I have always assumed that we need to eat plenty of leafy greens for the minerals, and that eating a strict fruitarian diet is very dangerous.
According to cronomoter however, I could meet all my mineral needs on a fruit-only diet. Here is a sample 2500 calorie diet:
For calcium, 800 mg is plenty. For sodium, anything over 100mg is more than enough, and for selenium and zinc, leafy greens would not contribute that much anyway. Everything else is over 100%
What am I missing here? Is there some important mineral that is not listed here? Could it be that strict fruitarians usually don't eat enough fruit to meet their mineral needs?
I recently read "Improving on Pritikin" and it seems that it can be potentially hazardous to eat too many leafy greens (along with grains and tubers) because eating excessive calcareous minerals hardens your arteries/tissues and accelerates aging.
Should I be restricting greens to avoid excessive mineralization? Do I need to eat greens at all?
I agree that chlorophyll may have many health promoting benefits, but it is not an essential nutrient. In other words, the body does not need chlorophyll to survive.
I'm trying to understand which essential nutrients are lacking in fruits. If strict fruitarianism is "dangerous," what vitamin/mineral deficiency (if any) leads to serious illness or death.
"What am I missing here? Is there some important mineral that is not listed here? Could it be that strict fruitarians usually don't eat enough fruit to meet their mineral needs?"
That's what I have suspected.
"I recently read "Improving on Pritikin" and it seems that it can be potentially hazardous to eat too many leafy greens (along with grains and tubers) because eating excessive calcareous minerals hardens your arteries/tissues and accelerates aging. "
I've never heard that before. Were any studies cited to prove this?
The reason that I see time and time again for eating greens is mainly for sodium. There have been a few members on here that tried the fruit only thing with ample calories and they ran into hyponatremia (sodium deficiency) problems. If you're able to get enough sodium thanks to melons (not watermelon) or young coconut water instead (which I see is what you have done) then I suspect it probably is possible.
I agree that sodium is probably the main problem for strict fruitarians. Without the coconut water, I would only get 45 mg of sodium. They have found people who eat as little as 69mg a day to be deficiency free (can't remember where I saw this stat). Also, most cases of sodium deficiency I have heard about resulted from drinking to much water (due to exercise, etc.), not from eating too little sodium.
Unfortunately, there have been very few studies about minimum sodium requirements, and it seems to vary a lot based on water consumption and exercise levels.
Also the symptoms of hyponatrema (sodium deficiency) are clearly marked with dizzyness and muscle cramps (which I used to experience frequently in Bikram Yoga). If we are sodium deficient, our body will tell us.
If sodium is the main mineral that we need from greens, I would much rather drink coconut water or eat tomatoes, celery than eat a whole head of lettuce. Intuitively, my body does not want to eat something that is bland or tasteless--the only way I can trick my body into liking it is by adding fruity dressings on top (much like what we do with grains and meat to make them palatable) or mixing them in with smoothies.
I think we are sensitive to the sodium content of food so that we will intuitively pick the raw foods that are higher in sodium. I would intuitively pick coconut water over lettuce.
Doug Graham recommends 2-5% of calories from greens in his book, but he never explains where he got these percentages (I have looked many times). I think this recommendation partly comes out of fear of dying from strict fruitarianism. The only fruitarian death I have heard about though is the baby (9 months) who was fed a fruitarian diet (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1542293.stm)--a 9 month baby should be nourished primarily by mother's milk, not fruit. Are there any healthy adult fruitarians (who eat enough calories) who have had health issues?
In "Improving on Pritikin", he does cite a number of studies (this does not prove anything however). If you type "Improving on Pritikin" into google, you will find a PDF version of the book.
Heart disease is caused by two factors--plaque build up in the arteries (atherosclerosis) and mineral build-up in the arteries (arteriosclerosis). The first comes from cholesterol and saturated fat (as we all know), and the second comes from consuming excessive calcareous mineral. People that live on grains /tubers and other high mineral foods (poor countries) tend to have hardened arteries, whereas people that live on meat, etc. tend to have clogged arteries.
This is a great topic and is really interesting me as of late. I am not craving greens and my intuition is leading me to believe we don't need them.
If one chose to not eat greens, what are the key minerals to compensate for? Sodium and calcium? What else?
What are good sources of sodium? Cantaloupe, tomatoes, coconut water, what else? What about calcium? What other than oranges?
Also check out Geoff Atwell http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9nofUv8WMw&context=C328b926ADOE...
He hasn't eaten vegetables since December 2009 (and he hasn't eaten overt fats since November 2008). He mentions avoiding "lettuce opium" in greens (not exactly sure what it is yet). From a little research of mine it appears he consumes a lot of high water fruit like cantaloupe with little supplemental water. I love watery fruit and find his diet appealing; but I don't know all the science behind not eating greens and what foods I should be eating exactly in order to compensate for a lack of them. He will be speaking at the Woodstock Fruit Festival this year about his diet and I'm sure it'll be juicy.
greens as i see it are for healing and restricting hungers when calorie restricting
Where do you get the information about calcium from? Sounds downright wrong to me...
Greens provide alkaline compunds with less acidic ones than fruits. Furthermore, they contain saponins, catechins and flavonoids that help disinfect and clear the mucous membranes of the digestive tract from residues and waste products. They have great ALA-LA-ratios, too.
You don't need to restrict greens, if you're eating "normal" amounts (0,2-1kg/d). Doug Graham states that he knows of a lot of strict fruitarians whose health suffers greatly long-term. He thinks that beside fruits greens are essential for health promoting human nutrition.
Yeah I've felt the same way about greens for awhile now. I haven't had them recently and have felt fine so long as I eat enough. I feel that if we live in a healthy environment that doesn't drain us and cause malabsorption issues and where we get enough energy from other sources (air, sunshine, things we don't even know about, walking barefoot) and have access to a variety and quality of fruit, then we would be able to strive on fruits only. Unfortunately few people have access to that so I think that greens help people get in enough stuff that would be drained too quickly due to different things taking a toll on our bodies on a regular basis.
Danny, can you please give us the reference about that we can only absorb 200mg calcium a day? This sound really strange to me.
Also, why do you think you don't need enough zink and selenium just because "leafy greens would not contribute that much anyway."? This sounds also very strange to me. As for zink you need at least 6 mg and 34mcg selenium as a minimum as a mean value at the end of the month.
I look forward to the reference.
I got the 200mg figure from this article...
That number might be innacurate (I changed my original post), but, regardless, the 850mg of calcium in my sample should definitely be adequate.
In regards to zinc and selenium, what I am saying is that fruit can provide those minerals just as well (or better) than leafy greens. A head of green leaf lettuce will provide 2.2 mcg of selenium, and 0.6 mg of zinc. Even if I eat three heads of lettuce this will only bring me marginally closer to your 6mg zinc and 34 mcg selenium targets.
Indeed, you can obtain a lot of nutrients from fruits that you can get from vegetables. But everyone doesn't get local, tree ripened, coconuts etc etc all year around that have a full amounts of minerals in them. Even if you did get that, there's still not a guarantee that you absorb all the nutrients if you've come from history of a detrimental lifestyle. And what about all the other nutrients as omega 3 and 6? Extra protein when body building? Thousands of phytonutritents? And all the other nutrients that the researcher haven't found yet, but are discovering new ones almost every year. If you want to build muscle (as everyone wants to do here!), the extra protein from the leafy greens are only beneficial. Selenium are rarely present in todays soil so eating a brazil nut or 1-4 times a month can be necessarily for some or just eat more organic greens. Also what about stress in our everyday lifes? Not everyone lives in Eden.
There's a great risk taken if not having greens in your diet. Our goal is to succeed in the long term on this lifestyle and having vegetables are obligatory for most and shouldn't be neglected. There's cucumber, zuccini and other fruit-vegetables that's great to consume and leafy tender greens can be eaten as snacks or a big meal. This is not needed to be consumed every day and even recommended to avoid at the beginning until the digestive tract have restored it's function again.
Also, even if you eat greens or not, a regular checkup with a blood test to see if there's something you need to add or remove.
If you want to succeed in the long term, eat your vegetables. In time you will find them good as they are and don't need to add fruits to make them palatable.
Wait... what about omega3's ??
How do you get yours?
And i think greens have anti-cancer properties
that fruits dont have, or not as much i mean.
Fruits have plenty of omega-3's (especially fruits like mango). My sample diet above provides 0.8g of omega-3's and 1.8g of omega-6's. Moreover, this is a healthy 1:2 ratio.