All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

vitamin

  • All Known Essential Vitamins

    Vitamins are a group of substances that are needed for normal cell function, growth, and development. There are 13 essential vitamins:

    • Vitamin A (retinol, retinal, 4 carotenoids)
    • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
    • Vitamin D (D3 - Cholecalciferol, D2 - Ergocalciferol)
    • Vitamin E (tocopherols, tocotrienols)
    • Vitamin K (phylloquinone, menaquinones)
    • Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
    • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
    • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
    • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
    • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine)
    • Vitamin B7 (biotin)
    • Vitamin B9 (folic acid)
    • Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin)

    Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body's fatty tissue: vitamins A, D, E, K

    Water-soluble vitamins - the body must use almost all water-soluble vitamins right away - vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and C.
    Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the liver for many years.

  • Vitamin A

    Retinoids retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid - 3 active forms of vitamin A - "preformed" vitamin A.

    Beta carotene can easily be converted to vitamin A by the human body. 

    Large amounts of supplemental vitamin A (but not beta carotene) can be harmful to bones.

    Vitamin A keeps tissues and skin healthy, plays an important role in bone growth. Diets rich in the carotenoids alpha carotene and lycopene seem to lower lung cancer risk. Carotenoids act as antioxidants. Foods rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin may protect against cataracts. Essential for vision lycopene may lower prostate cancer risk.

    Recommended daily amount: 700 mcg - 900 mcg or 3 mg - 6 mg beta-carotene (~ 1 cup of raw cantaloupe or sweet red peppers, or 2 mangoes, or 1/5 of one baked sweet potato). 

    Because the body converts all dietary sources of vitamin A into retinol, 1 mcg of physiologically available retinol is equivalent to the following amounts from dietary sources: 1 mcg of retinol, 12 mcg of beta-carotene, and 24 mcg of alpha-carotene or beta-cryptoxanthin. From dietary supplements, the body converts 2 mcg of beta-carotene to 1 mcg of retinol.

  • Vitamin B1 Thiamine

    Vitamin B1 (Thiamin, Thiamine) is one of 8 B vitamins, the first B vitamin discovered. All B vitamins help the body convert carbohydrates into glucose, which the body uses to produce energy, B-complex vitamins also help the body metabolize fats and protein. All B vitamins are water soluble.

    All living organisms use thiamine, but it is synthesized only in bacteria, fungi, and plants. Animals must obtain it from their diet, therefore for humans it is an essential nutrient.  Your body needs it to form adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which every cell of the body uses for energy.

    B1 helps convert food into energy, needed for healthy skin, hair, muscles, and brain. 

    Thiamine deficiency has a potentially fatal outcome if it remains untreated. In less-severe cases, nonspecific signs include malaise, weight loss, irritability and confusion.

    Recommended daily amount: 1.1 - 1.2 mg (~ 50 g of flaxseeds, or sesame tahini, or 100 g pine or sunflower seeds, or corn flour).

  • 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). 

  • Vitamin B3 Niacin

    Vitamin B3, Niacin, nicotinic acid, helps to convert food into energy and is essential for healthy skin, blood cells, brain, and nervous system. It is one of 8 B vitamins. It is water-soluble, which means it is not stored in the body. It has 2 other forms, niacinamide (nicotinamide) and inositol hexanicotinate, which have different effects. 

    Niacin occurs naturally in food and can also be made by your body from the amino acid tryptophan, with the help of B6

    It is rare for anyone in the developed world to have a Vitamin B3 deficiency; alcoholism is the main cause of it in the US.

    Recommended daily amount: 14 - 16 mg.

    Example sources: whole grains, mushrooms, peanuts and other legumes. 

    Fruits (100 g) : 

    1. Peaches or Apricots, dried - Niacin: 4 mg 
    2. Avocados, raw or Dates, medjool  - Niacin: 2 mg 

    Seeds (100 g):

    1. Rice bran, crude - Niacin: 34 mg 
    2. Sesame flour - Niacin: 13 mg 
    3. Sunflower seed kernels, dried - Niacin: 8 mg 

  • 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. 

  • 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.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

We live in the best of all possible worlds.

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.

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