More and more people are now experiencing the incredible benefits of veganism and raw veganism, endless research showing the negative effects of the Standard American Diet and a better understanding of the devastating effects of meat and dairy production on the planet. But while our understanding of these diets is now pretty sound, the fruitarian diet isn’t quite as well known.
And it really is just what it says on the tin: a diet abundant in raw fruits, giving us a rainbow of health benefits and tastes to match.
Intrigued by this amazing way of life?
Allow me to break down the fruitarian diet, and show you exactly how to give it a go!
What is a fruitarian diet, or fruitarianism?
The clue’s in the name! A fruitarian diet, or fruitarianism if you’re feeling fancy, is a diet abundant in raw fruits, nuts, and seeds for all meals and snacks throughout the day.
There’s no limit to the amount of fruit you eat, or which fruits you eat. It encourages you to eat until you’re satiated, so you won’t find any calorie counters anywhere near fruitarianism.
Whereas veganism involves no meat, dairy or other animal products and raw food diets include uncooked fruits and veggies, a fruit-based diet usually focuses on raw fruits only, and all the wonderful varieties that are available.
Really, it’s about getting as much goodness from mother nature as you can, and experiencing the myriad benefits to your health, the animals and the planet that come with it!
What are the benefits of a fruitarian lifestyle?
Fruitarians may choose this lifestyle for various reasons, whether they’re religious, moral, or for their health. But ultimately, the fruitarian diet offers so many benefits that it doesn’t matter why you want to give it a go – we can all learn something from this unrestricted, vitamin, and mineral-packed lifestyle.
- No calorie restrictions or portion control
One of the main issues we face with any diet or lifestyle is restriction. Whereas some diets require complex math, weighing scales, and working out the best food groups for you based on your aunt’s half cousin’s star sign, the fruitarian diet advocates eating to fill your body with all the wonderful nutrition that it needs. Basically, if you’re hungry – you need to eat!
If you’ve seen any fruitarians on social media, you’ll see that they often have plates and bowls absolutely jam-packed with fruits or large (very large) smoothies choc-full of a rainbow of produce. This is not about tiny portions or counting calories.
- The fruit is vital to our health
Fruit is truly a gift from the health Gods. It contains protein, fat, glucose, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, without the toxicity of processed foods. There’s a reason we’re constantly told to eat 5 portions of the stuff, although that’s nowhere near enough!
Because it’s packed with fiber, it’s very easily digested, which is a very energy-intensive process for the body. The body can break down fruit very easily, so your cells will be left with more energy for healing.
And it’s full of natural sugar, the carbohydrates the body needs to function. Countless studies have recognized the healing benefits of a high carb, low-fat lifestyle, including its ability to prevent and fight disease, ease digestive issues, and keep us fuelled throughout the day.
Unlike a diet high in acid-forming foods like meat and dairy, eating fruit results in an alkaline state in the body when it’s metabolized, which is thought to protect the body.
Acidic foods, however, are thought to make you more vulnerable to illness and disease. So a diet with purely alkaline foods – or fruit – should help to keep your mind and body in the healthiest state it can be. Given that fruit is so packed with water, there’s also no risk of dehydration, with many Americans not drinking enough water or eating enough hydrating foods.
- Fruitarian lifestyle is convenient
There’s no complexity involved in this way of life – as long as you’re munching on plenty of fruit, nuts, and seeds, you’re good to go. You don’t have to worry about portion sizes or calories and fruit is the ultimate grab and go food. Yes, you’ll want to create Instagram-worthy fruit platters, smoothie bowls and ice creams (seriously – check out this recipe for banana nicecream), but if you’re rushed for time or find yourself in need of a snack at the grocery store, buy some fruit, and you’ve got yourself a meal!
What is the difference between the fruitarian diet, the raw foods diet, and the 80/10/10 diet?
You might have heard of a raw food diet, the raw vegan diet, or the 80/10/10 before, but not the fruitarian diet. They hold many similarities, in that many people adopt these lifestyles to achieve optimum health, or to steer clear of cruel animal products. But there are some differences.
While raw food diets or raw vegan diets focus on uncooked fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds (not heated above 115F), the 80/10/10 diet looks at the proportion of carbs, proteins, and fats that you eat on any given day.
80% of your diet should be carbohydrates from mainly raw fruits and veggies, with 10% of your calories from proteins and 10% from fats such as nuts, seeds, and avocados. The 80/10/10 diet still promotes a vegan way of life, and might actually be considered a variation of the fruitarian diet, because it tends to promote fruit-based meals.
The fruitarian diet works on the same principles as the raw food or raw vegan diet in that uncooked food is better for our bodies. This is because, when we cook or heat foods, we destroy some of the living enzymes, vitamins, and minerals contained within it, thereby depriving our bodies of nutrition. Raw produce is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals which are essential for a healthy life, so the more we eat them, the better.
Fruitarianism focuses on raw fruit only, with some nuts and seeds thrown in for good measure. But why fruit? Raw fruit does amazing things for our bodies. It’s full of phytonutrients, glucose, minerals, vitamins, and fiber and it’s easily digested, so the body can access all this wonderful goodness super quickly.
What does a fruitarian eat?
So what does a fruitarian eat? As the name suggests, fruit, fruit, and even more fruit! And many fruitarians prefer organic fruit, due to the lack of pesticides. But if you think we’re talking a few bananas and an apple, luckily, it’s a little more fun than that…
What foods you can eat as a fruitarian
There are seven fruit groups that make up a fruitarian diet:
- sweet fruits (bananas, grapes, figs),
- acidic fruits (oranges, strawberries, lemons),
- sub acidic fruits (apples, blueberries, pears),
- oily fruits (coconuts),
- dried fruits (prunes, apricots),
- nuts (cashew, almond, brazil)
- seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, chia)
Many fruitarians will eat a huge variety of these fruits on any given day, with smoothies, fruit platters, and salads on the menu.
Some other fruitarians will prefer to mono-meal: eat a large amount of one type of fruit at a meal. This is because, when the body only has to digest one type of food, it finds it much easier to break it down, leaving more energy for the other cells in the body. Do you know that tired, fatigued, sluggish feeling after a big meal? You’re unlikely to feel that with a fruitarian diet!
A typical day for a fruitarian might involve the following:
16oz. of celery juice
A smoothie made with mixed berries, dates, 4-6 bananas, and fresh orange juice.
A large bunch of red grapes and 2-3 peaches
A large avocado, ground linseeds, a large slice of melon, a handful of nuts and seeds.
A large handful of almonds
A large bunch of grapes and 6 apricots
A fruit platter consisting of several mangoes, several bananas, blueberries and oranges
The main benefit of fruitarianism is that there are no limits – fruit should be eaten and enjoyed until you’re satisfied!
What a fruitarian doesn’t eat
A fruitarian will avoid any foods made from animals, including meat, dairy, and eggs. They’ll also eat few – if any – raw vegetables, and focus mainly on raw fruits, including nuts and seeds.
The whole point of the fruitarian diet is maximizing nutrition, so cooked fruit is also off the menu.
Fruit, as it is, or dried fruit (with no sugar added), makes up the majority of calories consumed.
Some fruitarians also prefer to eat organic, and so will avoid non-organic produce, due to the fertilizers and pesticides used with regular fruits and veggies.
Is fruitarianism healthy?
We all know that we should be getting plenty of portions of fruit every day, but is it healthy to eat fruit, more fruit, and only fruit?
What about sugar?
Will you get enough protein?
Despite the myths that the meat and dairy industries manage too successfully to spread, you’ll get plenty of protein as a fruitarian, and not all sugar is created equal!
Will I eat too much sugar on a fruitarian diet?
If you give a dollar to a fruitarian every time they’re asked if they’re eating too much sugar, they’d be able to buy their own private island (full of delicious coconuts, bananas, and pineapples, probably). But sugar in fruit is very different from sugar in processed foods or refined sugar. Whereas processed sugary foods like donuts, cakes, and cookies are packed full of sugar but completely lack any valuable nutrition, including fiber, the fruit is choc-full of it.
Fiber is crucial for a healthy digestive system and it even helps to slow down the rate at which sugar enters your bloodstream.
So, unlike the peaks and troughs of energy that we experience with sugar-laden junk foods, the fruit will fill you up and keep you going releasing its wonderful sweetness to your liver at a much slower rate than processed sugary foods.
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And we, as humans, need the carbohydrates, or sugars, found in fruit. Carbohydrates help to fuel our bodies and our minds. In fact, Dr. Colin Campbell, in ‘The China Study’, explains that high carb diets help us to prevent chronic diseases and shed excess weight.
So we really shouldn’t fear the good kind of carbs found in fruits and, instead, try to eat as much of them as we can!
What about protein? Will I get enough on a fruitarian diet?
You wouldn’t believe it with all the fuss in the media about protein and how much we should be getting, but the average American eats way too much of it.
Your body can only process so much of it per day, so the excess is ‘inefficiently’ converted to energy, or stored in the body as fat.
While fruit isn’t as high in protein as certain veggies, many varieties still pack a very healthy protein punch!
For example, avocados contain 2g of protein per 100g, as well as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The rather exotic – and absolutely delicious – guava contains even more: 2.6g per 100g, with apricots containing a very decent 1.4g per 100g. And with the nuts and seeds, you’ll be eating every day on the fruitarian diet, there’s certainly no risk of missing out on your daily protein recommendations. Cashews contain a whopping 18g of protein per 100g and almonds are the protein king, with 21g per 100g. You won’t be wasting away any time soon…
Will I get enough healthy fats on a fruitarian diet?
With nuts, seeds, coconut, and avocado thrown into the mix, it’s pretty hard not to get plenty of healthy fats on the fruitarian diet. Avocados contain the ‘good kind of fat’ – monounsaturated – along with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. They’re great for making super creamy smoothies, and even mousse desserts! Check out this delish strawberry mousse made with avocado. Who says you can’t eat dessert on a fruitarian diet?!
Nuts and seeds also contain the good kind of fat. While it’s not advisable to eat too much, a small handful per day is perfect for getting the healthy fats your body needs to help it absorb vitamins A, D and E.
Will I be at risk of nutritional deficiencies on a fruitarian diet?
While you’ll get plenty of protein and healthy fats on the fruitarian diet as long as you’re getting enough high protein and high-fat fruits like nuts, seeds, and avocados, the one thing fruitarians might struggle to get enough of is vitamin B12. This vitamin looks after our nervous systems, digestion, brain function, and the production of red blood cells, so it’s pretty important!
It goes without saying that a diet packed full of fruit will offer a rainbow of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that do wonders for your health, but B12, a bacterial vitamin, can’t be obtained from fruits, or veggies for that matter.
Vegans often get their daily dose of vitamin B12 from fortified plant milks or cereals, but raw vegans and fruitarians may have to consider taking a daily supplement, like these completely vegan B12 drops.
When adopting a new lifestyle, it’s always a good idea to look for inspiration from others who’ve done it themselves. Here are some famous fruitarians who are living their best fruit-based lives.
Introduced to the world of fruit-based diets in 2007, his love for running has only become stronger since adopting this wonderful lifestyle, as have his personal bests! In fact, he states how, since becoming a fruitarian, he has set personal bests in a marathon, 50 mile and 100 mile runs. All on the fuelling and healing power of fruit!
Michael has an Instagram page where he posts pictures of his meals, his runs and his healthy lifestyle, as well as a blog which details so much more about the fruitarian way of life and a YouTube channel, where he posts videos about his amazing eats, exercise tips and FAQs around the fruit-based lifestyle.
Tina Stoklosa and Simon Beun
Fruitarian couple Tina and Simon are full-time travelers of the world who love nothing more than finding and trying the most delicious fruits. They’ve eaten nothing but fruit for years and use their YouTube channel – Fit Shortie Eats – to talk about their foraging adventures, health tips, and fruitarian benefits.
They not only eat a fruitarian diet but practice healthy living in many other ways, like barefooting, living in nature, meditation, and going to bed early.
Tina even shared her fruitarian pregnancy on the channel, discussing what she ate and how she stayed healthy.
They appear to be particular fans of the Southeast Asian fruit durian, which is packed with vitamins B, C and E and has a high iron content. It’s known for its rather pungent smell, which, luckily, isn’t reflected in the taste!
It’s also worth checking out their crazy colorful Instagram page, where they post pictures of their fruit hauls, travels, and healthy living tips. If nothing else, it’ll make you wanna book a trip to the nearest tropical island ASAP.
A somewhat surprising addition to the list is Apple founder Steve Jobs, who actually followed a vegan diet for most of his life. While he wasn’t necessarily a strict fruitarian, he certainly believed in the healing power of vitamin and mineral-packed fruits.
Dr. Douglas Graham
Dr. Douglas Graham, the creator of the 80/10/10 diet, is another famous fruit lover. He’s a lifetime athlete and has been following a raw food diet since 78.
His book on the 80/10/10 way of life was a smash hit, in which he advocates a high carb, low-fat lifestyle.
There is a difference between the fruitarian diet and the 80/10/10 diet, in that it does involve raw veggies, but if you look at a lot of the example menus, the vast majority of meals are fruit-based. So it could be argued that Dr. Graham advocates a mainly fruitarian diet, as fruits are carbohydrates, after all. And carbohydrates are vital to the health and functioning of our brains, red blood cells, and nervous systems.
The 80/10/10 diet, with its focus on raw produce, nuts, and seeds, gives your body everything it needs to maintain optimum health.
In his book, Dr. Graham explains the science behind the diet, offers tips and advice, and explains how to begin living the incredible 80/10/10 lifestyle.
Freelee The Banana Girl
If there’s just one fruit lover you’ve already heard from, it’s probably gonna be Freelee the Banana Girl. She rose to fame after advocating a banana-heavy, raw food diet, which focused on getting as much natural sugar into your body as you needed. She talked of how she spent years restricting her eating, yo-yo dieting, and fluctuating in weight before discovering the benefits of raw vegan food.
Again, Freelee isn’t exclusively fruitarian, as she’ll often have cooked vegan meals at night, such as rice or baked potatoes. But during the day, she loves fruit platters and banana and date-packed smoothies, so most of her calories are coming from the sweet stuff.
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How to transition to a fruitarian diet
Interested in adopting a fruitarian diet, or a variation of it? There are so many resources available that explain the lifestyle and offer tips and tricks to get started!
Must-read books about raw foods and fruitarian diet
1.Mucusless Diet Healing System by Arnold Ehret
Professor Arnold Ehret was a German nutritionist, healer, teacher, and philosopher who was one of the first people to discuss the benefits of fasting and raw vegan diets for healing the body. His book, ‘Mucusless Diet Healing System: Scientific Method of Eating Your Way to Health’ contains lots of valuable information about the dangers of mucus-producing foods like dairy and the positives of raw foods.
2. The Detox Miracle Sourcebook: Raw Foods and Herbs for Complete Cellular Regeneration: The Ultimate Healing System by Robert Morse
Robert S Morse is a certified Naturopathic physician, herbalist, biochemist, and raw food advocate. His book ‘The Detox Miracle: Raw Foods and Herbs for Complete Cellular Regeneration’ explains how to rid your body of poisons that are detrimental to your health. The book is based on 30 years of Dr. Morse’s clinical experience treating patients who want to lose weight to patients who are suffering from cancer. It covers the A-Z of detoxifying your body, including the hows, whys, whats, and whens.
3. The 80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health, Your Weight, and Your Life, One Luscious Bite at a Time
by Dr. Douglas Graham
So I’ve already mentioned Dr. Douglas Graham’s work; can you tell I’m a fan? His book, ‘The 80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health, Your Weight, and Your Life, One Luscious Bite at a Time’ is a must-read for any wannabe raw fooders or fruitarians and was a bestseller when it was released.
He discusses the science behind the high carb (and the right carbs), low-fat lifestyle, how it can help to fight and prevent diseases, and how athletes have improved their performance with his program. A lifetime athlete himself, he’s been devouring a raw food diet for 30 years and acts as an advisor to top athletes around the world.
Dr. Douglas Graham also explains why we don’t actually need as much protein as we think, how too much can make us sick, and even provides meal plans to get started on a heavily fruit-based raw foods diet. It’s a must-have in your fruitarian arsenal!
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If you’re looking for a complete detox, to find some of the best and sweetest fruits around and to start the healing process surrounded by experts in the lifestyle, a fruitarian retreat might be just what the (clued up about the healing power of raw foods) doctor ordered.
The availability of fruitarian retreats depends largely on where you live and how far you’re willing to travel of course, but it’s certainly worth looking into.
The Raw Aussie Athlete provides a fruitarian retreat in Thailand, where they promise to help you find the best durian in the world, as well as delicious mangoes and other tropical fruits.
Every day, there’ll be a Q and A discussion, allowing for education on lifestyle and personal development. There’ll also be time for both meditation, relaxation and self-reflection, along with outings to Buddhist temples, shrines and caves. And to top it off, each evening, a fresh raw vegan dinner is served using local flavors and ingredients. They even have world-renowned raw vegan chefs on hand to deliver the deliciousness!
They’re currently offering 2 retreats, both totaling 13 days, one in April and the other in May. Sign me up!
FAQs about the fruitarian lifestyle
- Do fruitarians eat vegetables?
Every fruitarian will have their own preferences when it comes to vegetables. A fruitarian could be defined by someone who eats a fruit-based diet rather than a fruit-only diet, like Dr. Douglas Graham or Freelee the Banana Girl. Some fruitarians will eat fruit exclusively with very small amounts of fats like nuts, seeds, and avocados, while others will incorporate lots of nuts and seeds into their diet. Some fruitarians will occasionally eat raw vegetables, while others may eat raw veggies every day as part of their diet.
There are no hard and fast ‘rules’ when it comes to experiencing all the benefits of a fruit-based diet, but all fruitarians’ diets will probably contain at least 75% fruit.
- Do fruitarians lose weight?
Again, weight loss will really depend on the individual. If you currently eat something similar to the standard American diet, with processed foods, fried foods, and few fruits and veggies, it’s highly likely that adopting a fruitarian lifestyle will result in weight loss, for very obvious reasons!
But it’s important to note that health and wellbeing should always come first, and being fruitarian is certainly not primarily about weight loss. It’s about fuelling your body and mind with as many fruits as your body needs and experiencing all the benefits of raw produce.
If you need to lose weight, eating a fruit-based diet will most likely help you to do this, but it’s so important to not restrict the amount that you eat.
Raw veganism and fruitarianism are based on abundance and eating until your body is satisfied. Unlike most diets, which are based on calorie-counting, weighing food, and, let’s face it, going to bed hungry, the fruitarian way of life involves huge fruit platters, packed smoothies and eating whenever the heck you need to!
- Can you live on just fruit?
If you look at the famous fruitarians or those who follow a mainly fruit-based diet, it’s clear that you can thrive on fruit. It’s really important to take a vitamin B12 supplement and eating a small handful of nuts and seeds every day will ensure your body is getting the healthy fats and proteins that it needs.
Again, if you’re new to the fruitarian way of life, it’s really important to eat plenty. A banana for breakfast, fruit salad for lunch and smoothie for dinner ain’t gonna cut it. Fruit platters, smoothies packed with several portions of fruit and energy-boosting snacks like dried fruits, nuts, and seeds are a must.
- Does the fruit have to be organic?
Organic produce is always preferable, considering the amount of pesticides that are often used to grow our fruits and veggies. But that’s not to say that fruitarianism involves eating organic only, especially if your budget doesn’t allow for it. Frustratingly, organic produce is often significantly more expensive, unless you’re buying in bulk.
If you can choose organic, it’s great to do so, but, ultimately, a diet packed with non-organic fruits, nuts, and seeds is infinitely better than the standard American diet.
And a raw vegan or fruitarian lifestyle doesn’t have to be super expensive; check out my blog on how to live as a raw vegan on the budget for 16 tips on getting the best produce at the best price.
- Will I get bored on a fruitarian diet?
If you stick to a handful of different fruits and don’t experiment, you probably will get bored on the fruitarian diet. The whole point of it is to eat the complete rainbow, simultaneously maximizing nutrition and pleasing your taste buds.
There are endless variations of smoothies and smoothie bowls to try, so it might be worth grabbing a copy of a smoothie recipe book, like this awesome Superfood Smoothies book by Julie Morris. One of my favorite YouTubers, Fully Raw Kristina, also offers some incredible meal inspiration, like this blueberry swirl ice cream, rocky road ice cream, and even, would you believe it, a fully raw cherry cheesecake.
So while the fruitarian diet is convenient in that it’s super easy to grab a bunch of bananas, a punnet of grapes, and a peck of peaches, there’s also room to experiment with different recipes, like Fully Raw Kristina’s stunning creations.
Another fab resource for experimenting with fruit is the Rawtarian’s site, which is packed with raw recipes, including those which are fruit-based, like this raw pumpkin crumble and these raw chocolate shortbread bars. Drool! Of course, the majority of your calories should be made up of raw fruit on its own, but it’s nice to know that, when you fancy something a little more luxurious, these delectable recipes have got your back!
- What is monomealing?
You may have heard of the term monomeal and wondered what on earth it was all about. It’s certainly not as scary as it sounds…
Monomeals are simply large meals made up from one type of fruit.
Fully Raw Kristina is a big fan of these meals because, as Dr. Douglas Graham says, it’s much easier for the body to digest a single type of food than a bunch of different ingredients at any one time, freeing up more energy for your body.
Watermelon, mangoes, bananas, pears, apples, grapes, nectarines, and cherries – so any fruit, really – are all great for monomeals!
It’s pretty clear that fruitarianism is an incredible way of life.
A branch of the raw vegan diet, fruitarianism focuses on fruit-based meals, hydrating your body, and providing the (useful) sugar that it needs to tackle the day.
Famous rawtarians prove that you can thrive on the fruit-only diet, even as an athlete, and that you will get enough proteins and fats with this lifestyle. It can even prolong your life, which isn’t bad going for the humble banana.
Whether you fancy replacing one meal a day with a fruit-based dish, raw vegan, or fully fruitarian, eating more fruit will do nothing but wonders for your mind, body, and health. And those occasional slices of cheesecake will remind you that this lifestyle is anything but restrictive. Just don’t let anyone else get their hands on it, for obvious they’ll-munch-it-all reasons.
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