We all know that fruit is good for us. Recent studies suggest we should be eating up to ten portions of fruit and veg each day. But how much is too much?
We all know that fruit is good for us. Recent studies even suggest we should be eating up to ten portions of fruit and veg each day, rather than the traditional five-a-day. Consuming more fruit has incredibly positive direct and indirect effects on our health, from reducing our risk of developing diabetes, to encouraging us to lead healthier lifestyles. In fact, fruit is such a force for good, even employers are investing in fresh fruit for their staff through services like Fruitful Office http://www.fruitfuloffice.ie/ in a bid to boost staff happiness and reduce sick leave.
But just how much is too much fruit? And when does a healthy habit become a dangerous lifestyle choice?
This is a question which is of particular relevance to Saša Dedić, a Slovenian woman who claims she has cured her persistent life-long migraines by adopting a diet consisting of nothing but fruit, http://www.fruitnet.com/fpj/article/171958/woman-cures-...fruit. Known as fruitarianism, Saša's nutritional choices have alarmed nutritionists, despite her claims that a purely fruit-based diet has transformed her life.
Prior to becoming fruitarian, formerly vegan Saša suffered from chronic migraines, acne prone skin, yeast infections, frequent colds and a variety of other ailments. After switching to a majority fruit diet (supplemented by some salad ingredients and seeds), the fruity-eater claimed all of her health issues disappeared, leaving her in the best shape of her life.
But nutrition professionals have warned against a fruitarian diet, which is growing in popularity, read more on that at http://www.thefruitarian.com/, amongst more extreme dieters and healthy eating converts (even the late Steve Jobs adopted fruitarianism from time to time, claiming the diet fuelled his creativity). While fruit is wonderfully high in many of the vitamins, minerals and “general good stuff” our bodies need more of, and low in fat, carbohydrates and other “nasties”, it also doesn't contain all of the nutrients we need for our bodies to thrive.
Notably lacking in a fruit-only diet are vitamin B12, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium and iodine – and that's just for starters. Without these essential nutrients the human body can feel fatigued, suffer from a weakened immune system, develop anaemia and much more besides. Meanwhile, the high natural sugar content in fruit can lead to peaks and troughs in both energy and mood.
But just because we shouldn't eat only fruit, doesn't mean we shouldn't be eating more fruit. In fact, researchers at Imperial College London recently calculated that eating ten portions of fruit and vegetables a day could prevent 7.8 million premature deaths every year. With diet-related health conditions like obesity on the rise in Ireland, see the Irish Times article http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/ireland-s-obesity...94266, it's certainly time that we took these pro-fruit messages on board, even if we stop short of full-on fruitarianism.
Would you try fruitarianism? How many portions of fruit and vegetables do you eat every day? Share your views below.