3. Some Charges Made Against Fruits And Fruit Eaters
Most Hygienists/Life Scientists may be called timid fruitarian idealists. They are all too willing to admit, even proclaim, that we are naturally frugivores and that our ancestors lived either on nearly all or completely fruitarian diets. “A fruit meal is the ideal,” they espouse. Yet most of these same people are unwilling to try subsisting on fruits! Some Hygienists think we must supplement the fruit diet with some cheese, others think we must have some vegetables. Still others think fruits are great but should be supplemented with nuts (which are also fruits botanically).
The “consensus” diet that we have advocated consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Nevertheless many Hygienists eat seeds, nuts, sprouts, green leaves, stalks, stems, tubers and grains almost to the exclusion of fruits! These peoples fruit intake largely consists of avocados, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash.
When asked why they do not eat more fruit despite giving lip service to fruit as the ideal, most Hygienists will tell you that although fruit may be alright for short periods of time as a “cleansing” or “elimination” diet, it is not to be taken except as a luxury. These are the charges made against fruits:
- Fruits are protein poor;
- Fruits have too many free acids;
- Those who subsist on fruits become neurotics;
- Fruits are too poor in iron and anemia results if only fruits are eaten;
- Those who eat only fruits will suffer nutritional imbalances and deficiencies;
- Fruit eaters cannot maintain weight and are too thin;
- Fruit eaters become over-alkaline and often suffer alkalosis; and
- Fruits are deficient in calcium as well as protein and results in stunted growth in youngsters.
Taken together, these statements sound like quite an indictment. Yet, almost the same charges were made by the medical profession against both fruits and vegetables 150 years ago. Fruit eating was then said to result in fevers, biliousness and other maladies. Fruit was treated as a dessert or as a decorative accessory.
Of course this indictment has never been heard by tribes and peoples who subsist almost totally on bananas, custardy coconuts (before its fats and fibers form), dates, figs and similar fruits. Orangutans of the East Indies live exclusively on fruit and are the most intelligent and human-like of our primate relatives.
How can one defend the concept of fruit as our natural food? Is this stance hypocritical? Is there substance to the aforementioned charges? Is fruit really our natural food after all? Is it possible that it no longer supplies our needs? Has the human constitution changed? Here we have many questions arise that need answering.
3.1 “Fruits Are Protein-Poor”
The charge is made that fruits are protein poor. It is true that if you compare a banana in the dry state with its 5% protein content to a soy bean in the dry state with 35% protein, the banana is, indeed, protein poor. But the protein content of any food has relevance only to our need of it as an item of diet. So we must understand our need for protein relative to our diet.
A growing human baby gets a mono diet of its mother’s milk for many months before it touches any other food. Mother’s milk for her rapidly developing infant contains only 1.1% protein. Surely no one can argue that a grown person can require more protein than a growing child relative to its weight or as a percentage of its diet. If anything, the grownup who has attained full development requires less protein than a nursing tot. A grown person might get adequate protein on as little as half a percent of his or her dietary content.
The RDA for protein is said to be 70 grams daily for an average man of 150 pounds. This figure is well over twice the actual human need. In fact, it is about three times the actual need as established by tests by Dr. Chittenden of Yale and Dr. Hinhede in Denmark and many others. Further, there are groups of physically-robust people in the Caribbean who thrive on an average intake of about 15 grams of protein daily. (They eat cassava or manioc.) Keeping in mind that the body can obtain up to 70% of its protein needs by recycling its proteinaceous wastes, it becomes somewhat evident that protein needs in humans have been overblown. The meat, dairy, poultry and fish industries have made their mark, even on those who reject animal products as items of food.
Can we continue to say that fruits are protein poor? In view that, if protein is one per cent of our diet, our protein needs are amply met, then fruits are protein adequate! When we’ve eaten some 2,250 calories worth of almost any fruit except apples, we’ve also ingested some 25 to 40 grams of protein. Inasmuch as most fruits do contain all the essential amino acids, I would adjudge that fruits meet human needs for protein amply.
History bears out beyond refutation that humans have been fruit eaters during their entire sojourn on earth excepting a period beginning during the ice ages. Even then, a preponderance of our ancestors still ate fruits. Most migrated south to warmer climes and continued to eat fruits. Grain eating is not more than 10,000 years old. Meat eating, though much older than that, was mostly confined to northerly peoples. Almost all mythology is built around trees and climatic factors that affected trees. Only relatively recent mythologies connect humans to grain culture and animal husbandry.
3.2 “Fruits Have Too Many Free Acids”
The charge that fruits have too many free acids is false and rather pointless. Fruits have no free acid. All are organic. Vinegar, cheese and fermented milk are substances with free acids, namely acetic and lactic acids.
Humans are primarily sweet fruit eaters. Yet even grapefruits, plums, sour cherries, sour grapes, lemons, limes and other acidic fare have no free acids.
The human body metabolizes most acids in fruits very well. Benzoic acid, tannic acid, oxalic acid and prussic acid, none of which are free acids and all of which are rare in fruits, are among those acids that give humans metabolic problems. Humans handle citric, tartaric and malic acids very well. These are the primary fruit acids: Perhaps the occasions when fruit acids give problems occur when acid fruits such as lemons, strawberries, pineapples or grapefruit are eaten along with sweet fruit such as bananas, dates, figs, raisins, persimmons or non-fruit fare.
3.3 Those Who Subsist on Fruits Become Neurotics
The third charge that those who subsist on fruits become neurotics is simply ridiculous. If fruit is, as we contend, a perfectly wholesome food furnishing all the needs of human life, then it will occasion nothing but great health. While we are the first to affirm that nervous malfunctions or neurosis have physiological bases, we also point out that these problems stem from toxemia in almost every such case. They often, but not always, precede neurosis. Most neuroses are complicated by anxieties, insecurities, worries and other emotional disruptions begotten by an inhumane social system. I daresay we have uncounted millions of neurotics and few are fruit eaters. Unfortunately, our psychologists do not recognize the physical basis of neurosis and give credence almost completely to emotional, social, economic and mental factors. Physical derangements often lay the groundwork for mental derangements. Hence the charge that fruits cause neurotics is a charge which I don’t think has ever been substantiated.
There are fruit-eating societies of humans in this world and descriptions of them bespeak the most peaceable, congenial and harmonious dispositions of any peoples on earth.
3.4 Fruits Are Too Poor in Iron and Cause Anemia
The charge that fruits are too poor in iron and cause anemia is likewise without foundation. The body can recycle up to about 95% of its iron supply and needs very little from the outside. It is said that our RDA of iron is some 10 milligrams daily. This, like other RDA’s, is some two to three times too high. Nevertheless, oranges sufficient to meet our caloric needs supply about twenty milligrams of iron daily. In fact, if you compared all the fruits and their iron content, you’d find every one meeting the RDA for iron with surfeits. A food that might be said to be deficient in iron by these RDA’s is, of all things, a mother’s milk!
Should fruits be charged as being Vitamin B-12 poor, then the same can be said of all foods, even the foods that animals eat. Only meats and certain kinds of algae have what is termed sufficient Vitamin B-12. But if animal fare such as grasses, leaves, grains, herbs and fruits do not furnish animals with vitamin B-12, how do their organs come to be so rich in it? Why are the organs of fruit-eating primates rich in it? How is it that fruitarian societies are not anemic from lack of Vitamin B-12? The truth is that humans, like all other animals, obtain ample supplies of Vitamin B-12 from bacterial production in their intestines. Even garlic eaters usually do not destroy enough of their symbiotic bacterial flora to deny themselves of an adequate supply of Vitamin B-12.
So I adjudge the charge that fruit eaters are anemic to be without any substantive evidence whatsoever.
3.5 Those Who Eat Only Fruits Suffer Nutritional Imbalance and Deficiencies
The charge that fruit eaters will suffer nutritional imbalances and deficiencies likewise finds no basis in fact. Fruits, eaten judiciously according to their seasons, furnish us with every nutrient factor, known and unknown, in plenteousness. Those ancient Greeks whom we admire so much for their statuesque bodies, were fruit eaters. Most ate heavily of apples, dates, oranges, olives, figs and grapes. The Greek and Roman gods are ascriptions born of reverence for fruit trees and food-bearing plants.
3.6 Fruit Eaters Cannot Maintain Weight and Are Too Thin
The charge that fruit eaters are too thin is not borne out by even the simplest investigation. Personally, I’ve gone down into the 120-pound range and came back to the 150-pound range with excellent muscular development, on a diet almost entirely of fruits. My wife has to watch her intake of heavy-calorie fruit foods, especially nuts, lest she become too heavy. As previously pointed out, the Greeks thrived on fruitarian diets. Pythagoras, one of the giants of Grecian literature, philosophy and mathematics, was a fruitarian and had a whole school of followers who, likewise, were fruitarians. Actually, the teachings of Pythagoras very much parallel the teachings of Gautama Buddha, whose teachings Pythagoras was conversant with. Buddha was, in essence, a tree worshipper as were fruitarian societies. Bacchus is portrayed as heavily overweight and this is attributed to fig gluttony.
3.7 Fruit Eaters Become Over-Alkaline and Suffer Alkalosis
The charge that fruit eaters are over alkaline and often suffer alkalosis is, likewise, baseless. We humans can harmlessly excrete excess alkaline substances but, if we get excess acid-forming substances as from meats, animal products, cereal foods, etc., we really have problems. The body must rob its bones, teeth and other alkaline structures for the alkalis, mostly calcium, necessary to neutralize the acids generated from acid-forming foods. The maker of this “alkalosis” charge simply ignored physiology. It ill becomes vegetarians or fruitarians to make such a charge.
3.8 Fruits Are Deficient in Calcium as Well as Protein and Results in Stunted Growth in Youngsters
Fruits are said to be deficient in calcium. To investigate this I made charts of a number of fruits and their composition. Our fuel needs can be met amply by fruits. Calcium and a plethora of other nutrients are a component of every gram of fruit food. When we have eaten sufficient fruit to supply our caloric needs, say about 2,250 calories, how much of our RDA for calcium have we met? The RDA is set at 800 milligrams per day for a 150-pound man. This, like other RDA’s, is some two to four times too high. Nevertheless, let’s look at some fruit foods and their calcium content when 2,250 calories worth have been consumed.
Oranges, a widely-consumed fruit, have about 2,050 milligrams of calcium, 2 1/2 times the RDA. Apples have 315 mg. Apricots have 782 mg. Cantaloupes have 1,078 mg. Figs have 1,130 mg. Bananas have 224 mg. and banana-eating societies have excellent bone formation by all standards. Grapes have 440 mg., dates have 530 mg., mangos 370 mg., pineapples 785 mg., watermelon 640 mg. and so on down the line. Obviously fruits supply us amply with our calcium needs. The saying that fruit eaters suffer stunted growth does not withstand serious inquiry. As previously noted, statuesque Greeks were fruit eaters.
3.9 Build Your Confidence in the Fruitarian Dietary
Fruit eaters are not usually fat, brawny hulks as are
grain, milk and meat eaters. The question arises: are these standards forming a criterion of health or pathology?
Let me cite an example. Murray Rose, an Australian who set swimming record after swimming record, was primarily a fruit eater though he partook of some seaweeds and vegetable fare.
Now if we confirmed fruitarians were to start making charges against those who want to eat “exciting” foods such as, cooked dishes, often laden with condiments, vegetables, cereals and even dairy products such as yogurts, and cheeses, many could be well-substantiated. Wrong foods create toxemia.
The illnesses that beset almost all Americans amply attest to this fact. Even those who pride themselves on a vegetarian diet or a “health” diet or even a Hygienic diet often find themselves suffering toxic conditions. Toxemia arises out of practices that cause toxins to be ingested, generated and/or retained. Fruit eating is universally said to be cleansing and promoting the function of elimination, and it is recognized for its non-toxic nature.
- 1. Humans Developed To Their Hight State Entirely On Fruits
- 2. Fruits Still Best Meet Our Needs Despite Their Present Lower Quality
- 3. Some Charges Made Against Fruits And Fruit Eaters
- 4. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Fruit Eating By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Fruit: Best Food Of All By William L. Esser
- Article #3: Proteins In The Fruitarian Diet By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton