green beans, cabbage, Brussels sprouts.

Vitamin B3 – Niacin
Avocados, dates, tomatoes, leafy greens, carrots, collard greens, spinach, raspberries, Swiss chard, kale, cantaloupe, broccoli, sweet potatoes, asparagus, nuts, legumes, mushrooms, sprouted whole grains, crimini mushrooms, green peas, summer squash.

garden-peasVitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid
Avocados, strawberries, tomato, collard greens, Swiss chard, sprouted whole grains, broccoli, sunflower seeds, crimini mushrooms, yellow corn, cauliflower.

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine
Dragon fruit, bananas, avocados, spinach, bell pepper, turnip greens, celery, kale, collard greens, watermelon, tomato, cantaloupe, flax seeds, pineapple, grapes, garlic, cauliflower, mustard greens, cabbage, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, summer squash, onions.

Vitamin B7 – Biotin
Swiss chard, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, raspberries, strawberries, sprouted legumes, cabbage, cauliflower, walnuts, onions.

tomatoesVitamin B9 – Folate
Leafy greens, spinach, turnip greens, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, parsley, collard greens, kelp, avocado, papaya, oranges, flax seeds, asparagus, green peas, sunflower seeds, broccoli, cauliflower, beats, sprouted lentils, Brussels sprouts, summer squash, cabbage, corn.

Vitamin B12
There is a lot of conflicting information online about the availability of B12 from sea vegetables, barley grass and other plant sources. Scientific research shows that plant-sourced B12 is not bio-available to humans and therefore cannot be relied on. Eating unwashed organic produce or relying on your own gut bacteria to produce enough B12 is equally a bad idea. Studies consistently show that vegans who do not supplement with vitamin B12 are at risk for severe and irreversible damage. There is no “raw” vitamin B12 supplement that I know of, but this is one concession you should make as a vegan.

Vitamin C
Red pepper, parsley, guava, kiwi, goji berry, lychee, papaya, strawberry, orange, lemon, cantaloupe, leafy greens, grapefruit, raspberry, tangerine, passion fruit, spinach, lime, mango, blackberry, honeydew melon, cranberry, blueberry, pineapple, grape, apricot, plum, watermelon, banana, carrot, cherry, peach, apple, pear, lettuce, cucumber, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, cabbage (green), tomato, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, snow peas, asparagus.

brocolliVitamin D
Vitamin D is not a concern if you live in a warm climate where you get out in the sunshine regularly. It’s not a concern during the summer months further away from the Equator, although Vitamin D levels can become low during winter months in colder climates. For a raw food vegan living in Chicago, it would be a good idea to supplement with vitamin D from November through March.

Vitamin E
Avocado, spinach, leafy greens, blueberries, papaya, bell peppers, kiwifruit, coconut, tomatoes, carrots, raw almond butter, sunflower seeds, almonds, asparagus, hazelnuts, sprouted whole grains, olives, cold-pressed olive oil, broccoli, corn.

Vitamin K
Leafy greens, parsley, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, avocado, kiwifuit, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts.

Sesame seeds, oranges, figs, collard greens, kale, spinach, dandelion greens, young Thai coconuts, celery, turnip greens, mustard greens, parsley, sprouted chick peas (garbanzo beans), raw hummus, flax seeds, sea vegetables (kelp, wakame and hijiki), almonds, sprouted quinoa, broccoli, cauliflower, almond milk.

Cacao (Sunfood brand), leafy greens, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, sesame seeds, sprouted lentils, pumpkin seeds, spices (oregano, thyme, cinnamon), shiitake mushrooms, green beans, broccoli, olives, sprouted quinoa, green peas, beets.

Cacao (Sunfood brand), leafy greens, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, parsley, sesame seeds, turnip greens, cucumber, celery, flax seeds, nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, mustard greens, summer squash, broccoli, almonds, green beans, sprouted quinoa, sprouted buckwheat, green peas, cashews.

Pineapple, spinach, flax seeds, clove, cinnamon, romaine lettuce, collard greens, sesame seeds, raspberries, turnip greens, Swiss chard, kale, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, figs, carrots, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, sprouted lentils, sunflower seeds, garlic, summer squash, green beans, broccoli, beets, green peas, sprouted quinoa.

Sprouted whole grains, pine nuts, sprouted chickpeas, garlic, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, filberts, pistachios, hickory, pecans, walnuts, almonds, sprouted lentils

Many fruit and vegetable sources of phosphorus contain a “storage form” of the mineral as phytic acid. Humans lack the phytase enzymes that release phosphate, so the bioavailability from plants is reduced. Probiotic bacteria in the intestines produce phytases, the enzymes that help release phosphate. Sprouting nuts and seeds as well as consuming nutritional yeast with plant foods can increase the bioavailability of phosphorus as well.

Most people get their iodine from iodized table salt or vitamin supplements. I have found that the best natural source of iodine is found in sea vegetables such as kelp and dulse. Use kelp in salads, add kelp powder to smoothies and sprinkle dulse flakes over salads or “sushi” nori rolls. Just one tablespoon of dulse contains 173% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of iodine! One-fourth cup of kelp contains around 276% RDA and one cup of strawberries contains about 8%.

Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, mushrooms (crimini, shiitake and some varieties of portobello).

Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, apples, spinach, onions, sprouted whole grains, nuts, green beans, broccoli.