All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

A

  • Vitamin A in Fruits, Vegetables and Seaweed

    Estimated mean requirement and safe level of intake for vitamin A, in Retinol Equivalents (RE) (1 RE = 1 mcg. of retinolor 6 mcg. of beta-carotene):

    • Adolescents, 10–18 years: 330–400 (mcg RE/day, mean requirement), 600 (mcg RE/day, recommended safe intake)
    • Adult females, 19–65 years: 270 (mcg RE/day, mean requirement), 500 (mcg RE/day, recommended safe intake)
    • Adult females, 65+ years: 300 (mcg RE/day, mean requirement), 600 (mcg RE/day, recommended safe intake)
    • Males: 300 (mcg RE/day, mean requirement), 600 (mcg RE/day, recommended safe intake)

    Food sources, examples (RE per 100 grams).

    Fresh fruits and raw and cooked fruit vegetables:

    • Mango - 523
    • Apricots - 260 (dry - 730)
    • Cantaloup 322
    • Squash, cooked 714
    • Red pepper, raw - 580

    Root (tubers) and green vegetables, flowers:

    • Carrots, raw - 2574
    • Sweet potato, cooked - 2180
    • Dandelion, raw - 1400
    • Spinach, raw - 674

    Seaweed:

    • Spirulina - 28333
    • Nori - 4895
  • Indicator of Vitamin A Deficiency Night Blindness

    The most frequently occurring clinical indicator ofvitamin A deficiency is night-blindness, which is the earliest manifestation of xerophthalmia. 

    In its mild form it is generally noticeable after stress from a bright light that bleaches the rhodopsin (visual purple) found in the retina. Vitamin A deficiency prolongs the time to regenerate rhodopsin, and thus delays adaptation time in dark environments.

    Night-blind young children tend to stumble when going from bright to dimly-lit areas and they, as well as night-blind mothers, tend to remain inactive at dusk and at night.

  • Vitamin A from Common Plant Sources and Rare Fruits

    Provitamin A carotenoids are found in green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach, amaranth, and young leaves from various sources), yellow vegetables (e.g. pumpkins, squash, and carrots), and yellow and orange non-citrus fruits (e.g. mangoes, apricots, and papayas).

    Red palm oil produced in several countries worldwide is especially rich in provitamin A.

    Some other indigenous plants also may be unusually rich sources of provitamin A: 

    • palm fruit known in Brazil as burití, found in areas along the Amazon River (as well as elsewhere in Latin America), 
    • fruit known as gac in Viet Nam (used to colour rice). 
  • All Known Essential Vitamins

    Vitamins are a group of substances that are needed for normal cell function, growth, and development. There are 13 essential vitamins:

    • Vitamin A (retinol, retinal, 4 carotenoids)
    • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
    • Vitamin D (D3 - Cholecalciferol, D2 - Ergocalciferol)
    • Vitamin E (tocopherols, tocotrienols)
    • Vitamin K (phylloquinone, menaquinones)
    • Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
    • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
    • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
    • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
    • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine)
    • Vitamin B7 (biotin)
    • Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
    • Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)

    Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body's fatty tissue: vitamins A, D, E, K

    Water-soluble vitamins - the body must use almost all water-soluble vitamins right away - vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and C.
    Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the liver for many years.

  • Vitamin A

    Retinoids retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid - 3 active forms of vitamin A - "preformed" vitamin A.

    Beta carotene can easily be converted to vitamin A by the human body. 

    Large amounts of supplemental vitamin A (but not beta carotene) can be harmful to bones.

    Vitamin A keeps tissues and skin healthy, plays an important role in bone growth. Diets rich in the carotenoids alpha carotene and lycopene seem to lower lung cancer risk. Carotenoids act as antioxidants. Foods rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against cataracts. Essential for vision lycopene may lower prostate cancer risk.

    Recommended daily amount: 700 mcg - 900 mcg or 3 mg - 6 mg beta-carotene (~ 1 cup of raw cantaloupe or sweet red peppers, or 2 mangoes, or 1/5 of one baked sweet potato). 

    Because the body converts all dietary sources of vitamin A into retinol, 1 mcg of physiologically available retinol is equivalent to the following amounts from dietary sources: 1 mcg of retinol, 12 mcg of beta-carotene, and 24 mcg of alpha-carotene or beta-cryptoxanthin. From dietary supplements, the body converts 2 mcg of beta-carotene to 1 mcg of retinol.

  • Carotenoids

    Carotenoids are a class of more than 750 pigments synthesized by plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria. These richly colored molecules are the sources of the yellow, orange, and red colors of many plants. Fruit and vegetables provide most of the 40 to 50 carotenoid phytonutrients found in the human diet.

    The most common carotenoids in North American diets are α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene. 

    Provitamin A carotenoids - α-carotene, β-carotene, and β-cryptoxanthin - can be converted by the body to retinol (vitamin A), but not lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene. 

    Dietary lutein and zeaxanthin help maintain optimal visual function - they absorb damaging blue light that enters the eye.

    The results of observational studies suggest that diets high in carotenoid-rich fruit and vegetables are associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. But high-dose β-carotene supplements did not

  • Beta-Carotene Supplements and Cancer

    Plant foods have an important preventive influence in a population at high risk for lung cancer. However, persons who use beta-carotene supplements do not benefit from the protective compounds in plant foods.

Franz Kafka

Now I can look at you in peace; I don't eat you any more.

Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score

The protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) has been adopted by FAO/WHO as the preferred method for the measurement of the protein value in human nutrition. 

PDCAAS = Amino Acid Score x Digestibility

The method is based on comparison of the concentration of the first limiting essential amino acid in the test protein with the concentration of that amino acid in a reference (scoring) pattern. This scoring pattern is derived from the essential amino acid requirements of the preschool-age child.

Although the principle of the PDCAAS method has been widely accepted, critical questions have been raised in the scientific community:

  1. the validity of the preschool-age child amino acid requirement values (more than 4 times greater than the EAA requirement for an adult),
  2. the validity of correction for fecal instead of ileal digestibility,
  3. the truncation of PDCAAS values to 100%.

The reference scoring pattern was based on studies performed more than 25 years ago on a limited number of 2-year-old children recovering from malnutrition.

According to the current official recommendations, a 2-year old child needs ~ 3x higher essential-to-non-essential amino acid ratio, and needs essential amino acids in different proportions than adult. Methionine/cysteine is the limiting essential amino acids for adults, and for children it is lysine or tryptophan.

The use of fecal digestibility overestimates the nutritional value of a protein because amino acid nitrogen entering the colon is lost for protein synthesis in the body and is, at least in part, excreted in urine as ammonia.

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