I’ve always been intrigued by something I’ve heard about raw food diets: the energy and mental clarity people say they experience while eating that way.
I’ve heard similar stories from numerous people over the years about how eating diet of raw foods only, especially fruit only, gives them a high, a mental lightness, extra mental and physical energy, and a deeper way of perceiving the world around them. One person says “the brain-fog lifted” when she switched to a fruitarian diet. Another describes the psychological transformation after going fruitarian is like “living in five dimensions instead of three”.
Raw foodists often say that they lose this mental clarity and perception if they switch back to cooked foods. I think I’ve even witnessed this: one person when I first met her was on a raw foods (though not fruitarian) diet, and she had a bubbly, energetic personality. Later when acupuncturists told her that a raw food diet was bad for her, she stopped eating raw. The change I saw in her was dramatic: after she started regularly eating cooked foods, she seemed almost under the influence of a sedative compared to her previous energy level on a raw foods-only diet.
All this got me curious.
The placebo effect is a powerful thing, and it’s certainly possible as an explanation for what’s going on here. But I’ve heard similar stories from so many different people over the years that I got to wondering if there really is something more than placebo, some real change in human physiology on this diet which improves a person’s energy level and way of perceiving the world while eating this kind of diet.
Basically, I started experiencing FOMO, fear of missing out. I feel like I’ve got pretty good energy and mental clarity on my usual diet of mixed raw and cooked plant foods, but hearing raw foodists and fruitarians talk about the spectacular energy levels and mental clarity they feel, I couldn’t help wondering if I’m missing out on some higher-order mode of experiencing the world I could achieve if I ate a raw foods diet.
So I decided to try it out: a 100% raw fruitarian diet, for one week, to see if I can experience the higher energy levels and mental clarity that raw foodists describe. Why a week? One reason is that when I asked a fruitarian friend what length of time it might take on a fruit-only diet for the extra energy and perception levels to kick in, she recommended a week. She said that she originally tried eating only fruit intending it as a seven day detox, and before the week was up she felt so transformed that she decided to take up the diet permanently.
Another reason for trying it out for just a week is that it seems very unlikely I’d accumulate any serious nutrient deficiencies or imbalances in that short a time. The human body has an excellent ability to manage short term fluctuations in nutrient intake, and a week is likely way too short to run into any significant deficiencies.
(I know people who’ve been on a fruit-only diet for years, and they seem quite healthy.)
But I also had a more practical reason for trying out the diet for a week: fruit supply. Where I live in North Florida is above the winter frost line, so there isn’t a great abundance of tropical fruits. But on a recent trip to the fruit-growing regions of South Florida, I brought back a sizable haul of tropical fruits, including some of the rich, calorically dense fruits of the tropics that I thought might provide enough calories to keep an active person like me going. If I had to depend on the sparse fruit offerings at typical grocery stores, it’d be difficult for me to subsist on fruit, but with dense fruits like mamey and sapodilla and various gourmet varieties of banana available, it seemed a lot more achievable. Looking at this load of tropical goodness I’d brought back, it seemed like as good a time as any to test out how I’d fare on an all-fruit diet.
I understood that sticking to a fruitarian diet over the long term might require some careful nutrient-tracking to insure an adequate balance of nutrition. My plan was to try out a fruit diet for that one week, just to see how I felt, without bothering to track calories or other nutrients. If by the end of that week I’d experienced such a great positive transformation in how I felt that I wanted to continue eating this way, then I’d start weighing and measuring what I ate, tracking it in a nutrition app, and experimenting to see if it’s possible to maintain that higher energy level on a more diverse diet.
So I decided to just go with the fruits I had. Here’s a list which covers most of the fruits I ate that week: mango, jackfruit, lychee, soursop, mamey, multiple varieties of banana, mangosteen, a couple kinds of passionfruit, sapodilla, casimiroa (aka white sapote), jaboticaba, mammee apple, ciruela, chocolate pudding fruit, cacao fruit, dragonfruit, tamarillo, and sprouted coconut (technically not a fruit, but I know fruitarians who eat it regularly and they don’t seem to find it interfering with their ongoing fruitarian high). Which fruits I ate on any day was largely determined by what was ripest that day, as I worked my way through this bountiful fruit stash.
The first few days, much of the fruit I ate was mamey and gourmet varieties of bananas. Partly this was because they were ripest, but also I was thinking that on this kind of diet, I’d need to pay attention to keeping my calorie intake up, and those seemed like a good, calorie-dense foods to eat as a staple.
Right away, I was surprised by how filling these all-fruit meals were. I often found myself feeling satiated after eating a few “Praying Hands” bananas, a mango, and a slice of mamey – less food than I would have expected to eat before feeling satisfied.
On days one thru three, I felt generally really good, and it seemed like I was adapting well to this diet.
But mid way through day four, I had an episode of something seeming off-balance. I couldn’t quite place what it was, but on some deep level I sensed I wasn’t quite getting what I needed from these meals heavy on mamey and bananas. I felt like I just couldn’t stomach eating another banana, even these fantastically delicious gourmet varieties that had been matured properly on the plant. I sat down, trying to pay attention to what my body was telling me, and I considered ending the experiment early. Then I got up and looked at my stash of fruits in the refrigerator, and noticed how enticing the lychees looked. I devoured a bunch of them, one after another, and those juicy sweet-tart lychee fruits seemed to satisfy whatever the imbalance was that I’d been feeling. I remembered that fruitarian Fit Shortie had mentioned numerous times how she felt the need to include lots of “juicy fruits” in her diet. Apparently I’d just run into the same need. From that point on in the week, I made sure to include a balance of juicy fruits (lychees, mangosteens, passionfruits and mangoes) along with the non-juicy bananas and mamey fruits I was eating, and that feeling of something being off-balance did not return.
Overall, I felt pretty satiated on this fruit diet. I had good energy levels and I didn’t feel hungry between meals. At the same time, I sometimes felt something else in the background: it wasn’t actual hunger, but a faint, lingering craving for something else, something more dense. On my kitchen shelf was a bag of pecans and almonds. I found myself eyeing these nuts, thinking how nice it would be to dig into that bag. But I held off, to give this fruit-only thing a full trial, telling myself I could eat the nuts in just a few days.
I made it to the end of the week, the moment I’d set as my big decision time: whether to stay on this this way of eating or not. Adding pressure to my decision, at this point my stash of those wonderful tropical fruits was just about gone.
At that seven-day mark, I had found the answer to the question I’d wondered for years – was I missing out on something big by eating my usual diet of cooked foods along with raw? Would subsisting on a fruit-only diet allow me to experience a higher level of mental clarity and energy level, a deeper perspective on myself and the world around me?
After a full week on a raw fruitarian diet, here is the big result of my experiment: I felt completely… normal. My usual self. No grand change in mental clarity, no boosted energy level. No five-dimensional perception of the world, just the good old regular three dimensions. Other than that brief episode I described on day four, I felt really good while I was eating an all-fruit diet. But I feel really good on my regular diet of both raw and cooked plant foods, and I didn’t notice any particular improvement in how I felt during my fruitarian week.
So after seven days on raw fruit, I declared the experiment complete, and I resumed my usual diet of fruit alongside other cooked and raw plant foods. There are so many outstandingly productive, nutritious, and delicious food plants which require cooking to become edible, like white potato, sweet potato, true yams, lots of leafy green vegetables, and many kinds of beans. To me it seems a pity to deny oneself these excellent sources of nutrition. Yes, cooking can break down some nutrients in some foods, but it can also make other nutrients more available. So I figure it’s best to balance it out with a mix of raw and cooked foods.
I did notice one big change upon my “re-entry” to eating heavier foods: in just one week, my taste buds had gotten WAY more sensitive to fat content in what I was eating. The only significant sources of fat I’d consumed that week were three sprouted coconuts (I only ate the fluffy part, not the fattier coconut meat still clinging inside the shell), and a few cacao beans (eaten along with the cacao fruit flesh). So it was a pretty low-fat diet for that week. Remember that bag of nuts I’d had my eye on all week? I made sure that when I ended the week, those nuts were one of the first non-fruit things I ate. I was shocked when I tasted the pecans and almonds at how intensely rich and fatty they seemed. It was almost too much to handle. I expected to devour much of the bag, like usual. Instead I ate just a few nuts and set the bag back on the kitchen shelf, with no desire to eat any more at that moment. I’ve since re-acclimated to to fatty foods and I no longer have that extreme sensitivity to fat content in foods. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.
Another change which happened is that I lost three pounds that week. (I’ve since gained them back). I have no idea if those three pounds were muscle, fat, water retention, or what. Normally I eat lots of high-fiber cooked and raw vegetables and beans. It’s possible that my digestive system normally is carrying some of this dietary bulk which it’s processing, and maybe the fruits were so much lower in fiber that a much larger percentage of the mass of the food I ate was getting absorbed by my intestines. With only a seven-day trial and not having done any body mass measurements, it’s hard to say what those three pounds were.
Even though I didn’t notice any boost in energy level or mental clarity, I did experience one curious psychological change while eating all fruit: an increased fascination with the topic of food. Normally food is a pretty interesting topic to me, but things went to another level that week. Previously I had browsed the back catalog of the BBC’s podcast ‘The Food Program’, and had downloaded a few episodes which had sounded interesting. During my fruitarian week I returned to the back catalog, and scanning those same descriptions, suddenly almost every episode sounded utterly fascinating. I downloaded and listened to most of the old episodes of ‘The Food Program’ that week. Admittedly, this sounds like the kind of obsessive behavior that a really hungry person would do, but that’s the funny thing about it: I was not feeling hungry.
What do I conclude from this dietary experiment? The biggest takeaway for me is that I no longer have “fruitarian FOMO”. I just don’t experience those higher mental and physical states which some people say they experience on a raw, all-fruit diet, at least not during a one-week period. Apparently a fruitarian diet affects different people in different ways – or maybe those people are really just experiencing an extended placebo. It’s also possible that my own lack of significant results could be the placebo effect, working the opposite way. But I wasn’t approaching this with the mental attitude of trying to disprove anything, I tried this diet because I really was interested to see if I could experience something new and positive out of it.
Maybe if I tried out a raw fruitarian diet for longer than a single week, I might experience those kind of effects. But for now, my curiosity is satiated. I still eat lots of fruit, but I eat it along with a diverse array of other raw and cooked plant-based foods.
Have you ever experimented with a raw/fruitarian diet, or do you eat that way now? Have you experienced the “fruitarian high”? Please leave a comment describing what you’ve experienced.
35 thoughts on “I tried a fruitarian diet for a week. Here’s what I experienced.”
What a great story!
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Interesting read, I’ve wondered about a fruitarian diet and what it would be like! What a gorgeous selection of fruit!!!
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I did do ra food and it did do me good
Its the best for maditate .
Normaly fruts in the morning and nuts or maybe wegtble evning .
I think 7 days of frute is litle bit short
but its a Nice experiment .
Its take 14 days to pyurifi blood .
And 7 yers fore the whol body.
I experienced to a Lott of bad In first days.
It’s interesting that’ you lost weight that fast on carbohydrates.
I did eat 3 bananas fore free month and felt good better than heated food.
Under my best meditat 1 banana a day
Just to eliminate time for food.
In Hawaii i had an experience off Orenge Frute like 100 prosent frute in my mind
RAA Food Long time you need organic.
Great story, thanks for sharing. It’s never occurred to me to try a raw diet and I’m not sure how sustainable it would be in the UK – Jackfruit has just made it big here!
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Thanks. There are raw foodists in northern climates, but I think many of them tend to subsist for a large part of their diet on sprouted grains and seeds rather than fruits.
I think I’ll save that for the apocalyse!
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Huh–my only initial question was “how much heartburn did you get” because when I think fruits, I typically think of bananas and berries. you mentioned a bunch of fruits I’d NEVER heard of before, so yeah, I can see heartburn not cropping up in such a case. Too many berries mess with my acid reflux, so I have to temper that.
Never heard of a fruitarian diet before, and I know I’d never be able to do it. Too many things I’d love to try instead, though it’s good to know you can have a few fruits and it fills you up nice. I’m actually working on recipes and combinations of fruit to eat each day so that I get my numbers of good fresh food higher, but also to acclimate my taste buds to things that aren’t screaming “carbs” and “dairy” all the time.
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I’ve been fortunate in never having a problem with heartburn, even if I eat a lot of berries. Yeah, I think fruit is best enjoyed as one component of a varied diet, although it is interesting that some people have been eating a fruit-only diet for years and seem quite healthy.
But how did you eat all the okra that week? Did you just give it all away?
Okra has lots of slimy protein.
Traveling in Thailand in the dry season or wet-but-hot, is inspiring for eating mostly fruit.
I still need good coffee in the morning though.
Is green tea on the fruitarian diet?
There’s a lot of debate about what actually constitutes a fruitarian diet. Okra, botanically is fruit, although I didn’t happen to eat any during my fruitarian week. For this experiment, I was roughly basing what I considered fruitarian on what other people I know on fruitarian diets eat, so I could see if I’d experience the same benefits they say they get from the diet.
I had never heard of a fruitarian diet until I watched a series of videos made by the fruit hunter Jared Rydelek on his YouTube channel, Weird Explorer. He did the same week-long experiment you undertook. It seems that he had a more difficult time making a transition to an all raw fruit diet; because, although he is a vegetarian, he had to cut out bread, cheese, and coffee from his diet. It sounds like your normal diet is much closer to a fruitarian diet than his was. Also, he had to live off of what he could buy at the grocery; which, since he lives in New York City, is a pretty large variety of things but not nearly as good as what one can buy in a South Florida fruit market.
I can say that I would have no shot at a fruitarian diet, even for a week. I like fruit but am not a vegetarian and have no desire to deny myself pasta, bread, cheese, milk, meat, vegetables, and basically everything else edible.
One Week As A FRUITARIAN In NYC – Unbiased Experiment playlist for those interested: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvGFkMrO1ZxIe36uVOVvT-d1lLfJhl2nn.
Thanks for commenting; it’s fun to hear your perspective. I had not heard of Jared’s fruitarian week till now, I will check that out.
I need to try this as my diet in small town Ohio is pathetic and I can feel it in my head and see it in my body. I look like I’ve aged 10 years in 6 months. Very poor diet, but very poor selection of foods available . I need your professional counseling Craig. Will call soon! Thanks for shining a light and being a star!
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I live in PA just over the border from Ohio. If you look for them there are many options for a better diet. Farmers markets, whole foods stores, even ordering from Amazon. Frozen fruits and vegetables that we normally would not have access to are abundant in larger grocery stores. Aldi’s usually has a fantastic selection of produce year round. Nuts, seeds and whole grain products are good options for variety. I was forced to drastically change my diet after a cancer diagnosis, it has been an experience! Good luck with your diet!
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I appreciate that you didn’t go militant fruitarian lol. I accomplished an exploding shangrila of a garden one summer, and decided because I had so much incredible produce, I would eat as much raw as I could. Tomatoes and basil raw soup, green soups and smoothies, dozens of passion fruits slurped down like oysters, etc. I lasted about a week without the grocery store. Raw straight from the garden remained the staple, but small amounts of meat, cheese, nuts, bread, and even conventional fruits made me way happier and I felt WONDERFUL. To this day I think we should all be eating as much raw fruits and veggies as we can stomach, And then have the other stuff that we want.
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I have been a vegan for a few years, maybe 3 years, and the only part I struggled with was getting vital nutrients that you can’t really get from plants. But once I looked up what nutrients I was most likely not getting enough of, it was a whole lot easier to stick with it. Things like iron and vitamin B12 can be found in some plants, but you would need to eat A LOT of that certain plant (broccoli has vitamin B12 but when you compare it to meat it really isn’t much). I started buying and taking supplements to make sure I was getting the nutrients I was lacking and that made a huge difference.
Don’t listen to people who say that being vegan isn’t healthy, the people who go vegan for a week or even a month and say they feel week and malnourished usually aren’t supplementing for the nutrients they are no longer getting from their diets, they also aren’t consulting a doctor and are basically just consuming a lot of the same fruits and vegetables instead of consuming a variety of different fruits and vegetables, and they are also lacking the amount of protein they usually eat (which, in itself, takes time to adjust).
If you or anybody you know wants to try a vegetarian/vegan diet then go for it, but be sure you know what you’re eating and what nutrients you’ll be losing or consuming a lot less of. It can be dangerous to go too long without the proper nutrition.
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You’re awesome. I just started fruitarian a week ago, not for any specific reason but mostly because I found a great organics dumpster near a store that throws out several pounds of fresh fruit on a daily basis.
I do feel great but I mostly attribute that to completely cutting out processed foods rather than the fruit itself. I also find fruit digests much more easily than raw veg for me so that’s another factor. In either case I think people would be better off completely removing processed foods from their diet – but oh wait, what happens when you do that? Suddenly you’re only eating fruits and vegetables!
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Hi, Today 08/04/2021, I am starting my fruitarianism. Why, because I was having bad heartburn and regular stomach discomfort. So, I felt its time to do detoxification and I needed to reduce my fat tummy. But, I added Amway’s Soya protein to keep my balance daily activities. I am planning a week as well and I hope to get through this. Thank you for your tips and I will keep it in mind.
I plan on starting mine and is curious on how yours went for you.
the truth is, i think you didnt experience any improvement is because maybe your already healthy.
i am not, i have chronic pains and chronic fatigue, but when i do the fruitarian diet, i feel like im cured from all my pains and fatigue.
thats my take on it.
Same here! I am on day 6 of fruitarian diet ( dinner will sometimes be a salad with avocado/ a few nuts) I’m amazed at how WELL I feel. Usually I have chronically high levels of inflammation, arthritis, and fatigue and I feel like the energized bunny all day long. It’s incredible. I’m so excited and I hope I continue to stay feeling so alive and well again!
I have a timetable to do fruitarian diet for 3 days every week. I think its a good way to cut on unnecessary calories I take during reminder of the week. It’s amazing really.
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Thanks for sharing!
Hi, dear Florida Fruit Geek!
I live in the Tampa Bay area. Every now and then I am able to come by lychees and Rambutans and I adore those things! I tried to go raw once, but in the long run couldn’t hack it. The preparation, the soaking, the grinding. Everything room temperature or cold. I missed hot rice and pasta, and burritos. I don’t think I could stand a fruitarian diet! I am basically a lacto-vegetarian. I try to not eat too much dairy. I am loving your blog about the raw cacao fruit. Jealous! Would love to try one someday. One thing the raw foodist groups taught me was freezing fresh fruit in small Ziploc bags; wash and freeze small portions. Wonder if you could do that with the cacao beans?
Thanks for your story 🙏💕
I just finished a week of fruits (and many nuts) and this is my experience:
Living in Sweden, we are nowhere near close to the selection of fruits you have…
So this week started ok but on day four I felt a constant need to shove massive amounts of fruit down. And again after 2 hours. Insane 😶
I’ve been a vegetarian for 30 yrs (vegan for 5) so it wasn’t that crazy to eat lots of fruit but being brought up on oatmeal, bread, pasta and lots of potatoes I surely missed being full.
I lacked in energy instead of the opposite.
Maybe I should’ve sticked with just fruit?
Perhaps a wider selection? (There were only about 15 different fruits that were ripe and didn’t cost a fortune)
Lots of love to all of you from a hungry Swedish fruiterian 😁🍒🙏❤
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Thanks for the report on your experiences, Ella. I have a suspicion that if you’d had access to more of the calorie dense fruits of the tropics like mamey and fully-matured-on-the-plant bananas, you wouldn’t have had such intense hunger on a just-fruits diet. But that’s really just speculation – I’m sure there are substantial individual differences in how humans react to dietary composition. If you ever find yourself traveling in a more fruit-full part of the world, maybe you could repeat the experiment.
Thank you dear! 🙏💕😊
When (if) I travel again I will definitely try other fruits ❤
Thankfully berry season is coming up so freezer will be filled once agin 🙌🍒 I’ll try one week more and this time: stay away from nuts this time (the edible ones and the two-legged…. 😁)
Take care! Lots if love 🤗💕❤☀️
I like this story and enjoyed your honesty. I’ve often wondered about the fruitarian lifestyle since getting older.
As a child, I practically lived under our neighbourhood fruit trees and hardly ate much cooked food. Consequently, I was painfully skinny but rudely healthy. Since moving to a big city, fruits are no longer a large part of my diet and I long to go back to that lifestyle. Someday!
No tomatoes, cucumbers, or avocados?? Avocados can get you the fats your body so desperately needs. Also, peppers and all kinds of squash as well as peas and green beans.
Nice blog thanks for postting
Great post! BUT…you mentioned that you felt one week was safe because your body can handle deficiencies for that length of time. That’s because your body stores those things and it takes longer than one week to run out. So….you really didn’t even get to the point where your body was surviving on fruit. It was still living off stored resources. I’d like to see the results after 4 – 6 weeks. Maybe I’ll try it!