First of all, by "superhuman," I mean, for starters:
- being able to fight off diseases like cancer
- having slower-aging cells
- having clean digestion, including odorless farts
- having virtually no body odor
- having more energy and mental clarity
Now, most of us have obviously been told that we're designed to eat both plant and animal foods, but, when you really take a look at the human body, it is quite easy to see that it closely resembles the body of a frugivore (an animal that is designed to eat a fruit-based diet).
Case in point: unlike carnivores, we lack stomach acid that is strong enough to kill potentially harmful bacteria like E. coli, which is why we generally "cheat" by cooking meat before we eat it. We also lack things like claws and big jaws filled with fangs, which isn't really that surprising considering that our primate ancestors were frugivores/herbivores and that even our human ancestors seemingly ate a mostly plant-based diet:
It wasn't until around 7500 years ago that people living in central Europe began to regularly drink non-human milk. And since most people don't originate from there, most don't continue to produce the enzyme lactase after infancy, which is needed to digest the lactose milk contains. Around 75 percent of adults worldwide (mostly non-Caucasians) are lactose intolerant.
While egg intolerance is not really a thing, eggs are so unhealthy that corporations are actually not allowed to advertise them as healthy, nutritious, or even safe if they want to finance their ads with money from the American Egg Board:
And while, botanically speaking, mature grains and legumes are fruits, they are, you know, rock-hard and therefore need to be processed to become edible. They're also full of raw starch (of which we can only unproblematically digest so much). On top of that, they contain so-called antinutrients and, depending on the type, significant amounts of outright toxic substances, like cyanide and certain lectins.
Cooking does reduce/neutralize many of the problem-causing substances found in raw grains and legumes, but it also reduces the nutrient content, and high-temperature cooking of grains, legumes, and potatoes creates, for example, acrylamide. Then there's of course the whole gluten thing.
Regular potatoes too are full of raw starch, and the peels contain not-so-small amounts of the glycoalkaloids solanine and chaconine, which are not only toxic but also barely heat-sensitive. (You really want to avoid green potatoes.)
There's also the potato lectin, but it is a lot less harmful, and only around 40-50 percent of its biological activity is retained after cooking.
What's there left to eat then? Well, lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
However, while the types of nuts and seeds we're used to eating can technically also be eaten raw and generally do contain a lot less saturated fat than animal foods, they're still a lot more difficult to digest than fruits and vegetables, especially since they too contain antinutrients. But, like with grains and legumes, soaking and sprouting them helps.
Again, I'm only talking about the nuts and seeds we're used to eating - if you weigh 70 kg (~154 lb) and swallow 200 finely chewed apple seeds (~20 apple cores), you could die from cyanide poisoning.
Then again, as tempting as it may be, it's also really not a good idea to eat 2.8 kg (~6 lb) of almonds, and neither is eating 5.8 kg (~13 lb) of tree spinach.
Sure, the thought of eating nothing but raw fruits, vegetables, and maybe some nuts and seeds is also pretty tempting, especially when you don't know of a single tasty fruitarian recipe, but yeah, I think going through withdrawal for a few weeks to come out kinda superhuman is worth it:
1. Disease Prevention & Treatment
In 2015, the World Health Organization classified red meat as a Group 2A carcinogen, meaning as probably cancer-causing. It also classified processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen - as cancer-causing. This was done after the International Agency for Research on Cancer reviewed more than 800 studies that deal with processed and/or red meat.
"Red meat refers to all types of mammalian muscle meat, such as beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, and goat.
Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation. Most processed meats contain pork or beef, but processed meats may also contain other red meats, poultry, offal, or meat by-products such as blood.
Examples of processed meat include hotdogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces."
To be clear, the agency's meta-analysis only really dealt with colorectal cancer. There's plenty of peer-reviewed scientific literature pointing out that the consumption of processed meat can also cause other types of cancer as well as, for example, asthma, diabetes, and heart disease - meat contains, among other things, cholesterol, hormones, antibiotics (generally less or none if organic), and dioxins, as do fish, dairy, and eggs.
Of course, animal foods also contain nutrients that we need to be healthy, but none of them are only found in animal foods, and yeah, that includes vitamin B12.
Neither animals nor plants produce vitamin B12, bacteria do, and, like with other vitamins, plants then absorb it if it's found in the soil, which the ones we're buying these days, thanks to soil depletion, don't do often. Fortunately, we can simply supplement it.
Here's what the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals says about vegan diets:
"It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes."
2. Cellular Aging
As we age, the telomeres protecting our DNA get shorter, which eventually leads to our cells dying/no longer dividing. Since the enzyme telomerase slows the shortening, a study was conducted to find out whether lifestyle improvements increase the enzyme's activity in our body.
The participants, in addition to exercising more often, ate a "low-fat (10% of calories from fat), whole foods, plant-based diet high in fruits, vegetables, unrefined grains, legumes, and low in refined carbohydrates."
"Comprehensive lifestyle changes significantly increase telomerase activity and consequently telomere maintenance capacity in human immune-system cells. Given this finding and the pilot nature of this study, we report these increases in telomerase activity as a significant association rather than inferring causation. Larger randomised controlled trials are warranted to confirm the findings of this study."
Five years later, in 2013, another study showed that eating a healthier diet significantly increases telomerase activity:
Aside from avoiding the saturated fat found in animal foods, eating a diet rich in antioxidants helps protect our telomeres - antioxidants neutralize so-called free radicals, which, in a process called oxidative stress, shorten our telomeres.
While antioxidants are barely present in animal foods, they are readily available in plant foods.
The problem is that antioxidants are generally heat-sensitive, which explains why this study from 1995 found that "the "living food diet" provides significantly more dietary antioxidants than does the cooked, omnivorous diet." ("Living food diet" because cooked nuts and seeds may not germinate when you plant them - enzymes, like other proteins, start to denature at temperatures above 104 degrees Fahrenheit/40 degrees Celsius).
It's also worth mentioning that some antioxidants, including beta-carotene, are fat-soluble and therefore ideally eaten with a little fat:
Another way eating less animal foods helps fight the aging the process:
Since plant foods, unlike animal foods, contain fiber, and insoluble fiber speeds up digestion, bacteria in the large intestine don't have as much time to do their smelly business when you're eating a plant-based diet.
There are still very few studies about fruitarian diets, but, in addition to this study that concludes "the gut microbiome can rapidly respond to altered diet" and this study that concludes "the vegan gut profile appears to be unique in several characteristics, including a reduced abundance of pathobionts and a greater abundance of protective species," there is also this study:
"Eighteen volunteers were divided randomly into two groups. The test group received an uncooked vegan diet for 1 month and a conventional diet of mixed Western type for the other month of the study. The control group consumed a conventional diet throughout the study period. Stool samples were collected. Bacterial cellular fatty acids were extracted directly from the stool samples and measured by GLC. Computerized analysis of the resulting fatty acid profiles was performed. Such a profile represents all bacterial cellular fatty acids in a sample and thus reflects its microflora and can be used to detect changes, differences, or similarities of bacterial flora between individual samples or sample groups. GLC profiles changed significantly in the test group after the induction and discontinuation of the vegan diet but not in the control group at any time, whereas quantitative bacterial culture did not detect any significant change in fecal bacteriology in either of the groups. The results suggest that an uncooked extreme vegan diet alters the fecal bacterial flora significantly when it is measured by direct stool sample GLC of bacterial fatty acids."
Also, around 99 percent of a smelly fart is made up of nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, methane, and oxygen - all five of them are odorless. The two main things to blame for the smell are the composition of the food that's currently being digested and the amount of time it has been digested for.
Case in point: sulfur, which bacteria in the large intestine turn into sulfurous gases, mainly into the "rotten egg gas" hydrogen sulfide that makes up around one percent of a smelly fart.
Foods high in sulfur are animal foods, legumes, dried fruits that had sulfur dioxide added as a preservative, and Brassica/Allium vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy / onions, shallots, garlic, leeks).
4. Body Odor
"Axillary body odor is individually specific and potentially a rich source of information about its producer. Odor individuality partly results from genetic individuality, but the influence of ecological factors such as eating habits are another main source of odor variability. However, we know very little about how particular dietary components shape our body odor."
That was from one of the two studies I could find that deal with diet-related body odor. In it, women judged the axillary body odor of men before and after they didn't eat meat for two weeks.
"Results of repeated measures analysis of variance showed that the odor of donors when on the nonmeat diet was judged as significantly more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense."
5. Energy & Mental Clarity
When I switched from a vegan diet to a fruitarian diet, I didn't just notice a to-be-expected improvement in energy levels. The difference was so big that, when I took a break from eating fruitarian, I also took a break from, for example, watching my favorite TV shows, since I didn't want to watch them without being "fully there."
And when I went running a couple of weeks after I went fruitarian, instead of being able to somewhat "comfortably" run for around an hour, I comfortably ran for two hours straight and only stopped due to my muscles complaining that they're not used to this.
As unbelievable as that may seem, I can explain, at least to some extent, how that happened.
All living cells in the human body use sugar (glucose) and oxygen (when available) to produce ATP (the energy currency cells run on). When you eat a diet low in saturated fat, glucose can be absorbed by cells much easier:
There's also this:
While I didn't drink any beet juice, I did, you know, eat a clean, easy-to-digest, nutrient-packed diet.
Now since I wrote "for starters" at the beginning, here are five more benefits of eating a fruitarian diet:
6. Eating a Low-Fat Vegan Diet Can Cure Erectile Dysfunction
7. Eating a High-Carb Vegan Diet Can Make Losing Weight Effortless
A proper high-carb vegan diet is not only growth hormone-free, low in fat, and high in fiber but also low in salt, which, due to its dehydrating effect, can cause the body to hold in multiple liters of water.
Fortunately, when you eat less salt, you not only lose water weight but also get used to the taste of low-salt food:
Eating a high-carb vegan diet instead of a calorie-restrictive omnivorous one to lose weight also works better because it provides the body with enough fuel to run properly - it won't go into "famine mode," in which it slows the metabolism down and stores fat much more aggressively.
In my case, however, eating this way allowed me to finally gain enough weight. I was underweight for years, even though I ate more than the average man, and despite the fact that my blood tests were fine.
8. Eating a Fruitarian Diet Can Make Your Sexual Fluids Taste a Lot Better
However, it may be a good idea to avoid certain spices/vegetables - the day after I ate a meal containing ginger and leek, a friend told me that my cum now tastes quite bad, he said there was a night-and-day difference.
9. An Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Be a Cure for Chemically Caused Depression
10. Eating a Low-Fat Vegan Diet Can Make Your Skin Look Clear and Radiant
Also, a few weeks after I started eating fruitarian, my still-minor wrinkles almost completely disappeared (and then reappeared when I stopped eating fruitarian).
How to Go Vegan
How to Go Fruitarian
What to Eat
Many fruitarians, myself included, eat lots of ripe bananas - out of all the fresh fruits typically sold, they are usually the cheapest source of calories and other nutrients:
While Bananas are relatively low in antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamin K, sodium, calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, leaf vegetables are generally high in these nutrients, meaning bananas and leaf vegetables go very well together (especially in the form of sweet green smoothies).
However, spinach, purslane, garden orache, rhubarb, beet leaves, and sorrel are also high in the antinutrient oxalate, which negatively affects calcium and iron absorption.
Some banana-free food that is especially great during the transition period:
Blend until smooth:
- 500 g (1.1 lb) of "sweet" (only mildly sour) yellow cherry roma/cherry tomatoes (no stems; non-green tomatoes contain a very small amount of the glycoalkaloid tomatine, which, like the tomato lectin, seems to be harmless - green tomatoes contain a lot more)
- 60 g (2.1 oz) of leek (a lot less problem-causing than onions but similar in taste)
- 4-5 medium-sized Medjool dates
- 20-30 g (0.7-1.0 oz) of coconut meat (30 g may contain enough fat to make your farts smell a bit, and most of the fat found in coconut is saturated fat)
- a small piece of ginger (the size of 3 peas; certain spices make your farts smell)
- a small piece of turmeric
- and a small, seedless piece of red chili pepper (optional; the capsaicin chili peppers contain is toxic).
Then add to the blended part:
- 500 g (1.1 lb) of chopped-up, sweet, yellow cherry roma/cherry tomatoes (for more flavor, remove the seeds)
- and 1-2 tablespoons of chopped-up coriander.
For more recipes:
"But where do you get your protein from?"
From fruits and vegetables:
"And what about minerals like iron and calcium?"
Fruits and vegetables.
"Given how little thought is given to such considerations when we're chomping away at hamburgers and feasting on processed foods, fretting over meeting vitamin and mineral requirements after switching to a far more nutrient-dense diet is a bit absurd.
A diet of uncooked fruits, vegetables, and perhaps a few nuts and seeds will supply you with a wide range of nutrients that a SAD diet can't hope to match."
And when it comes to getting enough vitamin D, sunbathing for around 5-30 minutes between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. twice a week with your face, arms, legs, or back exposed could be enough to meet the National Academy of Medicine's recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D (the more skin is exposed, the more vitamin D is produced; the darker your skin, the more sunshine you need).
However, there's quite a lot of evidence suggesting that the academy's recommended dietary allowance should be much higher (the academy was called the Institute of Medicine until 2015):
If you live far away from the equator, and your vitamin D reserves aren't big enough to last you through the winter, you can prevent becoming deficient with ultraviolet light-irradiated mushrooms, supplements, or UVB ray-focused tanning beds.
But no matter the diet, getting your blood checked every now and then is definitely a good idea.
Tips & Tricks
1. Make sure to eat enough - I'm 1.88 meters tall (6'2"), and I eat at least 3000 calories a day.
2. Eat fruit when it's ripe - ripe fruit is not only sweeter (more calories) but also a lot easier to digest.
3. A playlist about the buying and handling of bananas:
4. Chew your smoothies - chewing produces saliva, and saliva contains ptyalin, an enzyme that breaks starch down into simple sugars. Also, here's what oxidation does to smoothies and how to largely prevent it:
5. If you're suffering from digestive issues, replacing vegetables and acidic fruits with non-acidic or less-acidic fruits like Banana and Mango can help.
6. Take care of your teeth!
I recommend brushing your teeth three times a day, especially after eating smoothies. But, after eating acidic fruit, you want to wait 30-60 minutes before you do.
(When brushing your teeth isn't possible, swishing water around in your mouth helps, and so does eating some less-sugary food, like celery, tomato, or bell pepper.)
7. Eating a fruitarian diet often leads to a bigger grocery bill, but:
9. Try not to annoy people into eating fruitarian/vegan - over the eight years I've been vegan, I've come to learn that it's much more effective to simply lead by example.
10. Inform yourself about food addiction.
I've gone fruitarian numerous times now - overcoming my "cooked-food" addiction usually takes me around 2-4 weeks. And fortunately, during those weeks, I only really craved cooked food whenever I started to get hungry.
Don't underestimate the cravings or the withdrawal symptoms in general though - my brain literally tried to convince me that I'll never be happy again if I don't eat cooked food ASAP.
But yeah, it lied. So much so that, every time I started eating cooked food again, I had almost zero fun eating it the first few days.
Things that helped me through the withdrawal:
- having a list of the reasons why I want to go fruitarian with me
- reading and watching videos about the diet/lifestyle
- keeping myself busy and distracting myself with, for example, exciting films, series, and video games
- banana ice cream
- and "savory/salty" snacks, like bell peppers, sweet cherry roma tomatoes, and almost-dry chopped-up tomatoes, especially in combination with avocado and leek/celery powder. (At 104 degrees Fahrenheit/40 degrees Celsius, it takes around 16 hours for halved tomato quarters to become almost dry.)