Plant-based diet increasingly becomes a new trend for today. There are many food list for plant-based diet in Indonesia. Especially for vegetables which are easy to find every day with cheaper compared to meat price.  Many experts and scientists predict that the consumption of vegetables will increase gradually.  Can Indonesia finally reach the recommendation from WHO for ideal vegetable consumption.? In Fact, based on the data, nowadays the consumption of vegetables in Indonesia is far below the WHO recommendation.

What Is Plant-Based Diet?

A plant-based diet according to Dr. Monique Telo, the nutritionist and regular contributor at the Harvard Health Blog is, consuming mostly fruits and vegetables, including beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. Plant based diet is not to avoid eating meat, fish, milk, eggs. This method focuses more on the daily consumption of plant products.  However, it is true that plant-based diets still prefer consuming fresh or near-fresh foods, not preserved or processed food.

What Are The Reasons Plant-Based Diets Are Becoming A Future Trend?

In a study conducted by EJ Lea, D Crawford, and A Worsley, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the reasons people choose to do a plant-based diet are several factors, namely: healthier lifestyle, have a better quality of life, saving money, help the environment, till the moral reason to decrease hunger in the third world. Krista Linares the founder of, mentions the reason peoples choose a plant-based diet. People are worried about the impact of global warming, so they choose foods that are more environmentally friendly. They consider food sources from plants to be more environmentally friendly.

After the covid19 pandemic, the issue of urgency to improve health and immunity will remain. This has further strengthened the views of experts before the pandemic regarding the trend of plant-based diets in the future. It seems the main reason is more towards the benefit of this method to strengthen the body’s immunity.

plant based diet
Illustration: Food safety during covid19 pandemic

The Benefits Of Plant-Based Diet

Better Body Weight Management

People on plant-based diets tend to have lower body mass index (BMI) and lower rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. A 2018 study found that plant-based diets have been shown to be effective in treating obesity. The group of people who did a plant-based diet had a lower body mass index than the other groups.

Decrease The Risk of Some Diseases

A study by several researchers states that plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of incident cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular disease mortality, and all-cause mortality in a general population of middle-aged adults.

Furthermore, the American Heart Association also states that the application of a plant-based diet can also reduce the risk of several diseases such as heart disease, stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and cancers.

How is The Consumption of Vegetables And Fruits In Indonesia?

The amount of daily consumption of vegetables and fruit in Indonesia according to WHO recommendations are 400 grams per person per day. This figure includes 250 grams of vegetables and 150 grams of fruit. The Indonesian Central Bureau of Statistics conducted the 2019 National Socio-Economic Survey (Susenas). The survey was conducted in 514 city districts in 34 provinces in Indonesia.

One of the survey topics was the average monthly expenditure of the Indonesian population to buy fruit and vegetables. The release of the survey results states that, nationally, the combined consumption of fruits and vegetables is 209.89 grams per capita a day. Of course, this number is still far from the WHO recommendation.

In order to increase the consumption of vegetable and fruit, Indonesian government launch “ISI PIRINGKU” which mean my plate content in 2018.  The concept of the program was the focus on the consumption of nutritionally balanced food with a variety of various kinds of nutritional intake such as carbohydrates, protein, minerals, and vitamins. As for the recommendation of a portion of the government’s version of “Isi Piringku” is that 50 percent contains vegetables and fruit and the remaining 50 percent is carbohydrates and protein.

Diet Trend And Culinary Trend

What is interesting about this discussion topic is the similarity in direction between government policies and the shift in dietary trends. Especially with the Covid19 pandemic which is still a trend of conversation until now. Gradually everyone will eventually choose a healthier lifestyle.

Many people are increasingly concerned about health, so they change their diet to be healthier. They even have new activities and hobbies by growing vegetables for their own consumption. One proof of this is that the demand for herbal products in Indonesia has increased significantly during the pandemic. One of the commodities that got a big profit. Vegetable and fruit commodities also grew significantly.

plant based diet
Illustration: Growing vegetables in the urban area

Plant-Based Diet And Millennials

The current covid19 pandemic is forcing people to live healthier lives. If it is related to vegetable consumption, they will prefer vegetables that are fresh and free of pesticides.  Either by growing their own vegetables or choosing the products they expect. This is the reason why urban farming will also be one of the trends going forward.

The millennials group will also be one of the drivers of the increasing trend of vegetable consumption in Indonesia. If we look at the population pyramid of Indonesia, in the next few years, millennials will become a big group in Indonesia.

Although shortly before the pandemic, the trend of culture in Indonesia was busy with fast food and some non-vegetable foods, it seems that the pandemic will change this trend. Apart from being forced to choose healthier foods, some millennials will also choose to follow the trend of eating vegetables for global, “environmentally friendly” reasons.

Food List For Plant-Based Diet For People Living In Indonesia

Indonesia is a tropical country rich in vegetables, fruits, and other plant-based food sources. Tubers, beans, and grains are available in traditional and modern markets almost everywhere. So, it is very easy to determine the variations of the list for a plant-based diet.

Because it is a tropical country, a variety of food types will always be available throughout the year. This happens because the production cycle can be done every month. So that Indonesia is actually a place where implementing a plant-based diet is very easy. 


Vegetables are also available throughout the year at relatively cheap prices.  Common vegetables you can find easily in many types in Indonesia are pepper, tomato, cucumber, eggplant, lettuce kangkong, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, yard long bean, French bean, carrot, luffa, bitter gourd, cabbage, shallot, onion, Kailan, and others.

food list for plant based diet4


Indonesia is abundant in tropical fruits.  You can find easily nutritious fruits in Indonesia in many types of banana, mango, avocado, melon, rambutan, jackfruit, mangosteen, oranges, snake fruit, guava, lancium, water apple, star fruit, orange, watermelon, pineapple, soursop, dragon fruit. Many other imported fruit also easy to find, such as apple, strawberry, pear, and others

food list for plant based diet fruits

Root, tuber, and other underground plant

Indonesia also has many types of edible root and underground parts, such as cassava, sweet potato, jicama, some types of Yam, canna, arrowroot, some types of arrowroot, water chestnut, taro, and others


Some common bean you can find easily in Indonesia are peanut, soybean, French bean, red bean, black bean, cashew, green bean, pea, cowpeas, and others


Rice is the most common grain in Indonesia.  Popular as the carbohydrate source.  The grain you can find in Indonesia is rice, red rice, sticky rice, wheat, some types of corn.

Food List For Plant-Based Diet With High Protein

Even though you are doing a plant-based diet, you can choose foods that have a high protein content. In fact, vegetable protein has the advantage that it does not contain cholesterol and is more affordable.

1. Soybeans

In 85 grams of tempeh, there are at least 15 grams of protein. Not only protein, but tempeh also contains vitamins and minerals.

2. Green beans

In 200 grams of green beans, there are about 15 grams of protein. Not only that, green beans also contain fat, carbohydrates, fiber, iron, and folic acid.

3. Red beans

Red beans can also be used as a source of vegetable protein for children. In 90 grams of red beans, there are 7.5 grams of protein. Apart from protein, kidney beans also contain carbohydrates, fats, and fiber.

4. Avocado

Avocado contains many benefits. This green fruit contains a variety of important nutrients, such as good fats, fiber, carbohydrates, and protein. In 140 grams of avocado without skin and seeds, it contains about 3 grams of protein.

5. Corn

Besides having a sweet taste, corn also contains protein, you know. In 100 grams of corn, there are at least 9.5 grams of protein. In addition, corn also contains fat, carbohydrates, and fiber.

6. Broccoli

In 90 grams of broccoli, it contains at least 2.5 grams of protein. In addition, broccoli also contains fiber, carbohydrates, and various minerals.

Food list For Plant-Based Diet With High Calcium

Calcium is a substance that is important for maintaining healthy bones. Calcium also plays an active role to strengthen teeth, launch the body’s metabolism, nourish the heart to prevent the growth of cancer cells. Actually, in general, animal milk is a high source of calcium. 100 grams of milk, contains 125 milligrams of calcium. But it turns out, milk is not the only option for getting calcium. Here are some vegetable sources of calcium.

1. Broccoli

Broccoli is a high source of calcium. At a 128 gram serving, broccoli contains as much as 60 milligrams of calcium.

2. Kailan

Kailan is a green leafy vegetable that is rich in calcium. In 128 grams of cooked kale, the calcium content reaches 179 milligrams. In addition, kale also contains vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

3. Spinach

Apart from being known as a vegetable that is rich in iron, spinach also contains high calcium. Half a glass of spinach (125 ml) contains about 130 milligrams of calcium. Spinach also contains other minerals and vitamins, such as iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

4. Lettuce

Lettuce is also high in calcium and many other good nutrients. In 50 grams of lettuce, there is 19 milligrams of calcium.

5. Chia seeds

Chia seeds are a good source of plant-based calcium. One ounce or two tablespoons of chia seeds contains 179 milligrams of calcium.

Food List For Plant-Based Diet With High Iron

Iron functions in the production of hemoglobin in the body. Hemoglobin, which is a protein in red blood cells, functions to distribute oxygen throughout the body. Without adequate iron intake, the body cannot produce enough hemoglobin, as a result, the body will feel fatigued, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations as symptoms of anemia.

1. Spinach

Spinach ranks top as iron-rich plant foods. Apart from being rich in iron, spinach is also rich in vitamin C which helps the absorption of iron in the body.

2. Red beans

The nutritional content of red beans can be an alternative to meet iron needs. Apart from being a source of iron, kidney beans are also known as a source of fiber, vitamin C, and protein.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is a plant-based source of iron. Apart from being rich in iron, broccoli is also rich in vitamin K, magnesium, and vitamin C which will help increase iron absorption. The antioxidant content in broccoli can also help boost the immune system and prevent premature aging.

4. Soybeans

Soybeans and all food products made from soy, such as tofu, tempeh, tauco, etc., are sources of iron. Apart from iron, soybeans also contain copper which functions to keep the immune system and blood vessels healthy.

5. Potatoes

Better known as a source of carbohydrates. Potatoes are also a food rich in iron. Potatoes are available all year round in Indonesia.

6. Cashews

Cashews are a source of iron. which contains iron. Eating 1 ounce of cashews can meet 10% of daily iron needs. Consumption of cashews can be a snack or combine with oatmeal or vegetables that are nutritious for your body.

7. Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are also rich in iron. In each about 9 grams of sesame seeds, contain 1.3 milligrams of iron. Apart from iron, sesame seeds are also a great source of vitamin E, zinc, and phosphorus.

Future Trend of Vegetable Consumption In Indonesia And Its Correlation With The Food List For Plant-Based Diet

Indonesia, which currently has 265 million people, is a country that has a very large need for vegetables and still needs to increase vegetable consumption nationally.  The factors which we discuss above, low vegetable consumption compared to WHO recommendation, the pandemic, healthier lifestyle, have a better quality of life, saving money, and help the environment

food list for plant based diet

Logically, these factors will encourage increased consumption of vegetables in Indonesia. demand for vegetables will increase. Only vegetables of the highest quality will be accepted by the market. consumers will prefer vegetables whose production is environmentally friendly.

Consumers will prefer vegetables with high nutritional value. Another format is that some consumers will try to meet their own vegetable needs by growing vegetables at home.  The types of vegetables that are able to meet daily nutrition and are free of pesticides will have a great opportunity to become the main choice of consumers who are increasingly concerned about product quality.


  • Lea, Crawford, and Worsley.  2006.  Consumers’ readiness to eat a plant-based diet.  European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2006) 60, 342–351
  • Hyunju Kim et. Al., 2019.  Plant‐Based Diets Are Associated With a Lower Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Disease Mortality, and All‐Cause Mortality in a General Population of Middle‐Aged Adults.  Journal of the American Heart Association, August 20, 2019 Vol 8, Issue 16

Muryanto Paiman

always love to learn from nature.  Passionate on studying plants in some aspects: the DNA, Identification, propagation, and their uses


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