All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

Vegetarian

Vegetarian diet excludes meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal).

  • Vitamin B12 Levels in Long-Term Vegans

    Serum vitamin B12, serum folate and red blood cell folate levels were examined among 36 strict vegans of 5-35 years' duration.

    Vitamin B12 levels among the vegans were generally lower than in a control population. Most of the vegans had vitamin B12 values less than 200 pg/ml

    None of the vegans had any hematologic evidence of vitamin B12 deficiency, however four of them had neurologic complaints. Long-standing vegans should be monitored for vitamin B12 levels.

    Red blood cell folate levels were normal but serum folate levels among the vegans were higher than among the controls. 

  • Secondary Metabolites in Leaves and Stems

    Leaves and stems of plants, green vegetables or leafy greens, are widely consumed by humans. The protein contents are higher than in fruits, and they contain low amounts of sugar.

    Some green vegetables produce secondary metabolites that have bitter or astringent properties and may produce toxic alkaloidal and other compounds such as hemoglutenens. Others produce intestinal enzyme inhibitors, such as lectins, which bind to mucosal surfaces and inhibit digestion, especially that of proteins. 


    Plant secondary metabolism produces a large number of specialized compounds (~ 200.000) that do not aid in the growth and development of plants but are required for the plant to survive in its environment. Specialized compounds from secondary metabolism are essential for communicating with other organisms in mutualistic (e.g. attraction of beneficial organisms such as pollinators) or antagonistic interactions (e.g. deterrent against herbivores and pathogens). They further assist in coping with abiotic stress such as increased UV-radiation.

    The broad functional spectrum of specialized metabolism is still not fully understood.

    Well known specialized compounds include alkaloids, polyphenolsincluding flavonoids, and terpenoids. Humans use quite a lot of these compounds, or the plants from which they originate, for medicinal and nutraceutical purposes.

  • Lotus-Eaters Lotophagi

    Lotus Tree Fruits

    Lotus-eaters (lotophagi or lotophaguses, lotophages) were fruitarians, whose primary foods were fruits and flowers of a lotus tree. 

    Herodotus, in the 5th century BCE, was sure that the lotus-eaters still existed in his day, in coastal Libya:

    A promontory jutting out into the sea from the country of the Gindanes is inhabited by the lotus-eaters, who live entirely on the fruit of the lotus-tree. The lotus fruit is about the size of the lentisk berry and in sweetness resembles the date. The lotus-eaters even succeed in obtaining from it a sort of wine.

    Polybius identifies the land of the lotus-eaters as the island of Djerba (ancient Meninx), off the coast of Tunisia. Later this identification is supported by Strabo.

    According to Greek mythology, lotophagi lived on an island dominated by lotus plants, and its flowers of fruits were narcotic, causing the people to sleep in peaceful apathy.

  • Vegetarianism

    Vegetarianism is the theory and practice of voluntary non-consumption of the flesh of any animal, including sea animals.

    The known history of vegetarianism begins civilizations of ancient India, Egypt, and Greece. Religious groups in Egypt (~ 3,200 BCE - Before Current Era) practiced abstinence from flesh and from wearing animal-derived clothing. The earliest records of vegetarianism as a concept and practice amongst a significant number of people concern the India and Greece civilizations. In both instances the diet was closely connected with the idea of nonviolence toward animals (Ahimsain India), and was promoted by religious groups and philosophers. In the ancient Vedic period vegetarianism was encouraged, but eating some kinds of meat was allowed by law. 

  • Vegetarian Diet

    All vegetarian diets exclude meat of animals. See Plant-Based Diet.

  • 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.

  • 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%

  • Plant-Based Diet

    A plant-based diet is a diet of any animal (including humans) based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products

    "Plant-based diet" has been used to refer to the following diets:

    • Vegan diet - no food from animal sources.
      • Fruitarian  - consists primarily of fruit.
      • Raw vegan - food is uncooked and sometimes dehydrated.
    • Vegetarian - plant foods, may include eggs and dairy, but no meat.
    • Ovo-lacto vegetarian - includes dairy and eggs.
    • Ovo vegetarian - includes eggs but no dairy. 
    • Lacto vegetarian - includes dairy but no eggs.
    • Pescatarian - diet with eggs, dairy and seafood.
    • Semi-vegetarian - with occasional inclusion of meat.

  • 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."

  • 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

Dhammika Sutta

He should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should he incite another to kill. Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world.

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. 

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