Fruits are one of the healthiest foods but what if most of your diet included apples, oranges, pears, mangos, and bananas? That’s what the fruit only diet is about. Besides fresh fruits, you can also eat a moderate amount of other foods like vegetables, nuts, and seeds. This diet swaps out certain foods like grains, beans, and tubers (e.g. potatoes, beets). There are different ways you can do this diet. They include only eating fruits that have dropped to the ground, or not eating seeds. The main similarity of all these features is the diet highlights plant-based foods like vegetarian/vegan diets but the difference is this time fruits are front and center.
Like other diets, there are benefits and drawbacks of the fruitarian diet. On one hand, you can get the many benefits of eating fruits like Vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. These nutrients are important for overall health and the body’s different systems. So, if you’re eating lots of different fruits, you’ll be getting lots of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. On the other hand, one possible drawback is it will be tougher to get other nutrients like protein, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. That’s because you’ll be eating mostly fruits.
What’s the Fruit Only Diet?
The name might be a little confusing. The fruitarian diet is actually a version of vegetarianism. The main difference is the main food is fruit. You’re also allowed to eat a moderate amount of other plant foods like vegetables.
However, the main source of food is raw fruits. You can eat other types like dried fruit. However, you’ll have to avoid other varieties like frozen and canned fruit. It’s probably for the best anyway since these varieties have fewer nutrients than raw fruits.
Besides eating mostly fresh fruit you can also eat other foods while on the all-fruit diet. They include ones like most vegetables, nuts, and seeds. You can also eat dried fruit, which is another healthy variety of fruits but higher-calorie.
Certain foods are limited or forbidden following this diet. You can’t eat any animal products including meat, eggs, and milk.
There are other kinds of foods that you can eat a small limited amount of or must avoid totally. They include beans, grains, and root crops. Another food you have to avoid is cooked food, which includes cooked fruit.
There’s also some leeway about how you follow this diet. For example, some fruitarians only eat picked fruit while others only eat fruit that’s dropped to the ground. Another version of the all-fruit diet avoids seeds since they could grow to become plants.
As always, it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting this diet. That’s because he/she can determine whether it’s a safe option for you. This takes into account factors like any prescription meds you’re taking Another important issue is any health conditions you have, which could cause issues since this is a very restrictive diet.
Fun Fact: Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs was a fruitarian for part of his life. There’s some debate about whether or not his diet was related to developing pancreatic cancer.
Benefits of Fruit-only Diet
Like a vegetarian/vegan diet there are certain benefits you can experience including the following:
1. Vitamin C
Fun Fact: One guava contains 140% of the recommended daily value (DV). There are lots of other fruits that are high in Vitamin C including:
Vitamin C provides several benefits. It helps to boost your immune system and keep teeth/gums healthy. While you can get this vitamin from supplements food is always the best source.
These include berries, prunes, and plums. Antioxidants are important for skin health and fighting off illnesses and disease. Antioxidants work by keeping away something called “free radicals.” They can attack healthy cells and cause damage.
In recent years scientists have been conducting more studies about antioxidants. It’s an important nutrient for preventing sicknesses before they start. For example, if you eat high-antioxidant foods you’ll be less likely to get sick from illnesses like colds/flu. This is due to a stronger immune system.
This nutrient can provide several benefits. They include better digestion and lower cholesterol. Here are some fruits that are high in fiber:
Studies show that 95% of Americans don’t get enough dietary fiber. The Standard American Diet (SAD) has become an issue throughout the world as many countries now consume high amounts of processed food.
One X-factor to consider is other high-fiber plant-based foods have been limited in this diet. They include grains and beans. So, the main source of fiber will be fruits and some veggies.
Here’s another important nutrient you can get from fruits. Some of the best sources include melons, bananas, and mangos. Bananas are one of the most available high-potassium fruits. Potassium is helpful in regulating fluid balance and lowering blood pressure. Potatoes are another source but they’re limited or eliminated in the fruit-only diet.
Possible Risks of All-Fruit Diet
1. Good Fat
There are many animal-based sources of good fat including milk, eggs, and meat. Fatty fish, in particular, is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids. Since this is a vegan diet you can’t eat such fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines.
You’ll have some options while on this diet including:
- Chia seeds
- Dark chocolate (non-dairy)
The main issue is since fruits are the main food in this diet it will be tougher to get enough healthy fat since you’ll be eating mostly fruit. It will be less of a problem if you like foods like guacamole and coconut milk.
Dairy is one of the best sources of calcium like milk, cheese, and yogurt. In this diet, you’ll have to go with plant-based foods like green leafy veggies, soy/tofu, and nuts/seeds. Since this diet is heavy on fruits it will be tougher to get all the calcium you need.
Some of the top sources of protein are eliminated or limited in this diet. Since it’s a vegan diet you’re not permitted to eat any animal products including meat, dairy, and eggs.
Beans and peas are good plant-based sources of protein. However, they’re greatly limited with the fruitarian diet since it maximizes fruit and minimizes veggies. The bottom line is it’s tougher to get enough protein following the all-fruit diet.
4. Vitamin Bs
Many of the good sources of the Vitamin Bs are eliminated in the fruitarian diet. They include:
- Brown rice
The good news is some foods high in Vitamin Bs are allowed in this diet. They include fruits, nuts/seeds, and green leafy veggies.
There’s an X-factor to keep in mind. The B-Vitamins actually consist of several different ones. So, it will be tougher to get enough of all Vitamin Bs although it’s possible with the fruit only diet.