All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

Estimated mean requirement and safe level of intake for vitamin A, in Retinol Equivalents (RE) (1 RE = 1 mcg. of retinol or 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

Benjamin Franklin

My refusing to eat flesh occasioned an inconveniency, and I was frequently chided for my singularity, but, with this lighter repast, I made the greater progress, for greater clearness of head and quicker comprehension. Flesh eating is unprovoked murder.

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

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