Ever wonder what would happen if you ate only fruits and vegetables as the makeup of your diet? Would you become a superhuman? Would you live to 130? Or would it actually be somehow bad for you? What are the drawbacks?
Well first, let’s say that eating only fruits and vegetables actually has a name. It’s called a raw foods diet — a vegan raw foods diet to be exact because some people who eat a raw foods diet also eat dairy that has not been pasteurized as well as raw fish, meat, and eggs.
In general, those on vegan raw foods diets consume only fruits and vegetables, including legumes, nuts, seeds, and sprouted grains (which are considered fruits and vegetables) that have not been cooked. And as you may have noted, the actual question we’re exploring is: What would happen if you quit eating everything but fruits and vegetables? We’re not focusing on whether they are cooked or not. In fact, the jury’s still out on that.
The reason we’re looking at raw food vegans is that there has been some substantial research conducted on this diet, and this can help us shed light on what happens to the body when only fruits and vegetables are eaten. Just remember that we’re talking heated or otherwise.
First, as you may have guessed, the benefits of this kind of diet are numerous. Vegetables and fruits are amazing for you, and eating them primarily should do the following great things for your body:
• Lower blood pressure
• Reduce chance of stroke and heart failure
• Reduce chance of osteoporosis
• Reduce chance of kidney disease and stomach cancer
• Help you lose weight
• Prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes
In addition, this diet will be super rich in vitamins and minerals as well as immune-boosting, disease-fighting phytochemicals. It will have lots of healthy dietary fiber too, so your gut and digestion should be on track. A healthy gut has been linked to numerous health benefits of its own, including better nutrient absorption, improved concentration, a stronger resistance to disease and illness, more energy, and weight loss.
As with many diets, there are drawbacks to eating just fruits and veggies too. Here are the drawbacks of this diet:
• Difficult to follow (when eating out, at other’s homes, on the road)
• Lacks essential nutrients, like calcium, zinc, vitamin B12, and iron
• Lacks adequate protein — most raw food vegans need to take protein supplements
• Lacks vitamin D, which is essential for calcium metabolism, energy levels, and bones
• Lacks long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain, heart, and eye health
• Could cause weakness or anemia
• May interfere with pre-existing health conditions
• May actually cause digestive issues (namely, diarrhea) because of the massive of amount of dietary fiber in fruits and vegetables
• Could cause the dieter to get bored with eating and food in general
Should you try it?
If your goal is to be as healthy as possible, most experts recommend eating a well-balanced diet. This means excluding sugars and processed and packaged foods as much as possible. But grains, lean meats, and dairy can still be on the table if you like eating these foods and don’t have extenuating health concerns.
As you can see, eating just fruits and vegetables can provide some wonderful benefits, but there are some drawbacks too. If you want, try it for a week (even if you actually hate vegetables, we wrote previously how to go on a diet anyway). See how it works for you and your body. Just remember to always be safe and consult with your doctor before making any big diet choice that concerns your health.