All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

Nutrients

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

  • Free Fructose Functions Similar to Fiber

    Fruits contain mostly sugars and fibers, such as pectin, that are extensively fermented in the large intestine. Certain fruits, especially apples and pears, are concentrated in fructose. Apples contain 6% fructose and 3% sucrose and pears are 6.5% fructose and 1.3% sucrose; these values would be consistent in apple and pear juices. Free fructose is poorly absorbed and would function similar to dietary fiber, escaping absorption in the small intestine while being fermented in the large intestine. This results in SCFA production, which is linked to small amounts of energy being absorbed in the colon. 

  • Fruits and Vegetables

    Fruit and vegetable consumption is a focus of research and nutrition education, but there is no universal agreement on the meaning of 'fruits and vegetables'. Foods that require specific instruction include rice, dried beans, potatoes, tomatoes and fruits and vegetables in mixtures and condiments. 

    Fruit and vegetables are important components of a healthy diet, and their sufficient daily consumption could help prevent major diseases. A recently published WHO/FAO report recommends a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables per day (excluding potatoes and other starchy tubers) for the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity, as well as for the prevention and alleviation of several micronutrient deficiencies. 

    Fruits and vegetables are universally promoted as healthy. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend you make one-half of your plate fruits and vegetables.

    Fruits and vegetables include a diverse group of plant foods that vary greatly in content of energy and nutrients. Fruits and vegetables supply dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals to the diet and are sources of phytochemicals (phytonutrients) that function as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and antiinflammatory agents and through other protective mechanisms. 

    FruitsVegetables

  • Protein Intake in Older Age

    Respondents aged 50–65 reporting high protein intake had a 75% increase in overall mortality and a 4-fold increase in cancer death risk during the following 18 years. These associations were either abolished or attenuated if the proteins were plant derived.

    Conversely, high protein intake was associated with reduced cancer and overall mortality in respondents over 65, but a 5-fold increase in diabetes mortality across all ages.

  • Resveratrol in Red Wine is Not Healthy

    The lowest rates of heart disease were in people with the lowest levels of resveratrol. Resveratrol - a substance found in red wine, grapes and chocolate - may not add years to your life, and it doesn't appear to reduce the risk for heart disease or cancer either, according to new research.

    Resveratrol has been credited as being responsible for the so-called "French paradox," in which even a diet high in cholesterol and fat can be healthy if it is accompanied with red wine, the researchers explained. For the study, Semba's team followed nearly 800 men and women 65 years or older who were part of the Aging in the Chianti Region study from 1998 to 2009 in two villages in Italy.

    Researchers found no significant differences in the rate of death from those with the lowest levels of resveratrol to the highest.

  • Green, Blue, Grey Water Footprints and Animal Agriculture

    3 Water footprints:

    Green water footprint is water from precipitation that is stored in the root zone of the soil and evaporated, transpired or incorporated by plants. It is particularly relevant for agricultural, horticultural and forestry products.

    Bluewater footprint is water that has been sourced from surface or groundwater resources and is either evaporated, incorporated into a product or taken from one body of water and returned to another, or returned at a different time.

    Grey water footprint is the amount of fresh water required to assimilate pollutants to meet specific water quality standards. The grey water footprint considers point-source pollution discharged to a freshwater resource directly through a pipe or indirectly through runoff or leaching from the soil, impervious surfaces, or other diffuse sources. 

    Fruits and Legumes vs Meat Green, Blue and Grey Water Footprint Comparison

    Water footprint per ton (m3 / ton) and per unit of nutritional value for fruits, pulses (legumes like beans, peanuts) and bovine meat*:   

    Food

    Green Water 
    footprint per ton
    (m3 / ton)

    Blue Water
    footprint per ton
    (m3 / ton)

    Grey Water
    footprint per ton
    (m3 / ton)

    Total Water

    Calorie

    litre/kcal

    Protein

    litre/g

    Fruits 726 147 89 962 2.09 180
    Legumes 3 180 141 734 4 055 1.19 19
    Meat 14 414 550 451 15 415 10.19 112

    * This table made by the author of the site Fruitarians.net (Lena), based on THE GREEN, BLUE AND GREY WATER FOOTPRINT OF FARM ANIMALS AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS, VOLUME 1: MAIN REPORT, M.M. MEKONNEN, A.Y. HOEKSTRA, DECEMBER 2010, VALUE OF WATER RESEARCH REPORT SERIES NO. 48, the link to PDF is provided on the article page.

    Study Conclusions 

    (UNESCO-IHE, Institute for Water Education, 2010)

    As a general picture we find that animal products have a larger water footprint per ton of product than crop products.

    ... The global average water footprint per ton of crop increases from sugar crops (roughly 200 m3 /ton) and vegetables (~300 m3 /ton) to pulses [legumes] (~4000 m3 /ton) and nuts (~9000 m3 /ton). For animal products, the water footprint increases from milk (~1000 m3 /ton) and egg (~3300 m3 /ton) to beef (~15400 m3 /ton).

    Also when viewed from a caloric standpoint, the water footprint of animal products is larger than for crop products. The average water footprint per calorie for beef is twenty times larger than for cereals and starchy roots.

    ... The water footprint per gram of protein for milk, eggs and chicken meat is about 1.5 times larger than for pulses. For beef, the water footprint per gram of protein is 6 times larger than for pulses.

    ... The general conclusion is that from a freshwater resource perspective, it is more efficient to obtain calories, protein and fat through crop products than animal products. 

    ... A vegetarian diet compared with the average current per capita food intake in the USA can reduce the water footprint of an individual by as much as 58%

  • USDA Tips for Vegetarians

    Tips for Vegetarians

    Vegetarian diets can meet all the recommendations for nutrients. The key is to consume a variety of foods and the right amount of foods to meet your calorie needs. Follow the food group recommendations for your age, sex, and activity level to get the right amount of food and the variety of foods needed for nutrient adequacy. Nutrients that vegetarians may need to focus on include protein, iron, calcium, zinc, and vitamin B12

  • Negative Effect of Vitamin Supplements

    It has become increasingly apparent in recent years that there are unintended consequences to taking vitamin supplements, and in fact there may be a net negative health effect. This is especially true for those who are healthy and don’t need vitamins, and for those who exceed the recommended dosages.

  • Antioxidants

    Antioxidants - substances that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage. Examples of antioxidants include beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, vitamins A, C and E.

    Vegetables and fruits are rich sources of antioxidants. There is good evidence that eating a diet with lots of vegetables and fruits is healthy and lowers risks of certain diseases. But it isn't clear whether this is because of the antioxidants, something else in the foods, or other factors. Most clinical studies of antioxidant supplements have not found them to provide substantial health benefits. 

  • Vitamin B12 Cobalamin

    Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that has a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and the formation of red blood cells. It is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism.

    No fungi, plants, nor animals (including humans) are capable of producing vitamin B12. Only bacteria and archaea have the enzymes needed for its synthesis. Proved food sources of B12 are animal products (meat, fish, dairy products). Some research states that certain non-animal products possibly can be a natural source of B12 because of bacterial symbiosis.

    B12 is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin and can be produced industrially only through a bacterial fermentation-synthesis. This synthetic B12 is used to fortify foods and sold as a dietary supplement.

    Vitamin B12 consists of a class of chemically related compounds (vitamers), all of which show pharmacological activity. It contains the biochemically rare element cobalt (chemical symbol Co). The vitamer is produced by bacteria as hydroxocobalamin, but conversion between different forms of the vitamin occurs in the body after consumption

    B12 aids in lowering homocysteine levels and may lower the risk of heart disease. 

    Recommended daily amount: 2.4 mcg

    Example sources: fortified cereals, doenjang and chunggukjang (fermented soybeans), nori (seaweed). 

  • Water

    Water is an essential nutrient - it is required in amounts that exceed the body's ability to produce it. All biochemical reactions occur in water. It fills the spaces in and between cells and helps form structures of large molecules such as protein and glycogen. 

    Most foods contain water. The body can usually get 20% of its total water requirements from solid foods alone. The human body can last weeks without food, but only days without water. 

    The digestion process also produces water as a byproduct and can provide around 10 per cent of the body’s water requirements.  

    Water is a transparent and nearly colorless chemical substance. Its chemical formula is H2O, meaning that its molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms

    Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface. It is vital for all known forms of life. On Earth, 97% of the planet's crust water is found in seas and oceans, 1.7% in groundwater, 1.7% in glaciers and the ice caps. Only 2.5% of this water is freshwater, and 98.8% of that water is in ice (excepting ice in clouds) and groundwater. Less than 0.3% of all freshwater is in rivers, lakes.

    Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other lifeforms even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients. ~One billion people still lack access to safe water. It was estimated that by 2025 more than half of the world population will be facing water-based vulnerability, and by 2030 water demand in some developing regions of the world will exceed supply by 50%.

    Approximately 70% of the freshwater used by humans goes to agriculture. 

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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