The 30 Vegan Whole Foods Highest in Sodium


Sodium (Na) makes up half of typical table salt (chemical formula NaCl).

Sodium comes up all the time when it comes to health issues, because most people get too much of it. Few people suffer from a sodium deficiency.

Currently, research points to links between a high sodium intake and:

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Cardiac damage
  • Increased risk of stomach cancer
  • Negative effect on calcium and bone metabolism.

That’s why the recommended amount of sodium per day comes with both a lower limit and an upper limit.

For adults, the upper limit is 2300 mg per day.

It’s really hard to exceed that if you’re only eating vegan whole foods.

But it becomes a lot easier when you start eating processed foods and adding a lot of table or sea salt to all your meals. It’s fine to have some, but you should pay attention to your intake.

Vegan Foods Highest in Sodium

I’ve collected the foods with the highest sodium per serving from the USDA’s food database.

FoodServingEnergy (kcal)Sodium (mg)
Swiss chard10 leafs911022
Rice1 cup205604
Spinach1 bunch78269
Artichoke1 large76152
Olive5 small19118
Melon0.5 melon18090
Beets1 beet4477
Seaweed (dried)1 tbsp2073
Sweet potato1 potato11272
Water spinach1 cup1163
White potato1 large25559
Celery1 stalk951
Carrot1 large3050
Bok choy1 cup946
Lotus root1 root8546
Lettuce (red leaf)0.5 head2039
Brussels sprouts1 cup5633
Cauliflower1 cup2732
Rapini5 stalks2131
Broccoli1 cup3130
Chicory root1 root4330
Cassava0.5 root32629
Lima beans1 cup20929
Vital wheat gluten100 g37029
Zucchini1 large5526
Soybeans1 cup25425
Kale2 cup1522
Turnip greens1 cup1822
Corn1 ear12321
Coconut meat0.25 coconut35120

None of them are particularly high in sodium other than swiss chard (although that’s a generous serving size).

This really illustrates that even if you only ate the vegan whole foods that are highest in sodium, it’s tough to go over the upper limit for a day.

If you’re looking to reduce your sodium intake, I’d recommend to do it by reducing any salt you add yourself and how many high sodium processed foods you eat.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

Add comment