All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

Food plants are known to produce a wide array of chemicals. The levels of many of the more toxic ones have been reduced by hybridisation, but many of these natural toxins are still present at low levels. Eating very large amounts of one type of such foods can possibly be somewhat toxic.

Common Plant Toxins and Antinutrients

Toxins (occurrence in plant foods) - possible effect on humans and animals in large amounts:
  • Cyanogenic glycosides (sweet potatoes, stone fruits, lima beans) - gastrointestinal inflammation, inhibition of cellular respiration.
  • Glulcosinolates (canola, mustard, radish, cabbage, peanut, soybean, onion) - impaired metabolism, reduced iodine uptake, decreased protein digestion.
  • Glycoalkaloids (potato, tomato) - depressed central nervous system, kidney inflammation, carcinogenic, birth defects, reduced iron absorption.
  • Gossypol (cottonseed) - reduced iron uptake, spermicidal, carcinogenic.
  • Lectins (most cereals, soybeans, other beans, potatoes) - intestinal inflammation, decreased nutrient absorption.
  • Oxalate (spinach, rhubarb, tomato) - reduces solubility of calcium, iron, and zinc.
  • Phenols (most fruits and vegetables, cereals, soybean, potato, tea, coffee) - destroys thiamine, raises cholesterol, estrogen-mimic.
  • Coumarins (celery, parsley, parsnips, figs) - light-activated carcinogens, skin irritation.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Man, do not pride yourself on superiority to animals.

Undernutrition

Undernutrition is a form of malnutrition. (Malnutrition also includes overnutrition).

Undernutrition can result from:

  • inadequate ingestion of nutrients,
  • malabsorption,
  • impaired metabolism,
  • loss of nutrients due to diarrhea,
  • increased nutritional requirements.

Undernutrition progresses in stages: it may develop slowly when it is due to anorexia or very rapidly. First, nutrient levels in blood and tissues change, followed by intracellular changes in biochemical functions and structure. Ultimately, symptoms and signs appear. Diagnosis is by history, physical examination, body composition analysis, and sometimes laboratory tests. 

Undernutrition from micronutrient deficiencies, or "hidden hunger", affects over 2 billion people globally and can lead to reduced growth and cognitive development, birth defects, blindness, and overall poor health. Vitamin A deficiencyiron deficiency anaemia and iodine deficiency disorders are among the most common forms of micronutrient malnutrition. 

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