Several studies have concluded that fruits and vegetables are the only foods that can provide mankind the right nutrition they need for long and healthy life. Many believe that fruitarianism or fruit diet is being practiced since the ancient biblical times right when Adam and Eve were created and lived in the Garden of Eden, thus, it is the original diet of mankind.
Fruitarianism or fruit diet for most is a type of diet that includes only fruits, nuts and sometimes, seeds. Therefore no vegetables, animal products and grains are included. Some fruitarians (term called for those practicing fruitarianism) are specific to fruits that fall naturally from its tree because for one, they want to avoid as much as possible killing a plant. There are fruitarians who avoid seeds because they believe that it is unnatural since the seeds make the future of a plant, eating it would prevent the plant from growing. There are many variations of fruitarians but their common denominator is the exclusion of vegetables and animal products in their diet.
Common reasons why people adopt fruit diet
Fruitarians opt for fruit diet for different reasons. The reasons may be for ethical, religious, political, environment, health, cultural and economic considerations. The most common reasons are health and aesthetic. People try fruit diet because they want to be healthy since fruits are regarded as the healthiest food for mankind. Fruit diet is also one of the popular forms of diet for those who want to lose weight to look good.
If you consume more than 75 percent fruits, you are considered a fruitarian.
Nutritional Benefits of Fruit Diet (Pros)
The rising number of artificial, ready-to-eat products and fast food chains has contributed to the increasing health risks among people of all ages. No matter how much they try to advertise that eating foods from fast food chains and preserved products can provide us nutrients and minerals our body needs, the truth is, the nutrients we get from preserved and processed products are not enough. As a result, we develop nutrient deficiencies and diseases we are not supposed to have. This is a result of imbalance nutrients in our body.
Processed foods usually contain salt, fats and sugar which our body needs less than the nutrients we can get from fruits. Unlike processed foods, fruits have less saturated and hydrogenated fats (bad fats), sodium , calories and zero cholesterol but it contain lots of vitamin C, fibre, potassium and folic acid (folate).
Vitamin C – Vitamin C is very important for a strong immune system. This is responsible for the growth and repair of body tissues like when your body heals itself when you get wounded from cuts. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of asthma. Vitamin C also keeps the gums healthy.
Fiber – The right amount of fiber in the body helps eliminate cholesterol in the blood, thus, lowers the risk of developing heart disease. Fiber also helps the body maintain regular bowel movements or digestion to avoid suffering from constipation. What is amazing is the fact that all fruits contain fiber. Fiber is not found only in the juice of the fruit. You will need to eat the whole fruit to get this nutrient.
Potassium – Potassium makes a healthy blood pressure and reduces the chance of developing kidney stones in the kidney. Common fruits rich in potassium are bananas, peaches, prunes, apricots and oranges.
Folic Acid – Folic Acid is very essential for the formation of red blood cells which is needed mostly by pregnant women to keep the baby away from foetal defects. Common fruits containing folic acid are oranges, bananas and peaches.
Protein – You get protein from fruits such as avocado, figs, peanuts and almonds, among others. Proteins are important for the hair, nails, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Fats – Unlike the hydrogenated and saturated fats you get from processed foods, the fats you may get from fruits are good fats that contain fatty acids and vitamins needed by the body. Good fats help your body absorb the right amount of vitamins such as vitamins A, D and E. You get good fats from olives, avocados, nuts and seeds.
Eating fruits prevents our body from developing obesity, diabetes and cancer. But fruits contain less protein and fatty acids than what you may get from other foods.
Deficiencies that may get from Fruit Diet (Cons)
Everything in this world has both pros and cons. Even fruit diet which seems to be the healthiest form of diet also has its disadvantages. But disadvantages in fruit diet occur on a case to case basis. This means that fruit diet can be very applicable to many but not to some.
Some dieticians advise not to practice fruit diet forever but for a reasonable period of time only because it can cause the body nutritional deficiencies in calcium, protein, iron, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin B and fatty acids.
Deficiency in vitamin B, especially B12, is bad for the body since B12 it is very essential in maintaining a healthy nervous system and in the production of blood cells. Unfortunately, B12 is a bacterial product not found in any fruit. It naturally comes from animals. In order to absorb B12, it must bind to a protein, so the protein requirement is very important. Vitamin B12 are found in meat, eggs and dairy products which are all a no-no in the fruit diet. To avoid this deficiency, fruitarians must take supplements.
Fruitarians also have the risk of acquiring eating disorder. They tend to develop food cravings, hunger and food obsessions.
A warning from dieticians for parents is to not allow children to try fruitarian diet. It is important for children, during their formative years, to get the essential nutrients that their body needs to develop and improve.