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Recommended intake for adults, in milligrams per day (recommended calcium allowances based on North American and western European data):

  • Adolescents, 10–18 years - 1300 mg / day
  • Females, 19 years to menopause - 1000 mg / day
  • Females, pregnant women (last trimester) - 1200 mg / day
  • Females, lactating women - 1000 mg / day
  • Females, postmenopause - 1300 mg / day
  • Males, 19–65 years - 1000 mg / day
  • Males, 65+ years - 1300 mg / day

The calcium requirement of an adult is generally recognized to be the intake required to maintain calcium balance and therefore skeletal integrity

Calcium balance is determined by the relationship between calcium intake and calcium absorption and excretion. Relatively small changes in calcium absorption and excretion can neutralize a high intake or compensate for a low one. 

A positive calcium balance (net calcium retention) is required throughout growth, particularly during the first 2 years of life and during puberty and adolescence. These age groups therefore constitute populations at risk for calcium deficiency, as do pregnant women (especially in the last trimester), lactating women, postmenopausal women, and, possibly, elderly men. 

Franz Kafka

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

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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