All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

Recommended

Recommendations - proposals as to the best course of action in maintaining good health, based on materials issued by respectable institutions.

  • 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

  • Vitamin A in Fruits, Vegetables and Seaweed

    Estimated mean requirement and safe level of intake for vitamin A, in Retinol Equivalents (RE) (1 RE = 1 mcg. of retinolor 6 mcg. of beta-carotene):

    • Adolescents, 10–18 years: 330–400 (mcg RE/day, mean requirement), 600 (mcg RE/day, recommended safe intake)
    • Adult females, 19–65 years: 270 (mcg RE/day, mean requirement), 500 (mcg RE/day, recommended safe intake)
    • Adult females, 65+ years: 300 (mcg RE/day, mean requirement), 600 (mcg RE/day, recommended safe intake)
    • Males: 300 (mcg RE/day, mean requirement), 600 (mcg RE/day, recommended safe intake)

    Food sources, examples (RE per 100 grams).

    Fresh fruits and raw and cooked fruit vegetables:

    • Mango - 523
    • Apricots - 260 (dry - 730)
    • Cantaloup 322
    • Squash, cooked 714
    • Red pepper, raw - 580

    Root (tubers) and green vegetables, flowers:

    • Carrots, raw - 2574
    • Sweet potato, cooked - 2180
    • Dandelion, raw - 1400
    • Spinach, raw - 674

    Seaweed:

    • Spirulina - 28333
    • Nori - 4895
  • 10000 Times More Natural Pesticides - No Dirty Dozen

    According to Professor Bruce Ames, a biochemist at UC-Berkeley, our foods contain 10,000 times more natural pesticides than synthetic onesplants develop their own defenses against fungi and predators. 

    Although the minuscule amounts of synthetic pesticides in our foods pose negligible health risks, some activists actually advise consumers not to eat fruits and vegetables at all if they can’t afford organic varieties — in spite of 100 years of evidence that those who eat the most conventionally grown fruits and vegetables have half the cancer rates for practically every type of cancer and live longer than those who eat less.

    90% Of the cases “exposed” in EWG’s 2010 list involved levels of pesticides 1,000 times lower than the chronic reference dose - the level of daily exposure likely to be without an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime of chronic exposure. 

    Dr. Carl Winter and Josh Katz, UC-Davis:

    The potential consumer risks from exposure to the most frequently detected pesticides on the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of foods are negligible and cast doubts as to how consumers avoiding conventional forms of such produce items are improving their health status.

  • Improve Your Sleep

    1. Make sleep a priority.
    2. Stick to a sleep schedule, even on weekends.
    3. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.
    4. Exercise daily.
    5. Ensure ideal temperature, sound and light.
    6. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.
    7. Beware of hidden sleep stealers, like alcohol and caffeine.
    8. Turn off electronics before bed.

  • Optimal Sleep Durations for All Ages

    Current consensus from the broadest range of scientific disciplines can be summarized in these recommendations:

    • Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
    • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
    • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
    • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
    • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
    • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
    • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
    • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
    • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

  • Toxins in Beans

    Green beans, red kidney beans, and white kidney beans - contain naturally a toxin known as phytohaemagglutinin. Food poisoning caused by this toxin in raw and inadequately-cooked beans has a short onset time (1-3 hours) with symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. However, this toxic substance can be destroyed by soaking and then cooking thoroughly at boiling temperature. Tinned beans which have been subjected to thorough heat-treatment are safe to eat without further cooking.

  • Toxins in Root Vegetables and Greens

    Several different glycoalkaloids are produced naturally by potatoes, the most common being solanine and chaconine. Low levels of glycoalkaloids produce desirable flavour in potatoes. However, exposure to elevated levels of glycoalkaloids when eating potatoes can cause a bitter taste or a burning sensation in the mouth - indicating a state of toxicity. Glycoalkaloids are not destroyed by cooking; even by frying in hot oil. The majority of this natural toxin found in potatoes is in the peel, or just below the peel. Greening of the potatoes may be indicative of the presence of the toxin. Red skinned or russet potatoes may camouflage the greening.

    Avoid eating potatoes that show signs of greening, physical damage, rotting or sprouting. Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place at home, such as a basement, and away from the sun or artificial light. Wash potatoes before cooking and peel or cut away green areas prior to cooking. Potatoes with pronounced greening or damage should be discarded. 

    Off-flavours such as a bitter taste, aftertaste and/or petroleum-like flavour have been associated with the consumption of fresh carrots. In contrast to sweet flavour, these off-flavours are usually as a result of stored carrots being exposed to ethylene. Ethylene is a normal fruit ripening hormone that may react with natural chemical compounds found in carrots creating off-flavour sensory attributes. Thus, carrots should not be stored with ethylene-producing commodities such as apples, avocados, bananas, pears, peaches, plums, cantaloupes, honeydew melons and tomatoes. Carrots properly handled and stored in perforated plastic bags at a low temperature retain the most acceptable taste. 

    Cyanogenic glycoside toxin is also found in the cassava root and fresh bamboo shoots, making it necessary for them to be cooked before canning or eating. Cassava is classified into two main types - sweet and bitter. Sweet cassava is defined as having a concentration of cyanide less than 50 mg per kilogram of fresh weight, while bitter cassava has a concentration greater than 50 mg per kilogram. The sweet cassava only requires cooking in order to reduce the cyanide content to non-toxic levels. However, the bitter cassava contains more toxins and should be prepared and cooked properly prior to consumption. Grating the root and prolonged soaking of the gratings in water will leach out the cyanide, reducing the levels of toxin. In addition to soaking, cooking will further detoxify the roots before consumption. Cyanogenic glycoside found in fresh bamboo decomposes quickly when placed in boiling water, rendering the bamboo shoots safe for consumption. It has been found that boiling bamboo shoots for 20 minutes at 98 C removes nearly 70 percent of the cyanide, while higher temperatures and longer intervals remove up to 96 percent. The highest concentrations are detoxified by cooking for two hours.

  • Toxins in Fresh Edible Fruits and Seeds

    Several commercial fruits and vegetables contain small amounts of natural toxins. These natural toxins help protect the plants and create resistance to diseases and certain types of insects. See Secondary Metabolites in Leaves and Stems

    The kernels within the pits of some stone fruits contain a natural toxin cyanogenic glycoside. These fruits include apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, plums and prunes. The flesh of the fruits itself is not toxic. Normally, the presence of cyanogenic glycoside alone is not dangerous. When kernels are chewed cyanogenic glycoside can transform into hydrogen cyanide, poisonous to humans. The lethal dose of cyanide ranges from 0.5 to 3.0 mg per kilogram of body weight. It is not recommended to eat the kernels inside the pits of stone fruits.

    Ackee, akee or achee - Blinghia sapida - is a food staple in many Western Africa, Jamaican and Carribean diets. There are two main varieties, hard and soft ackees, that are available for consumption. Both canned and fresh forms of this fruit are consumed. However, unripe fruit contains natural toxins called hypoglycin that can cause serious health effects. The only part of this fruit that is edible, is the properly harvested and prepared ripe golden flesh around the shiny black seeds. The fruit is poisonous unless ripe and after being opened naturally on the tree.

  • 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

  • Physicians and Plant-Based Diet

    Kaiser Permanente, the largest managed care organization in the United States:

    "Too often, physicians ignore the potential benefits of good nutrition and quickly prescribe medications instead of giving patients a chance to correct their disease through healthy eating and active living. Physicians should therefore consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity."

Aristotle

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

Enterotypes and Microflora

An enterotype is a classification of living organisms based on its bacteriological ecosystem in the gut microbiome. Humans can be roughly divided into three enterotypes depending on which genus of bacteria dominates their gut: Bacteroides, Ruminococcus, or Prevotella. 

  • People who eat a lot of meat and saturated fat tended to have more Bacteroides in their flora
  • Ruminococcus prevailed in people who consumed lots of alcohol and polyunsaturated fats. 
  • Prevotella favored a diet rich in carbohydrates.

Long-term diet is strongly associated with the gut microbiome composition. If switching gut enterotype is possible, it may take a long-term dietary intervention. 

Chimpanzees have enterotypes that are compositionally analogous to those found in humans. 

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