All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

Nutrients

Nutrients are component in foods that an organism uses for maintenance and growth.

  • Toxic Acrylamide in Cooked Plant Foods

    In 2010, the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization / World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) concluded that acrylamide is a human health concern. Certain doses of acrylamide are toxic to animals and humans.

    Although acrylamide has known toxic effects on the nervous system and on fertility, the 2002 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded the intake level required to observe neuropathy (0.5 mg/kg body weight/day) was 500 times higher than the average dietary intake of acrylamide (1 μg/kg body weight/day). For effects on fertility, the level is 2,000 times higher than the average intake.

    Acrylamide is a neurotoxin by either oral (in animals) or inhalation exposure (in humans and in animals). Toxic effects are central and peripheral neuropathy causing drowsiness, hallucinations, distal numbness, and ataxia. Recovery is possible after cessation of exposure. 

    Acrylamide is typically found in plant-based foods cooked with high heat (e.g., frying, roasting, and baking), not raw plant-based foods or foods cooked by steaming or boiling (below 120 degrees Celsius / 248 Fahrenheit). Potato chips and French fries were found to contain higher levels of acrylamide compared with other foods.

    The European Chemical Agency added acrylamide to the list of substances of very high concern in March 2010.

    Acrylamide is known to causecancer in animals. It is not clear, as of 2016, whether acrylamide consumption increases people's risk of developing cancer. 

  • Calcium Intake and Bone Fracture Risk

    With the exception of calcium deficiency rickets in Nigeria, no satisfactory explanation has been found for the apparently low prevalence of osteoporosis in countries on low calcium intakes. On international comparisons on a larger scale, it is very difficult to separate genetic from environmental factors. Osteoporosis was largely a disease of affluent industrialized cultures. Hip fracture prevalence (and by implication osteoporosis) is consequently related to animal protein intake, but also, paradoxically, to calcium intake because of the strong correlation between calcium and protein intakes within and between societies. This could be explained if protein actually increased calcium requirement. 

    Fracture risk has recently been shown to be a function of protein intake in North American women. There is also suggestive evidence that hip fracture rates depend on protein intake, national income, and latitude. Vitamin D deficiency in hip fracture patients in the developed world was established. Such fractures can be successfully prevented with small doses of vitamin D and calcium. It is therefore possible that hip fracture rates may be related to protein intake, vitamin D status, or both.

  • Recommended Calcium Intake from Seeds and Fruits

    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 tomaintain calcium balance and thereforeskeletal 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. 

  • Calcium Rich Fruits and Seeds

    Recommended intake of calcium for adults 19–50 years, in milligrams per day (RDA, recommended dietary allowances based on North American and western European data) is  1000 mga day (1 g).

    Example of calcium plant food sources, fruit and seeds: 

    • Sesame seeds, whole, roasted - 989 mg calcium / 100 g.
    • Chia seeds, dried - 631 mg calcium / 100 g. 
    • Figs, dried - 162 mg calcium / 100 g, ~ 600 g figs for 1000 mg (1 g) calcium
    • Olives, ripe, canned - 94 mg calcium / 100 g.
    • Dates, medjool - 64 mg calcium / 100 g.

  • 30 Minutes of Sunshine Vitamin D Recommendation

    In recommending intakes for vitamin D, it must be recognized that in most locations in the world in a broad band around the equator (latitudes 42°N - 42°S), the most physiologically relevant and efficient way of acquiring vitamin D is to synthesize it endogenously in the skin from 7-dehydrocholesterol by sun (UV) light exposure.

    In most situations, ~ 30 minutes of skin exposure of the arms and face to sunlight can provide all the daily vitamin D needs of the body.

    Skin synthesis of vitamin D is negatively influenced by factors which may reduce the ability of the skin to provide the total needs of the individual:

    • latitude and season - both influence the amount of UV light reaching the skin;
    • ageingprocess - thinning of the skin reduces the efficiency of this synthetic process;
    • skin pigmentation - the presence of darker pigments in the skin interferes with the synthetic process because UV light cannot reach the appropriate layer of the skin;
    • clothing - virtually complete covering of the skin for medical, social, cultural, or religious reasons leaves insufficient skin exposed to sunlight;
    • sunscreen use - widespread and liberal use of sunscreen, though reducing skin damage by the sun deleteriously affects synthesis of vitamin D.

    Because not all of these problems can be solved in all geographic locations, particularly during winter at latitudes higher than 42° where synthesis is virtually zero, it is recommended that individuals not synthesizing vitamin D should correct their vitamin D status by consuming the amounts of vitamin D. 

    Recommended nutrient intakes (RNIs) for vitamin D, by group, in milligrams (1/1000 g):

    Infants, children, adolescents, and adults 19–50 years, pregnant and lactating women - mg a day RNI;

    Adults 51–65 years - 10 mg a day RNI

    Adults 65+ years - 15 mg a day RNI

  • Nori is the Best Known Seaweed Source of B12

    Vitamin B(12) concentrations of dried green (Enteromorpha sp.) and purple (Porphyra sp.) lavers nori were determined, in micrograms: 

    • green nori: 64 - 69 mcg per 100 g of dry weight,
    • purple nori: 32 - 25 mcg per 100 g of dry weight.

    Non-coenzyme forms (hydroxo and cyano forms) of vitamin B12 predominate in both. 

    Recommended dietary amounts (RDAs) for cobalamin, B12, are 2.4 mcg (micrograms) daily, one can cover it with 4 g of dry green nori. 

    The dried lavers contained lesser amounts of dietary iodine (~ 4-6 mg per 100 g of dry weight) relative to other seaweeds, suggesting that excessive intake of the dried lavers is unlikely to result in harmful intake of iodine.

    These results indicate that the nori are the best source of vitamin B12 among edible seaweeds, especially for strict vegetarians (vegans).

  • Bioavailable B12 in Algae and Pseudovitamin in Spirulina

    Substantial amounts of vitamin B12 were found in some edible algae (green and purple lavers, seaweed) and chlorella tablets. A study suggest that algal vitamin B12 is a bioavailable source for mammals.

    Pseudovitamin B12 (an inactive corrinoid) predominated in the spirulina tablets, which are not suitable for use as a vitamin B12 source, especially for vegetarians. 

  • Active Cobalamin B12 in Nori

    A survey of naturally occurring plant-derived food sources with high Vitamin B12 contents suggested that dried purple laver (nori, Porphyra yezoensis) is the most suitable Vitamin B12 source presently available for vegetarians.

    The amount of total vitamin B12 in the dried purple laver was estimated to be 55 -59 mcg / 100 g dry weight. The purple laver contained 5 types of biologically active vitamin B12 compounds (cyano-, hydroxo-, sulfito-, adenosyl- and methylcobalamin), in which the vitamin B12 coenzymes (adenosyl- and methylcobalamin) comprised about 60 % of the total vitamin B12: 

    • cyanocobalamin
    • hydroxocobalamin 
    • sulfitocobalamin 
    • adenosylcobalamin 
    • methylcobalamin 

    Dried purple laver also contains high levels of other nutrients that are lacking in vegetarian diets, such as iron and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Dried purple laver is a natural plant product and it is suitable for most people in various vegetarian groups.

     

  • Cobalamin Bioavailability and Inactive Pseudovitamin B12

    Vitamin B12 bioavailability significantly decreases with increasing intake of this vitamin per meal. Vitamin B12 is partially degraded and loses its biological activity during cooking and storage of foods.

    The intrinsic factor-mediated gastrointestinal absorption system in humans has evolved to selectively absorb active vitamin B12 from naturally occurring vitamin B12 compounds, including its degradation products and inactive corrinoids.  This absorption system is estimated to be saturated at about 1.5 - 2.0 mcg of cobalamin (B12) per meal, 50% of dietary vitamin B12 is absorbed by healthy adults with normal gastro-intestinal function.

    Some plant foods, dried green and purple lavers (nori) contain substantial amounts of vitamin B12, although other edible algae contained none or only traces of it. Most of the edible blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) used for human supplements predominantly contain pseudovitamin B12, which is inactive in humans.

    The bioavailability of vitamin B12 in healthy humans from fish meat, sheep meat, and chicken meat averaged 42%, 56%-89%, and 61%-66%, respectively, in eggs it seems to be poorly absorbed (< 9%).

  • Tarahumara Runners on Corn and Beans Diet

    The Rarámuri or Tarahumara are a Native American people of northwestern Mexico who are renowned for their long-distance running ability. Rarámuri, means "runners on foot" or "those who run fast". Staple crops are corn and beans.

    Frugan (fruitarian) runners Tarahumara were described by Ruth Heidrich, Ph.D., a runner for 36 years and vegan for 21 years, who won over 800 age-group first place trophies in runs, triathlons, biathlons, and track and field, and completed the Ironman Triathlon 6 times, run 67 marathons, and holds a number of fitness records, following a diet similar to the Tarahumara:

    "...Their only food is tesguino, milled corn mixed with water to a drinkable consistency. This is the mainstay (75%) of Tarahumara diet, with the remaining food being beans and squash. They also take the milled corn as their sole food when traveling, since it is lightweight, doesn't spoil, and is easily prepared by mixing it with water in a half gourd they carry with them. This gives them great stamina and, more importantly, none of them appeared to be protein or calcium deficient with this plant-based diet."

    The Tarahumara runners are legendary for their 24-, 36-, even 72-hour long runs. In the Leadville 100-miler in 1991, the Tarahumara took first, second, and fourth places. 

Aristotle

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.

Animals

Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia (or Metazoa). All animals can move spontaneously and independently at some point in their lives. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their lives. All animals are heterotrophs: they must ingest other organisms or their products for sustenance.

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