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What is a fruitarian diet? Pros and cons

Healthy Eating
 Followers of this diet are insistent on the fact that the fruit has to be raw (Photo: Shutterstock)

The fruitarian diet is a subset of veganism where fruit forms the main part of one’s diet. It has grown in popularity just as the raw-food diet has. The diet includes eating fruit, nuts and seeds. Others include vegetables as well. 

The type of fruit eaten depends on each individual but followers of this diet are insistent on the fact that the fruit has to be raw. In its strictest form, fruitarians only eat fruit that has fallen rather than that that has been picked.

According to Healthline, fruitarians can eat freely from any of the fruit groups throughout the day. These include: 

Acidic fruits like oranges, tomatoes, plums

Sub-acidic fruits like apples


Vegetable fruits like bell peppers and cucumbers

Sweet fruits like bananas, dates and grapes

Oily fruits like coconuts and avocados

For beverages, fruitarians are permitted to drink water, fruit juice and coconut water. 

They don’t eat tubers, beans or legumes and, obviously, processed food or fruits animal protein and dairy products. 

 Fruits contain many health benefits but when eaten exclusively can lead to malnutrition (Photo: Shutterstock)

Benefits of eating fruits

Fruits form an essential part of one’s diet. They provide various health benefits such as: 

Source of vitamins and minerals. Oranges have vitamin C which is necessary for healthy teeth and gums and beneficial to the immune system. Folate which is contained in tropical fruits helps in the production of red blood cells. Potassium found in bananas, cantaloupes and mangoes helps regulate fluid balance in the body and maintain a healthy blood pressure.

They contain fibre which aids in bowel movement and helps to lower cholesterol.

They are rich in antioxidants. Fruits such as berries can help protect the body against free radicals, protect the skin and fight off infections.

Disadvantages of eating only a fruit-based diet

In spite of fruits having so many health benefits, eating a diet that is strictly based on fruits can have detrimental effects on one's overall health.

This diet restricts other food groups that are necessary for good health and can lead to malnourishment. Healthline states that because you aren’t eating all your food groups, your body can go into starvation mode, slowing down the process of metabolism as it tries to store up food and conserve energy.

A weakened immune system, anaemia, osteoporosis, and fatigue can occur as a result of eliminating iron, calcium from the body. 

While sugar from fruit is natural and therefore healthy, eating too much of it poses a danger to those suffering from insulin resistance, diabetes, pre-diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Too much sugar can also lead to tooth decay. 

Unlike other diets that require participants to eat at specific times, the fruitarian diet encourages them to eat when they’re hungry. 

Just like other diets out there, it’s important to consult your doctor before you decide to become a fruitarian.

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