All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

vitamins minerals phytonutrients

  • Zinc

    Zinc is a nutritionally essential mineral needed for catalytic, structural, and regulatory functions in the body.

    The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for adult women and men is 8 mg a day and 11 mg a day of zinc, respectively.

    Severe zinc deficiency is a rare, genetic or acquired condition. Dietary zinc deficiency, often called marginal zinc deficiency, is quite common in the developing world, affecting an estimated 2 billion people. Zinc deficiency can cause impaired growth and development in children, pregnancy complications, immune dysfunction, and increased susceptibility to infections. Long-term consumption of zinc in excess of the tolerable upper intake level of 40 mg a day for adults can result incopper deficiency.

    Zinc bioavailability is relatively high in meat, eggs, and seafood. Zinc is less bioavailable from whole grains and legumes due to the inhibitory effects of phytic acid on absorption of the mineral.

  • Fruitarian Food Sources of Zinc

    I composed two lists with a few examples of the fruitarian food sources of zinc: fruits, seeds, seaweeds and mushrooms. You can compare the amounts of zinc in them with the recommended daily allowance of the mineral. RDA is usually around 20% higher than the amount needed for half of the healthy people. 

  • Vitamin C

    Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid, or ascorbate, is an essential nutrient for humans, a water-soluble vitamin. Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C, so it is an essential dietary component. 

    • Vitamin C is required for the biosynthesis of collagen (an essential component of connective tissue), L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters, it is also involved in protein metabolism.
    • Vitamin C is also an important physiological antioxidant and has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants within the body, including alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). Vitamin C regenerates vitamin E by reducing vitamin E radicals formed when vitamin E scavenges the oxygen radicals. 
    • Vitamin C plays an important role in immune function and improves the absorption of nonheme iron, the form of iron present in plant-based foods.

    Approximately 70%–90% of vitamin C is absorbed at moderate intakes of 30–180 mg a day. At doses above 1 g a day, absorption falls to less than 50% and absorbed, unmetabolized ascorbic acid is excreted in the urine. 

    Insufficient vitamin C intake causes scurvy, which is characterized by fatigue or lassitude, connective tissue weakness, and capillary fragility.

    Cells accumulate vitamin C. The total body content of vitamin C ranges from 300 mg (at near scurvy) to about 2 g.

    • High levels of vitamin C are maintained in cells and tissues, and are highest in leukocytes (white blood cells), eyes, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and brain.
    • Relatively low levels of vitamin C are found in extracellular fluids, such as plasma, red blood cells, and saliva.
  • Vitamin C in Muscles

    The study has shown that skeletal muscle is very sensitive to changes in vitamin C intake, and that the vitamin C content in muscle will fall if intake decreases below optimal levels. This is likely to affect muscle function. Muscle is the largest store of vitamin C in our bodies.

    Professor Margreet Vissers, from the Centre for Free Radical Research:

    Many people think that all fruit and vegetables are equally able to supply vitamin C, but this is not the case. The levels in food vary hugely across the spectrum. We should eat a good range daily, but because many fruit contain only one tenth of a healthy daily vitamin C requirement, we would recommend at least one serve per day of a high-value food like kiwifruit. This will help you easily reach an optimal vitamin C intake, as well as delivering other vital nutrients.

    There is, however, considerable debate regarding the beneficial health effects of vitamin C supplementation. The administration of vitamin C may significantly hamper endurance capacity. Vitamin C supplementation decreases training efficiency because it prevents some cellular adaptations to exercise.

  • Vitamin C Benefits Debate

    Ascorbic acid is essential for collagen, carnitine and neurotransmitters biosynthesis. Most plants and animals synthesize ascorbic acid for their own requirement, butpes and humans can not synthesize it due to lack of an enzyme gulonolactone oxidase

    Though ascorbic acid was discovered in 17th century, the exact role of this vitamin in human biology and health is still a mystery in view of many beneficial claims and controversies.

    Many health benefits have been attributed to ascorbic acid such as antioxidant, anti-atherogenic, anti-carcinogenic, immunomodulator and prevents cold etc. However, lately the health benefits of ascorbic acid has been the subject of debate and controversies:

    • The relation between ascorbic acid and cancer is still a debatable.
    • There is compelling evidence for antioxidant protection of lipids by ascorbic acid both with and without iron co-supplementation.
    • Current evidences suggest that ascorbic acid protects against atherogenesis by inhibiting LDL oxidation.
    • The data on vitamin C and DNA damage are conflicting and inconsistent. 

  • Vitamin C Recommendation

    Based on available biochemical, clinical and epidemiological studies, the current US recommended daily allowance (RDA) for ascorbic acid ranges between 75 - 120 mg per dayto achieve cellular saturation and optimum risk reduction of heart diseases, stroke and cancer in healthy adults

    • Males - 90 mg a day,
    • Females - 75 mg a day,
    • Smokers- +35 mg a day (35 mg/day more)

    Freshfruits,vegetables and also synthetic tablets supplement the ascorbic acid requirement of the body. However, stress, smoking, infections and burns deplete the ascorbic acid reserves in the body and demands higher doses of ascorbic acid supplementation.

    Ascorbic acid and its derivatives are widely used as preservatives in food industry.

  • Vitamin C and Common Cold

    Clinical trails with varying doses of ascorbic acid showed that ascorbic acid does not have significant prophylactic effect, but reduced the severity and duration of symptoms of cold during the period of infection.

    Consumption of ascorbic acid as high as 1 g a day for several winter months, had no consistent beneficial effect on the incidence of common cold.

    There was a consistent beneficial but generally modest therapeutic effect on duration of cold symptoms

    In trials that tested vitamin C after cold symptoms occurred, there was some evidence of greater benefits with large dose than with lower doses.

  • Nutrient-Dense Food

    Nutrient-dense foods are foods that have a lot of nutrients but relatively few calories.

    Nutrient-dense foods and beverages contain: vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and other beneficial substances that may have positive health effects.

    They are also naturally lean or low in saturated fat, and have little or no added saturated fat, sugars, refined starches, and sodium.

    Examples of nutrient dense foods are: beans and peas, fresh fruit, unsalted nuts and seeds, vegetables, whole grains - most fruitarian foods are nutrient-dense.

  • Vitamin B9 Folic Acid

    Vitamin B9, also called folate or folic acid, is one of 8 B vitamins.

    • Folic acid is the synthetic form of B9, found in supplements and fortified foods.
    • Folate occurs naturally in foods.

    Folic acid is crucial for proper brain function and plays an important role in mental and emotional health. It aids in the production of DNA and RNA, the body's genetic material, and is especially important when cells and tissues are growing rapidly, such as in infancy, adolescence, and pregnancy.

    Folic acid also works closely with vitamin B12 to help make red blood cells and help iron work properly in the body.

    Rich sources of folate include: spinach, dark leafy greens, asparagus, mustard greens, brussels sprouts, beans, soybeans, root vegetables, whole grains, oranges, avocado. 

  • Excessive Protein Intake

    Because the system for disposal of excess nitrogen is efficient, protein intakes moderately above requirement are believed to be safe.

    Brenner et al. (1982) postulated that excess protein intake accelerates the processes that lead to renal glomerular sclerosis, a common phenomenon of aging. There is supportive evidence from studies in animals, but not in humans on this point. Urinary calcium excretion increases with increased protein intake if phosphorus intake is constant. If phosphorus intake increases with protein intake, as it does in U.S. diets, the effect of protein is minimized.

    Habitual intakes of protein in the United States are substantially above the requirement, and although there is no firm evidence that these intake levels are harmful, it has been deemed prudent to maintain an upper bound of no more than twice the RDA for protein.

Aristotle

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over self.

Protists

Protists - members of an informal grouping of diverse eukaryotic organisms that are not animals, plants or fungi, and are grouped together for convenience, like algae or invertebrates. Besides their relatively simple levels of organization, protists do not necessarily have much in common. 

Subdivisions of Protists

Protozoa the unicellular "animal-like" - Flagellata, Ciliophora, Amoeba, Sporozoans.

Protophyta the "plant-like" - mostly unicellular algae.

Molds the "fungus-like" - slime molds and water molds.

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