Fruitarian or fruit diet is a highly restrictive diet. People who follow this diet program eat a diet consisting primarily of raw fruits, eliminating all other types of food, such as grains, legumes, and tubers, as much as possible. Vegetables, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds can be an exception if eaten in moderation.
Many people believe in myths related to fruits, like only eating fruits that fall on the ground, not the picked ones, and not eating seeds, because they have the capability to evolve into a living plant.
There is no specific way to commend a fruit diet. The fruitarian diet is “a subset of raw veganism, where you eat botanical fruits in their natural state.”-Kelly LeVeque (a certified holistic nutritionist).
It includes all fruits whether they’re sweet fruits or seeded fruits (like avocado, tomato, cucumber, and olives), as well as many nuts and seeds but no grains. The people who strictly follow the fruit diet don’t even consume any vegetables or starches… literally just fruit.
Please Note: The fruit diet does not cover all the nutrients your body needs, you might get malnutritioned, so refer to your doctor about your intentions. They can help you gain all the necessary nutrients for your body by guiding you without putting your health at risk.
In the words of LeVeque “Motivation to follow this lifestyle includes avoiding animal protein, increasing fibre, detoxifying the body, lowering calorie intake, and eliminating the need to cook,”. Some people might even argue by giving a moral component to it—that it’s purely a natural way to eat food, to consume only when it falls from a tree naturally, instead of picking it from the ground.
In spite of the various interpretations, there is this one thing all fruitarians (people following fruit diet) have in common is that they eat enormous quantities of food, yet somehow manage to stay incredibly lean.
The Bright Side of the Fruit diet
When eaten in adequate amounts, fruits can be a very healthy ingredient of a nutritious diet.
Here are some benefits of eating fruits
- Fruits like apples, pears, blackberries, and raspberries are high in dietary fiber. Fiber helps you to lower your cholesterol levels and encourage regular bowel movements helping in constipation.
- Fruits like oranges, red peppers, and strawberries contain high amounts of vitamin C, which not only helps you in maintaining your teeth and gums healthy, but also supports the immune system.
- Fruits like Bananas, guavas, cantaloupe, and mangos are high in potassium, which helps to maintain healthy blood pressure and regulate fluid balance in the body.
- Tropical fruits such as mangos and orange have a considerable quantity of folate, which not only helps the body produce red blood cells but also support healthy fetal development.
- Fruits like black plums, prunes, and all berries are rich in antioxidants, which helps to limit the production of free radicals, which in turn protects your skin and fight off illness.
Risks associated with fruit diet
The fruitarian diet lacks several vital nutrients which the body requires for good health, like protein, fat, calcium, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids.
This diet has a highly restrictive nature, which imposes a high risk of malnutrition, which might even take your body into starvation mode (which means that your metabolism will be slowing down as it’ll try to hold onto your nutritional stocks and conserve energy).
It may also cause anaemia, fatigue, and a weakened immune system. If you’ll strictly follow the fruit diet for a long time, you’ll most probably suffer from osteoporosis (disease due to lack of calcium).
People with diabetes, prediabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or insulin resistance should avoid fruit diet as it has high amounts of sugar content in it, even though it is in the natural form it’ll most probably be harmful to them.
You might be able to adapt to the fruit diet to your specific nutritional requirements. If you limit your fruit intake 50% and replace it with protein sources, like nuts or supplements, which will help you to balance out the nutritional deficits in the fruit diet.
In a fruitarian diet you will feel like eating a lot of fruits, nuts, and seeds. However, it might make you take frequent washroom breaks, as the fruits consist of fibre and water, which seems to slip and slide right through the digestive system.
Shifting from a regular diet to fruit diet
If you want to follow a fruit diet, it is suggested to proceed slowly, rather than getting started at once. Make a gradual shift away from your existing eating habits. Which means you’ll have to give up a lot of things like, alcohol, animal products, grains, processed foods and caffeine. And, you’ll have to add up more raw fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables in your diet.
People who follow a fruit diet strictly, eat freely from all various fruit groups. You might prefer to stick to a three-meals-per-day plan or design a four-to-five smaller meals-per-day plan. There are various fruit groups you can try:
- Acidic fruits: Oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, berries, plums, and cranberries
- Sub-acidic fruits: Apples, apricots, raspberries, and cherries
- Oily fruits: Avocados, olives, and coconuts
- Sweet fruits: Bananas, dates, figs, and grapes
- Starchy fruits: Squash
- Vegetable-fruits: cucumbers and bell peppers
Prefer to opt for organic fruits as much as possible and make sure to store your fruits properly, so that they last longer.
To stay hydrated you can drink water, coconut water, or 100 percent fruit juice throughout the day.
1. While you’re shifting from your regular diet to fruit diet, it might want to steam or soak your fruits and vegetables, till the time you’re ready to go raw.
2. Try to include oily fruits in your every meal as it will provide your body with fat.
3. To overcome the protein deficiency of fruit diet, try to include at least a protein source, such as nuts or seeds in your every meal.
4. You can also add raw or lightly-steamed vegetables like sweet potatoes and celery in each meal.
5. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, preferably water and natural fruit juice.
Note: Regardless of the type of your eating plan, your body requires movement in order to be healthy and the fruitarian diet might not be able to provide you with enough energy to exercise. If you’re facing such a problem, consider it as a red flag and modify your nutritional intake.
One Week Fruit Diet Plan
Being on a Fruit Diet will help you detoxify but it won’t gonna provide you with every nutrient that your body needs. It can be beneficial for losing weight, detoxifying and cleansing.
Here’s a sample fruit diet plan:
- Breakfast: Blueberry blast smoothie
- Morning snack: 2-3 dates or figs
- Lunch: Raw Banana Kebab
- Afternoon snack: ½ Avocado
- Dinner: Lime Honey Fruit Salad
- Desert: Honey baked apples with cinnamon
- Breakfast: Strawberry Lime smoothie
- Morning snack: Grapefruit, lime and mint yoghurt.
- Lunch: Honey-Yogurt Berry Salad
- Afternoon snack: Double nut filled Figs
- Dinner: Chilli-Lime grilled pineapple
- Dessert: Frosty Watermelon Ice
- Breakfast: Mixed Fruit salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing
- Morning Snacks: 1 medium-sized apple
- Lunch: Cherry and Pomegranate Salad sprinkled with olive oil
- Afternoon Snack: Watermelon Cubes
- Dinner: Citrusy Fruit Kebabs
- Dessert: Mixed Berry Shortcake
- Breakfast: Mango-Banana Smoothie
- Morning Snacks: Black Grapes
- Lunch: Mango Avocado Spring Roll
- Afternoon Snack: Phalsa sprinkled with Fruit Salt
- Dinner: Strawberry Corn Salsa
- Dessert: Mango pudding
- Breakfast: Apple-Berry smoothie
- Morning Snacks: 1-2 medium-sized Guava
- Lunch: cheesy grilled plums
- Afternoon Snacks: Orange
- Dinner: Fresh Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
- Dessert: Fruit Cream
- Breakfast: Coconut Water Strawberry apple smoothie
- Morning Snack: Papaya
- Lunch: Avocado Berry Mint Salad
- Afternoon snacks: remaining papaya
- Dinner: Grilled Apple and Pear Sprinkled with Cider and Sugar
- Dessert: Frozen Pineapple kiwi pops
- Breakfast: Avocado Smoothie
- Morning Snacks: Apricots
- Lunch: Melon sprinkled with sugar or fruit salt (according to your taste)
- Afternoon Snacks: lichi
- Dinner: Custard Apple star fruit mixed salad seasoned with fruit salt
- Dessert: Mango Kulfi
Regardless of your reasoning behind your desire to start a fruit diet, consider consulting your doctor before you shift to a fruitarian diet. Fruit diet may affect your overall health, especially if you have an underlying medical condition or you are taking any medications. Your doctor might be able to help you in understanding your individual risks and help you modify the dietary plan to supplement your needs.
Meeting with a registered dietitian is also a good idea. They can also help you in creating a plan that will work for you and also ensure that you have no nutritional gap.