Here is a list of healthy foods that start with E, (the letter E), and are good foods to begin eating and healthy for us. You’ll also find some interesting facts and all the nutritional benefits that come from each one. (You can find a list of snacks at Snacks that Start with E)
These healthy foods beginning with E, are ones you can gain benefits from and start eating today! Let’s get started!
(By the way, you can find a list of just the vegetables at Vegetables that Start with E. Or, you can find the list of Fruits that Start With E. We also have them both combined in the Fruits and Vegetables That Start With E)
- Healthy Foods that Start with E
Healthy Foods that Start with E
The first of the foods that start with E, eggplants are known as aubergines, and belong to the nightshade plant family. Eggplant is usually thought of to be a vegetable, but is actually a fruit! (I didn’t know that!). Eggplants can be red, green or black, but the most common you have probably seen is deep purple.
- Eggplants are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
- They are also high in antioxidants, which are very good for us and can even help fight chronic diseases.
- The purple color of eggplants comes from the anthocyanins, a pigment that’s an antioxidant.
- Eggplants have been found to possibly improve the heart by lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in animals.
- Eggplants might help with weight loss since they are low in calories and high in fiber, which helps us to feel fuller.
- Eggplants have a compound called SRG that is found in nightshade plants, which might help to fight cancer.
See more: Eggplant health benefits
How to Eat Eggplant
- Eggplant can be cut into round pieces or strips and baked.
- They can be added to curries.
- It can be cooked and then mashed into a dip. Baba Ghanoush uses mashed eggplant.
- They can be roasted in the oven with olive oil on top.
- Eggplant can be used in place of noodles in lasagna.
- It can be stir-fried.
- Eggplant can be placed on pizza.
- Baba Ghanoush
- Eggplant Parmesan
This is a food that begins with the letter E, which you may not have ever heard of. I know I hadn’t for quite some time until after I was plant-based.
Edamame is an immature soybean still in the pod. And they are popular in Asia. They are starting to gain some popularity in the West, mainly as a snack. The first time I had them was at a Japanese restaurant.
You can get edamame still inside the shell, which you break open to eat, much like a peanut from a peanut shell. Or, you can get them shelled and outside of the pod, so they can be eaten directly.
They are green and taste very much like a bean. To me, they are very similar to a lima bean or an oval-shaped green pea.
You can get them frozen in America, and heat them when needed. Some people add salt and eat them as a snack, or you can put them in soups, salads, or stews.
Health Benefits of Edamame
- High in protein
- May lower cholesterol and help with the heart.
- High in Vitamins and Minerals. The highest being: 78% of folate, 51% of manganese and 33% of vitamin K. Folate levels are much higher than regular soybeans.
- May reduce Menopausal symptoms in some women
- Studies have shown soy may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 30% in men
- Some studies have found that the isoflavones in soy or edamame may increase bone density or prevent bone loss in middle age or older women.
For more: Health Benefits of Edamame
How to Eat Edamame
Edamame can be popped out of the shell and eaten as a snack. Or it can be added to salads, soups, or stews.
Enchiladas originated in Mexico. The act of rolling tortillas around other food goes back to the Aztecs. It was common in the Lake Region to eat corn tortillas wrapped around fish.
Tortillas may have even been initially used as an edible spoon or plate. When the Spanish arrived in Mexico, they noted that enchiladas were eaten everywhere.
We love our vegetarian enchiladas for dinner. They allow you to get plenty of beans into your diet, which is super healthy for you. Along with healthy spices, and plenty of vegetables. We use corn tortillas instead of wheat in order to make them gluten-free and even healthier.
Vegetarian Enchiladas Recipe
Enjoy this Vegetarian Enchiladas Recipe
Next on the list of foods beginning with E, we have Endive. Endive is a leafy green vegetable with a slightly bitter taste. It originated in Belgium and you see it a lot in salads.
Interestingly enough, it’s grown under the soil in dark rooms like mushrooms, in order to preserve its flavor.
Benefits of Endive
- Rich in fiber and supports digestion
- High in several antioxidants including quercetin, myricetin and kaempferol. (All of which I don’t know how to pronounce)
- Rich in Vitamin K. Half a cup gives 72% of your vitamin K needs.
- It may help with bone strength. Vitamin K helps with bone strength.
- Animal studies show endive may protect liver function.
- Great for weight loss since it’s high in fiber and low in calories.
- Prevent cancer. The powerful flavonoid kaempferol has been shown to inhibit cancers. It creates cell death in tumors.
- High in potassium and folate, both of which help with heart health.
- Supports good vision by being high in Vitamin A.
- Supports healthy pregnancy with high folate levels.
How to Eat Endive
The most popular way is to slice it up and add it to salads. They can also be used to hold appetizers, or they can be used with dips. It can also be baked, braised, sautéed, or stir-fried.
Here’s an endive recipe for Lemony Seared Endives.
That next food that begins with E on the list, Escarole is closely related to endive and is actually from the same family. (See the post Escarole vs. Endive to learn more) That taste is slightly less bitter though.
Benefits of Escarole
- High in fiber
- High in vitamin A, C, calcium and iron
How to Eat Escarole
You would eat escarole just like endive. Most commonly it would be put into salads.
This is one of my favorites. And surprisingly, I never knew this before. The earthnut is the same name as the well-known peanut!
Benefits of Earthnuts
- High in plant-based protein
- High in healthy fats. Peanuts are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
- Good for the heart. These healthy fats can lower cholesterol and reduce heart risks.
- High in fiber
- Maintain a healthy weight. Studies have found that consuming peanuts lowered the risk of weight gain with age.
- Help blood sugar levels. Peanuts have a low glycemic index.
Ways to Eat Earthnuts
Earthnuts can be eaten raw, straight out of the shell. They can also be boiled and eaten out of the shell in the same way, but given a saltier flavor. Another common way is peanut butter.
And this I might say is my favorite, that I try to eat almost daily. It is very convenient, tastes good, and is good for you. This is also a great option for kids as well. Just make sure to get a kind that is loaded with sugar and other additives.
Another option is eating trail mix, which usually has earthnuts in it. Finally, you can buy earth nuts in a package already removed from the shells and ready to eat.
Next on the list of foods beginning with E, is the English Walnut. The English Walnut is also known as the Persian Walnut, in contrast to the Black Walnut. The English Walnut is the edible kind that we commonly eat.
English Walnut Health Benefits
Walnuts are powerhouses of nutrition. The University of California, Davis actually has an annual walnut conference discussing all the latest health benefits.
- High in Omega-3s. A lot of people in modern diets don’t get enough Omega-3s, which are very good for our health. Walnuts have more omega-3s than any other nut. (See my other sources of Omega-3s at How I Get Plant-Based Omega-3s!)
- Reduces inflammation. The polyphenols in walnuts reduce inflammation. As well as the Omega-3s, magnesium and arginine.
- High in antioxidants. Walnuts have higher antioxidant levels than any other popular nut.
- Reduced risk of cancers. Studies have shown that walnuts may reduce certain cancers.
- Helps manage weight. Walnuts have been found to decrease appetite and hunger in overweight persons. They also had increased brain activity in the region that helped them to resist tempting foods.
- Help with diabetes. Diabetes patients who consumed walnut oil saw a lowering of blood sugar levels.
- Improves gut health. Those consuming walnuts had an increase in good bacteria found in the gut.
- May improve blood pressure. Some studies have shown that walnuts might be successful in lowering blood pressure levels.
- Improved brain health. Test-tube studies have shown a decrease in inflammation in the brain from walnuts. Also, mice with Alzheimer’s saw significant improvement after eating walnuts over a period of time. Finally, there have been links to walnuts and improved brain processing and memory.
- Improves reproductive health in males. Males eating walnuts saw improvements in sperm quality and other measurements.
- Lowers cholesterol. Those eating walnuts saw an improvement in cholesterol levels.
As you can see, there are tons of health benefits to eating walnuts. More details on Walnut health benefits.
How to Eat English Walnuts
Walnuts can be sprinkled on salads or oatmeal. They can also be crushed and added to baked goods or bread. You can put them on sandwiches or wraps. They can be added to trail mixes. And there’s even a walnut oil if you would like to use that as a salad dressing.
Ezekiel Bread is probably the healthiest bread you can find. It’s generally not processed as most other conventional bread are that are sold in the stores. It also is not packed with preservatives.
Because of this you only find it in the frozen section of your grocery store, and then keep it in the refrigerator when you are using it.
Ezekiel bread contains seven different grains, all found from a verse in Ezekiel in the Bible. Also, the grains are sprouted, making them absorbed and digested by your system more easily.
And what also makes Ezekiel bread great is that it doesn’t use any flour as conventional bread does. This flour is what spikes your blood sugar levels so high when you eat store-bought bread. It has a high glycemic index value. But Ezekiel bread does not do this, and it has a much lower GI value.
Another on the list of foods beginning with the letter E you should eat, one you may not have heard of, is elderberry. Elderberry is several different variants of the Sambucus tree.
It’s a plant flowering plant in the Adoxaceae family. The berries are very tart and need to be cooked to be eaten. The flowers of the elderberry are also edible and good for the health.
Elderberry is a medicinal plant, and one of the most used in the world. In history, it was used by the Egyptians for their skin and to heal burns. Native Americans also used it to treat infections. In modern times it’s used to treat cold and flu symptoms.
Health Benefits of Elderberry
- High in nutrients. 100 grams of berries give 60% RDI of Vitamin C
- High in antioxidants. One study looking at 15 different types of berries and another study looking at different wines, found elderberry to be one of the most effective antioxidants. One study found that one hour after drinking elderberry juice, participants had higher antioxidant levels. Bear in mind that the processing of elderberries into juices or heating may reduce antioxidant levels.
- Reduce inflammation. A study in rats found elderberry reduced inflammation and oxidative tissue damage.
- Help with cold and flu symptoms. Elderberry extract has been shown to reduce the length of influenza and colds and to reduce symptoms.
- May improve heart health. Studies have shown elderberry juice to decrease fat in the blood and reduce cholesterol. Other studies have shown a positive effect on blood sugar levels.
- Have phenolic acids. These are powerful antioxidants.
- Has flavanols. They contain the antioxidant flavanols quercetin, isorhamnetin and kaempferol. The flowers contain up to 10 times more flavanols than the berries.
- High in anthocyanins. This is the antioxidant that gives the elderberries their dark purple color.
- Fights cancer. Test tube studies have shown some elderberries to have cancer-fighting properties.
- May improve symptoms of sinusitis and bronchitis. Elderberries have been shown to prevent bacteria growth.
- Might help with depression. Rats given elderberry extract showed increased performance and mood indicators.
- Improve the immune system. Elderberry polyphenols increased the number of white blood cells in rats.
Ways to Eat Elderberry
You can’t usually find elderberries in supermarkets, since demand is very low. You might be lucky to find some growing in the wild, but be cautious and smart and consult with an expert before consuming anything you find. Some species are toxic before they are ripe. Only pick them after they are dark-colored, plump, and soft. Here are some ways to eat elderberry.
- Elderberry Pie
- Elderberry Jam and Jelly
- Elderberry Syrup
- Elderberry Wine
- The elderberry flowers can be eaten raw or put into teas.
Here’s a recipe for Homemade Elderberry Syrup. Should you happen to have some elderberries to use.
Echinacea is a group of flowers in the daisy family. They’re found in North America and Europe. It’s been used by Native Americans for centuries for healing purposes. It’s also called the purple coneflower and is used now as an herb to treat colds and the flu, as well as inflammation and pain.
Benefits of Echinacea
- Tons of antioxidants. Not only is echinacea high in antioxidants, but it also contains compounds called alkamides, which improve antioxidant activity.
- Boosts the immune system. Studies have shown that echinacea may help the body to fight viruses and infection by boosting the immune system. A review of 14 studies showed that it helped lower the risk of catching colds by 50% and shortens the cold duration.
- May lower blood sugar levels. Test tube studies have shown echinacea to lower blood sugar levels.
- Reduce anxiety. Studies have shown echinacea to have a positive effect on feelings of anxiety in both humans and rats.
- Reduce inflammation. Studies have shown that echinacea was able to reduce excess inflammation.
- Prevent cancer. In test-tube studies, echinacea was found to prevent cancer cell growth or even kill cancer cells.
Ways to Eat Echinacea
Echinacea is commonly made into echinacea tea. Because of its strong flavor, it’s commonly mixed with lemongrass or mint. You can also find it in tablet forms, as well as capsules, liquids and gummies.
The next on the list of foods that start with E is the Evergreen Huckleberry. The Evergreen Huckleberry is s plant with berries and leaves that can be eaten. It looks very similar to the previous elderberry fruit.
They are found in the Northwest United States and were historically consumed by Native American tribes. The berries are a deep blue or purple color. Evergreen Huckleberries are very good and people would often travel great distances for them.
The Evergreen Huckleberry fruit is usually eaten by itself, made into jam, or cooked with.
Evergreen Huckleberry Benefits
- Both the Evergreen Huckleberry fruit and leaves are high in Vitamin A, B and C
- The leaves lower blood sugar levels. Huckleberry leaf tea may be good for diabetes as it decreases blood sugar levels.
- The leaves contain quinic acid which helps inhibit uric acid formation and good for gout
- Evergreen Huckleberry tea helps with glycosuria and hyperglycemia
- High in antioxidants
- Help with blood circulation
- Have antiseptic and astringent properties that might help urinary problems
How to Eat Evergreen Huckleberry
The Evergreen Huckleberry berries are sweet and tasty and can be eaten by themselves. They can also be used in making jams, preserves, or pies. The leaves are used in making tea.
Evergreen Huckleberry Recipes
You can find some Huckleberry Pie recipes below
Here are some other Evergreen Huckleberry recipes:
You may not have considered espresso in a list of healthy foods to eat. But espresso, like coffee, is packed with Whole Food Plant-Based Diet benefits! Most people only drink coffee or espresso for the caffeine pick-me-up, but the health benefits are great as well. Remember, it is a plant-based food.
Benefits of Espresso
- High in antioxidants. For most Americans, the majority of their antioxidants come from coffee! Espresso contains polyphenols which help fight disease. It also contains hydrocinnamic acids which neutralize free radicals we pick up from air pollution and the environment.
- Lowers the risk of stroke. A study found that the more espresso that was drunk by female patients, the lower the risk of stroke.
- Reduce the risk of diabetes
- Boosts energy and concentration
- Helps memory. Espresso has been shown to boost the retention of information and improve the recall of that information from memory.
Ways to Drink Espresso
If you’re going to drink espresso, don’t overdo it as it does have caffeine. Try to consume espresso with as little to no sugar and cream as possible, which can be unhealthy when consumed in excess and can add calories.
The Egg Fruit is the common term used for Canistels, which are native to Southern Mexico. Egg fruits are fruits found in subtropical or tropical climates. They are an orange-yellow color and bulb-like shape.
They are called Egg Fruit because their outside is yellow colored like egg yolk and their inside texture resembles that of a hard-boiled egg yolk. They are grown mainly in Central America, Southern Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Benefits of Egg Fruit
- Helps vision and the immune system. Egg fruits are high in Vitamin A from the pigment in the flesh.
- Helps bone strength. They are high in calcium and phosphorous.
- Contains iron
How to Eat Egg Fruit
Egg fruits can be eaten by themselves as a fruit, or with salt or lemon juice added. They can be put on salads or spread on toast. The Egg Fruit can be used in dishes as a sugar substitute, due to its sweet nature.
It can also be blended with almond milk or oak milk to make a plant-based smoothie or vegan eggnog.
Enset (Ensete) or Ethiopian Banana
The enset, or ensete ventricosum, is not well known in the Western world. You may never even encounter the enset, unless you are in Ethiopia or another African country. The enset might even make the list of world superfoods in the coming years.
It is a crop that is a staple in the Ethiopian diet but is only found domesticated there. It does grow in other African countries, but it grows wild, only having been domesticated at this time in Ethiopia.
It is sometimes called the ‘False Banana‘ since it resembles the banana tree very closely. Unlink the banana though, the fruit is not edible.
The enset is a root vegetable, and the fruit of the tree is actually not edible, since it is full of seeds. It is the starchy root part that is eaten as enset. It is known for being extremely durable against drought, and it also yields more than other cereal crops, acre for acre.
Enset is being called the “Tree against hunger” and DNA is being developed to make it a more domesticated crop. One reason enset is called this is that it can be harvested year-round. The enset is usually made into a porridge or bread to be eaten.
- High in potassium, calcium and iron
- High yield of the crop
- Durable against drought
Elephant Garlic is a food that starts with E. It’s is in the onion family and usually confused with regular garlic. But the reason it’s called Elephant Garlic is that it is much bigger than regular garlic.
Also, Elephant Garlic does not have as strong of a flavor as regular garlic and is easier for most to eat raw. It has a sweeter flavor that is more closely related to the onion, which is why it can be eaten raw.
Elephant Garlic contains allicin, which makes regular garlic so health beneficial. It also contains some sulfur compounds which are found in onions and leeks but are not found in regular garlic. Because of this, Elephant Garlic is actually more closely related to onions than to garlic.
Elephant Garlic Benefits
- It may have anticancer properties Study
- Contains vitamins A, B, C, and E
- Contains allicin which has antioxidant and antibacterial properties
- Contains flavonoids
- Has minerals
- Effective against colds, flu, Candida yeast and stomach viruses
- Allicin lowers blood pressure
- Also lowers triglycerides and insulin levels
- Protects against colon cancer
A much lesser-known food beginning with E is the Elephant Apple. The Elephant Apple is a common name for the Chalta, which grows mostly in Southeast Asia and India.
It’s called the Elephant Apple since in the wild it is commonly consumed by elephants, as well as other wildlife.
The collection of the Elephant Apple from the main areas of the forest is not allowed, since it is a food for the animals. Its sale commercially is also not allowed in order to prevent the harvesting of the fruit from the animals.
The fruit is large, roundish and a green-yellow color.
How to Eat Elephant Apple
Elephant Apple fruit is commonly used to flavor foods and cuisines. It’s also made into jams, curries, pickled, and put in juices. Some consume them raw.
It has a sour taste like a green apple and a pleasant smell. It’s also said to have a flavor like garlic or onion to it as well. The Elephant Apple is also mixed with spices and coconut to make chutneys.
Benefits of Elephant Apple
- High in vitamin B, C, E and potassium.
- Contains antioxidants
- Anticancer properties
- High in phytochemicals and flavonoids
- Mood and memory enhancing
- Detoxifies the body
- Good for the kidneys. Ancient Indian researchers touted it as being a medicine for kidney problems.
- Tannin helps with stomach issues.
- Potassium helps to lower blood pressure.
- Vitamin A helps with eyesight.
Another of the foods that start with E, is the Emu Apple. The Emu Apple fruit is found in Australia in the Outback woodlands. The tree that bears the fruit is a small to medium-sized tree that can grow 3-10 meters high.
The tree produces a small and edible ball-shaped fruit of only about 2-4 cm, about the size of a golf ball or nectarine, with a large seed in the center.
The color of the Emu Apple is a reddish-purple with lighter specks.
How to Eat Emu Apple
Emu Apple is usually eaten raw and can be also cooked. The taste is like that of a sour plum. The best thing to do is to allow it to ripen for a couple of days after it falls from the tree. Some people even recommend burying it for a couple of days.
Benefits of Emu Apple
- High in Vitamin C
Elephant Foot Yam
The Elephant Foot Yam probably has the most unique and strange name of all the foods that start with e. The Elephant Foot Yam is grown in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, as well as in Africa in Madagascar. The Elephant Foot Yam is also called Suran or Ol and is found in Indian dishes.
The Elephant Foot Yam is a tuber or root vegetable and it is commonly mashed or fried and added to curries. It can also be fried to make chips.
Also, the Elephant Foot Yam stems and leaves are sometimes fried and eaten as well. In the Philippines, the Elephant Foot Yam is known as pongapong and the leaves and stems are eaten as well.
Elephant Foot Yams can be packed with nutrition. Let’s look at some of the Elephant Foot Yam benefits below.
Elephant Foot Yam Benefits
- Cheap source of carbohydrates. The Elephant Foot Yam is a staple in many cultures and provides a lot of nutrition and a plant-based food at a cheap cost. The Elephant Foot Yam also contains some protein.
- Contains vitamins and minerals
- Provides magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium, phosphorous and selenium
- Provides antioxidants
- High in fiber
- Helps with weight loss due to high fiber content
- Helps with digestive issues such as constipation and cramps. Sometimes Elephant Foot Yam is used in laxatives.
- Very sustainable and grows very easily, even in harsh conditions
- Reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) due to phytosterols and is a heart healthy food
- Raises good cholesterol levels
- Helps with hormones in females. Boosts estrogen production and contains B6 to help with menopause.
- Reduces blood pressure and hypertension
- Helps blood flow by reducing vein blockage
- Anti-coagulant and may help prevent heart attacks and stroke
- Increases red blood cell production
- Improves the immune system
- Reduces inflammation
- Detoxifies the body including the liver, stomach and intestines.
- Used in India to treat tumors, arthritis, fatigue and more.
- Helps with memory
- High fiber content helps to prevent colon cancer
- Good for the skin. The antioxidants help to promote skin health.
- Used in the treatment of hemorrhoids due to helping with constipation.
- Elephant Foot Yam seeds can be crushed to relieve toothache.
It’s also great that these vegetables in India are also used as a meat substitute. This is great since a Plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat.
You can find more about the Elephant Foot Yam in these related posts:
- Elephant Foot Yam (Suran, Jimikand, Elephant Yam, Indian Yam Vegetable)
- 13 Things to Know About Elephant Foot Yam (Suran, Jimikand, Elephant Yam)
The final fruit that starts with E, the Entawak fruit is also called the mentawa. The Entawak grows in tropical climates such as Indonesia. It is distantly related to the jack fruit.
Entawak is a yellow or brown round fruit, usually about 3-4 inches. The taste of the inside is sweet in flavor and tastes like squash or pumpkin. Also, just like a pumpkin, the seeds can be roasted and eaten.
- Contains vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber
- Entawak seeds are high in riboflavin and thiamin
- May have anticancer benefits
- Detoxifies the body
How to Eat Entawak
Entawak is usually eaten raw. The seeds can be roasted and then eaten.
Much like the Emu Apple, the Emu Berry is also native to Australia. The Emu Berry is a tiny berry, two-lobed berry with a sweet taste.
It grows on a shrub that is between 1-3 meters tall.
How to Eat Emu Berry
The emu berry has a nice taste. It can be boiled to make drinks. The entire plant is boiled by the natives and used for medicinal purposes.
Benefits of Emu Berry
Emu Berry is used in many ways by the natives dating back many years.
- High in Calcium
- High in Iron
- High in Fiber
- Contains some Vitamin C
- Eating the entire plant is known to help with diarrhea, scabies, fatigue, headache and boils.
- The entire plant is boiled in order to help with colds
- Antiulcer properties
- Helps with pain
On the list of foods that start with E is one that is very uncommon. The Earthnut Pea (Lathyrus tuberosus), also called the Tuberous Pea, was more popular as a tuber in ancient times.
It is not common but is found today in Middle Europe. Also, it may be consumed still in Turkey as well. They are said to taste fantastic when boiled.
Earthnut Pea Benefits
- High in Vitamin C
- High in Calcium
Here’s the list of great foods starting with the letter E that you can begin eating for better health! I’ve certainly learned a lot in putting this together and hopefully you’ve discovered a lot of new foods you’ve never heard of before.
Are any of these ones you like to eat? Have there been any that could be added? Comment below!
17 Healthy Foods that Start with E (Plant-Based)
- Enchiladas Vegetarian
- English Walnut
- Ezekiel Bread
- Evergreen Huckleberry
- Egg Fruit
- Enset Ensete or Ethiopian Banana
- Elephant Garlic
- Elephant Apple
- Emu Apple
- Elephant Foot Yam
- Emu Berry
- Earthnut Pea
Lance has been passionate about the plant-based diet and we have been following a whole food plant-based diet for over 5 years. We focus on health, natural healing, weight management, animal rights, and the health of the planet and environment by focusing on whole plant-based foods and sustainable practices.
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