Humans are no less than monkeys or chimps, well not in the case of their diets at least. Keeping aside the diet, other similar things include some of the physiology features like the same stomach acidity, similar tooth structure, sweat glands, and more. By default, their design is such to depend mostly on fruits, and therefore bag the title ‘Frugivores’. I am sure you won’t find any person who doesn’t like fruits. Humans, the most advanced species on the Earth, tend to instinctively crave fruits, thanks to the vibrant colors and appealing aroma.
Frugivory is said to be a mutually beneficial trade-off between the frugivores and the plants. The fruit- lovers get an opportunity to enjoy a mighty tasty snack in reward for helping the plant’s propagation and reproduction. To help reproduction frugivores help spread the seeds of fruit far and wide so that all can enjoy a delicious snack.
A frugivore diet doesn’t differ much from a fruitarian diet. Animals like bats, chimps, and birds are frugivores animals and by taking a close look at their eating habits, we find that different animals belonging to varying habitats usually favor different quantities and types of fruits. On one hand, there are those who incorporate only fruits into their diets, while on the other hand, some may also include leaves and shoots.
Taking the unique case of humans, who can even survive if they eat like omnivores, however, they are still frugivores by their nature. This is the reason why anyone’s ‘frugivore diet’ is a well-balanced mix of all sorts of things- starting only from fruits to spirulina, animal products or ‘superfoods’ which have been discovered not many years ago.
From numerical consideration, a typical fruitarian diet should include 50% to 75% of fruits, but this is for a common person. A strict frugivore may even end up eating 90% of fruits into their total food consumption. This phenomenon is not an entirely new thing, but it can be said to have gained the most popularity only when the raw-food movement soared in recent years.
The real motivation behind people adopting a fruitarian diet actually varies from person to person, but the primary ones are health reasons as well as religious, moral, and ethical factors. Most of the frugivores have a strong faith and believe that a fruit diet is the original diet of mankind. Whereas there are those out there who are with the motion of not killing any living organism, not even plants, and therefore they only eat plant’s fruits.
Vegan diets and raw food diets have been into the minds and hearts of people for a long time. In the present time and age, even the frugivore diet has gained popularity.
The Main Food Groups
Now that you know what a frugivore diet is, it’s time to enrich your knowledge regarding this topic and make you aware of the working of this diet. To be called a frugivore, you must derive at least 50% to 75% of your total calories from raw fruits like papayas, bananas, apples, grapes, and bananas. The rest 50% to 25% of the calories are to be derived from foods like nuts, seeds, grains, and vegetables. More strict fruitarians may even make up 90% of their calorie intake from fruits while only 10% from nuts and seeds.
Typically, there are these seven food groups around which the whole frugivore diet revolves.
- Acidic Fruits: Cranberries, Apples, and Citrus Fruits
- Sub Acid fruits: Figs, Sweet Cherries, Raspberries, etc
- Sweet Fruits: Comprise of Melons, Bananas, and Grapes
- Oily Fruits: Coconuts, Olives, and Avocados
- Vegetable Fruits: Squash, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and Peppers
- Nuts: Cashews, Hazelnuts, Almonds, Walnuts, and Pistachios
- Seeds: Sunflower, Squash, and Pumpkin Seeds
What to Eat?
The next thing which comes to mind is what types of foods to eat and what to avoid. Understanding this is fairly very simple. Divide the diet into two parts: compliant foods and non- compliant foods. The subcategories under them are explained as follows:
Fruits: A frugivore diet usually motivates the followers to eat more and more variety of fruits, especially those exotic ones which include mangosteen, rambutan, jackfruit, passionfruit, durian, longan, and snake fruit. Besides these, frugivores are also encouraged to eat the more common fruits like pears, bananas, apples, berries, and oranges as well. There are some items that though we may not include them in the category of fruits, are still fruits- avocados, squashes, olives, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes.
Seeds and nuts: Seeds and nuts are also considered to be a part of the fruits of the plants when viewed technically. Therefore, frugivores usually make up the rest of their remaining calorie requirement through seeds and nuts, which compromise foods like sunflower seeds, walnuts, pepitas, almonds, etc.
Veggies: If you talk to any medical advisor or a person of knowledge, none will recommend you to go on a 100% fruit diet. Most of the fruitarians are in a practice of consuming leafy greens and other vegetables as well, even when on a frugivore diet.
Beverages: Talking about beverages, the first thing which comes to mind is coffee. Well, fruitarians can consume coffee based upon his or her own personal perspective while they are free to drink coconut water, fresh fruit juices, and water.
Animal Protein: Animal proteins like eggs, poultry, and beef are not permitted in a frugivore diet.
Dairy products: Dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, and alike are not an option for fruitarians. They are allowed to consume cashew, almond, or coconut milk instead of milk from an animal.
Grains: Grains and its products are also not allowed to be a part of the frugivore diet.
Starches: Starches, like a potato, are not even allowed in a frugivore diet.
Beans and legumes: A true and devoted frugivore will not include any beans or legumes in his or her diet, which comprises peas, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, and peanuts.
Pros and Cons of a Frugivore Diet
At last, it is of utmost importance to discuss the pros and cons of following a fruitarian diet.
Fruits are filled with important properties, being immensely rich in antioxidant contents besides vitamins, minerals, fiber, electrolytes, and phytonutrients. Along with being high in nutritional value, fruits also contain water, and taking in large quantities of fruits also aids in keeping your body hydrated. Fruits are low in fat and high in water, therefore, you can consume it in large quantities for very few calories.
Although fruits contain many nutrients not all of them are essential for a balanced diet. Humans need proteins and fats that are not present in a fruitarian diet. This diet may prove to be dangerous for people with diabetes, pancreatic, or kidney disorders. Frugivore diet is one of the most restrictive diets. Fruits are high in sugar content. Therefore, eating too much of them puts you at the risk for tooth decay. Acidic fruits like oranges and pineapples can erode the tooth enamel if you eat them too often.
Consider the pros and cons of this diet, and talk with a healthcare professional to find what is right for you. Not all diets will fit your lifestyle, and your doctor may be able to suggest something better suited for you. Frugivores take precautions in supplementing their diets with nutrients their bodies need, and if you plan on trying this diet you should seek help to find what nutrients your body may be lacking.