All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

Leaves and stems of plants, green vegetables or leafy greens, are widely consumed by humans. The protein contents are higher than in fruits, and they contain low amounts of sugar.

Some green vegetables produce secondary metabolites that have bitter or astringent properties and may produce toxic alkaloidal and other compounds such as hemoglutenens. Others produce intestinal enzyme inhibitors, such as lectins, which bind to mucosal surfaces and inhibit digestion, especially that of proteins. 


Plant secondary metabolism produces a large number of specialized compounds (~ 200.000) that do not aid in the growth and development of plants but are required for the plant to survive in its environment. Specialized compounds from secondary metabolism are essential for communicating with other organisms in mutualistic (e.g. attraction of beneficial organisms such as pollinators) or antagonistic interactions (e.g. deterrent against herbivores and pathogens). They further assist in coping with abiotic stress such as increased UV-radiation.

The broad functional spectrum of specialized metabolism is still not fully understood.

Well known specialized compounds include alkaloids, polyphenols including flavonoids, and terpenoids. Humans use quite a lot of these compounds, or the plants from which they originate, for medicinal and nutraceutical purposes.

Albert Schweitzer

The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies. 

Choline Recommended Intake from Seeds and Fruits

Choline is an essential vitamin-like (vitamin B4) nutrient, synthesized in human body, but not sufficiently.

The recommended adequate intake (AI) of choline is set at 425 milligrams (mg)/day for women and 550 mg/day for men.

Choline deficiency causes muscle damage and abnormal deposition of fat in the liver, which results in a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Genetic predispositions and gender can influence individual variation in choline requirements.

Example Plant Fruitarian Sources of Choline

Seeds (including legumes and nuts), high in choline, milligrams per 100 g portion: 

  • Soybeans - 124 mg 
  • Lima beans - 97 mg 
  • Lentils - 96 mg
  • Peas (mature) - 96 mg
  • Flaxseeds - 79 mg 
  • Pistachio nuts - 71 mg 
  • Quinoa - 70 mg 
  • Pumpkin and squash seed kernels (pepitas) -  63 mg 
  • Cashew nuts - 61 mg 
  • Pine nuts - 56 mg 
  • Sunflower seed kernels - 55 mg 
  • Buckwheat - 54 mg 
  • Almonds - 52 mg 

Fruits, high in choline, milligrams per 100 g portion: 

  • Tomatoes, sun-dried - 105 mg 
  • Apples - 18 mg 
  • Figs - 16 mg 
  • Avocados - 14 mg 

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