That’s the term for people who only eat raw fruit, with the occasional leafy green, nut or seed thrown in. Fruitarianism is basically an extreme form of veganism – and it’s become very popular lately.
Experts say the diet is especially popular with athletes, who love the fact that fruit provides the amino acids, vitamins, and carbs they need for energy - with very little fat. In fact, one runner we read about says that within four weeks of becoming a fruitarian, he lost 13 pounds, trimmed his body fat and cut 17 minutes off his personal-best marathon time!
So, are fruitarian diets really all they’re cracked up to be? Most health experts say “no.” Dietician Dr. Felicia Stoler says the definition of a “bad diet” is if it excludes one major food group - and this one excludes THREE! She says that’s a problem because when you deny your body nutrients from grains or dairy, for example, it can cause cravings for those nutrients. And that may trigger cycles of binging, or “stress-eating.” Also, while some fruit contains protein, like prunes, it’s not the complex protein that the body needs to build and maintain muscle. And get this: to get a nutritionally complete daily diet, you’d have to eat up to 30 pounds of fruit a day!
The good news? Fruit is proven to boost your health, as part of a balanced diet. So, here’s a list of some of the best ones, according to the book The 80-10-10 Diet, which is considered the “bible” for fruitarians:
- Bananas. Eat them for a better workout. They’re loaded with potassium, which is proven to reduce dehydration, cramping and fatigue.
- Blueberries are great for a sharper memory. They contain antioxidants that have been linked to improving learning and retention.
- Grapefruit. Eat this one to lose weight. Research shows that grapefruit can lower insulin levels, which helps the body to better metabolize fat.
- Tomatoes are great for smoother skin. They’re packed with lycopene, which is an antioxidant that protects the skin from wrinkle-causing UV light.
- Plums are another fruitarian favorite. They contain an acid which helps us relax by ridding the body of cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Cherries do wonders for better sleep. They’re a natural source of the sleep hormone, melatonin.