Fruitarianism

Fruitarianism is the practice endorsed by a very small number of people called fruitarians or fructarians of following a diet that comprises fruits, nuts and seeds, without animal products, vegetables and grains.

Some people whose diet is not 100% fruit consider themselves fruitarian if their diet is 75% or more fruit.

Fruitarian definition of fruit
Commonly the term "fruit" is used when referring to plant fruits that are sweet, fleshy and contain seeds within the plant fruit (for example, plums, apples, and oranges). However, there are other foods that are not typically considered to be fruits in a culinary sense but are botanically, such as berries, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, nuts and grains.

Fruitarians use differing definitions of what is considered a "fruit." For example, Herbert M. Shelton, a founder of Orthopathy, included non-fleshy fruits, such as nuts, within the definition of fruit.

Definition of fruitarian
Some fruitarians will eat only what falls (or would fall) naturally from a plant; that is: foods that can be harvested without killing the plant. These foods consist primarily of culinary fruits, nuts, and seeds. According to author Adam Gollner, some fruitarians eat only fallen fruit. Some do not eat grains, believing it is unnatural to do so,[= and some fruitarians feel that it is improper for humans to eat seeds as they contain future plants, or nuts and seeds, or any foods besides juicy fruits. Others believe they should eat only plants that spread seeds when the plant is eaten. Others eat seeds and some cooked foods. Some fruitarians use the botanical definitions of fruits and consume pulses, such as many beans and peas or legumes, or pulses and legumes. Still further definitions include raw fruits, dried fruits, nuts, honey and olive oil, or fruits, nuts, beans and chocolate.

Motivation
Some fruitarians believe fruitarianism was the original diet of humankind in the form of Adam and Eve based on Genesis 1:29. They believe that a return to an Eden-like paradise will require simple living and a holistic approach to health and diet. Some fruitarians wish, like Jainists to avoid killing anything, including plants, and refer to Ahimsa fruitarianism. Some fruitarians say that eating some types of fruit does the parent plant a favor and that fleshy fruit has evolved to be eaten by animals, to achieve seed dispersal.

Scientific studies
Dental studies
In 1979, Professor Alan Walker, a Johns Hopkins University paleoanthropologist reported that preliminary studies of unmarked tooth enamel in early hominoids suggested that pre-human ancestors apparently had a diet of mostly fruit. Walker said, "I don't want to make too much of this yet. But it is quite a surprise."

Clinical studies
In 1971, a short-term study by B. J. Meyer was published in the South Africa Medical Journal describing how lipid profiles and glucose tolerances improved on a particular fruitarian diet. An earlier 1971 study by Meyer tested a 45 year old teacher who claimed she had eaten only fruits for the past 12 years, who was found to be in "excellent health". In a further trial in the study, body weights of overweight subjects showed a tendency to "level off" at the "'theoretically ideal' weight".

Nutritional concerns
Nutritional deficiencies
As a very extreme vegan diet, fruitarianism is highly restrictive, making nutritional adequacy almost impossible. The Health Promotion Program at Columbia University reports that a fruitarian diet can cause deficiencies in calcium, protein, iron, zinc, vitamin D, most B vitamins (especially B12), and essential fatty acids. Additionally, the Health Promotion Program at Columbia reports that food restrictions in general may lead to hunger, cravings, food obsessions, social disruptions and social isolation.

Vitamin 12
Vitamin B12, a bacterial product, is not found in any fruits. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health "natural food sources of vitamin B12 are limited to foods that come from animals." Like raw vegans who do not consume B12-fortified foods (certain plant milks and breakfast cereals, for example), fruitarians may need to include a B12 supplement in their diet.

Growth & development issues
In children, growth and development are at risk. Nutritional problems include severe protein energy malnutrition, anaemia and a wide range of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Several children have died as the result of being fed fruitarian diets. As a result, children have been taken from parents feeding them fruitarian diets.

Lifestyle difficulties
Lack of protein in fleshy fruit can make the lifestyle difficult to sustain, and can lead to the condition of hypoproteinemia or kwashiorkor. Nuts (if included) are a good source of protein. Due to the lower digestibility of plant proteins, however, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) states "protein needs might be higher than the RDA (when) dietary protein sources are mainly those that are less well digested, such as some cereals and legumes."

Advocates
Some notable advocates of fruitarianism, diets which may be considered fruitarian or lifestyles that, in part, included an all fruit diet have included August Engelhardt, Arnold Ehret, Raymond W. Bernard, Anne Osborne, and Essie Honiball, adhered to a fruitarian diet for some time. Others such as Ross Horne and Viktoras Kulvinskas appeared to only describe the fruitarian diet. Some, like Johnny Lovewisdom, experimented with different diets, including juicy fruitarianism, liquidarianism (juices only), vitarianism (fruit, vegetables, raw dairy) and breatharianism. Others like author Morris Krok, allegedly recommended against the diet once they stopped, with dietary practices of fruitarians being as varied as definitions of the term 'fruitarianism'. Diet author, Joe Alexander lived for 56 days on juicy fruits.

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