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Fruit Diet and Frugivore Diet Guide: Full Benefits, No Mistakes!

Adopting a fruit-based diet offers incredible benefits and life-changing transformations when done correctly and dogma-free. Learn the basics of our species-appropriate diet to keep the success in the long run. This guide helps you to adopt a high-fruit diet in a healthy way – without the common mistakes that many had to learn the hard way.

Before you start a fruit diet… know what you are doing.

A fruit-based diet is truly special. Because fruit is the food, humans share a beautiful symbiotic evolutionary history, leading to a perfect nutritional match. We all love the colors and taste of ripe fruits – our instincts tell us that they are appealing and good for food!

If you have come so far to consider and try a fruit diet, you are one of the lucky souls that know about our frugivore nature!

If you are new to this, visit this overview about frugivores here!

No fear of natural high-carb foods

Nonetheless, it takes courage to voyage into a raw high-fruit diet – because we live in times when carbs are being called toxic and everyone calling your raw diet extreme while sipping on their synthetic protein shakes… But wait and see, unprocessed high-carb will be the new high-protein.

So before you start, you need to know the basics of our frugivore biology to keep your motivation for a fruit diet high. And to do it the healthy way, preventing common mistakes and deficiencies.

There is no “standard” fruit diet

There is no “standard” fruit diet, because it is a natural concept and thus underlies variety. There are different approaches such as frugivorous diet, fruitarian, high-fruit raw vegan or fruit detox, which are similar but not the same. This guide is based on the biological diet of frugivores, but still can give you valuable insights for other types of fruit diets.

Why a raw fruit-based diet?

Everything animals eat in the wild is in its raw state. Therefore, a raw diet is not extreme – it’s natural! Cooking was (and still is) a survival strategy of humans when living in areas without abundant tropical fruits and food sources. Further, we do not have physiological adaptations that hook us to a cooked diet (see here)! Hence, our species-appropriate diet is raw, like the diet of any other species!

A raw diet is known to bring intense detoxification and transformative health benefits. And, on the quest to find the natural human diet, we now re-discover that humans are biologically specialized in eating ripe fruits:

We are specialized in fruit-eating

Our anatomy and physiology are that of primates (read here why we are specialized fruit-eaters). Frugivores are a subtype of omnivores (or herbivores) that preferably and mainly eat ripe fruits. 

We live and eat outside our ecology

As a species, humans originated in the tropics, but most of us live outside our natural habitat nowadays, and we don’t live within nature. As a result, most do not have easy access to the food sources we have evolved with, which is why we have turned to sub-optimal, cooked foods.

Finding the way back to our natural diet

Luckily every crisis is an opportunity: re-discovering our natural diet and the benefits coming with it can feel like magic. Fruit diets have resulted in incredible body transformations and regeneration in many people in the growing “fruit diet community.” Therefore – despite all obstacles and doubts – it is worth giving it a shot! You can adopt a frugivorous diet in the long term under good conditions (access to high-quality tropical fruits and foods) or for shorter periods, to improve your health.

Benefits of a fruit diet

The benefits of a fruit diet are often described as energizing, detoxifying, rejuvenating, anti-inflammatory, and boosting self-regeneration.

Those benefits are based on the same principle: maximize nutrition (“the good”) for the body and minimize the toxic burden (“the bad”). When we stick to our species-specific diet – a frugivorous diet – we do exactly that! Inflammation is caused by the immune system signaling and works to eliminate infections and toxins. Regeneration and cellular renewal can only occur when the organism has the strength and resources to eliminate accumulated waste. It is all about the question: are you eliminating or accumulating waste and toxins?

The most common physical and mental benefits experienced on a fruit diet are:

  • More energy
  • Healthier skin
  • Clear mind
  • Positive thoughts
  • Decreased inflammatory processes
  • Subsiding autoimmune processes
  • Regenerative instead of degenerative condition
  • Activated cleansing processes

Risks of a fruit diet

Unfortunately, you need to consider some nutritional shortcomings, even on the human species-appropriate fruit diet. Why? Because most of us don’t live in the wild tropical forests (our natural habitat). We do not have access to wild nutrient-dense fruits (or other foods) from healthy soils and enjoy the environmental conditions that do provide everything we need.

Therefore, needing nutritional supplements is not a sign that the frugivore diet is unhealthy or incomplete! On any other diet, we need supplements, and nowadays, we are being supplemented “passively” by added nutrients in many processed products. But, find out which supplements should be considered on a fruit diet below (section 5). Also, there are a few additional things to consider to achieve a successful and sustainable fruit diet.

This guide dives into the crucial common mistakes and minimizes the risks associated with a fruit diet!

1. Know what a frugivorous diet is

The main reason a frugivore diet can fail is the lack of information on – and misunderstanding about – what a frugivore diet actually is. The frugivorous diet is the human species-appropriate diet. In nature, it is highly instinctual what animals identify and choose as suitable foods for them. Visual appearance, pleasant smell, taste, and texture are all important cues in foraging.

What would you eat in nature?

Chimpanzees, our closest relatives, are highly attracted to ripe fruits. And I argue that most humans would choose fruits over other foods in the wild, too (remember, everything is raw and unseasoned). However, because we humans are not living in our original, natural habitat and have far deviated from our natural foraging behavior, there is much that we have to learn by observing the diet of closely related species diet in the wild.

Chimpanzee diet in the wild

For the reasons mentioned above, one key to rediscover the human species-appropriate diet is studying what the chimpanzee diet looks like in the wild, which helps us understand what foods deliver complete nutrition. So what do chimpanzees eat in the wild?

Chimpanzees are frugivorous omnivores and preferably forage (tropical) fruits, as well as nuts, greens, tubers, insects, and sometimes meat.

They also have extended periods of eating fruit only. Depending on seasonal availability, they can go weeks eating the same fruit. Figs are one of their staple fruits. It’s not known entirely what foods in the wild are fallback foods in times of limited access to preferred foods.

Overview of the chimpanzee diet in the wild

70% tropical fruits and figs
24% other plant-based foods (flowers, nuts, leaves, seeds, barks, tubers)
6% animal-based (eggs, insects, and meat)
4% insects
1-2% meat

This is an average chimpanzee diet, but in nature, there is great variability. Not all chimps eat meat. Read more here.
Chimpanzees are frugivores

Humans are tropical frugivores, too

Like chimpanzees and many other primates, humans have distinct adaptations to high-fruit diets. Examples are the complex hand, loss of Vitamin C production, specialized color-vision, and attraction to fruits. Thus we should start learning from chimpanzees in the wild, as suggested by K. Milton (1999):

“Anthropoids, including all great apes, take most of their diet from plants, and there is general consensus that humans come from a strongly herbivorous ancestry. Though gut proportions differ, overall gut anatomy and the pattern of digestive kinetics of extant apes and humans are very similar.”

K. Milton

A fruit diet is the human evolutionary diet

Like any other diet, a frugivorous diet is not perfect, but it is the optimal and most suitable diet for the human body. This is because nature optimizes for reproduction, not for health! But yes, undoubtedly, our fruit-based species-appropriate diet brings us as close to perfect health as possible! This key concept of his evolutionary dietary concept is to eat the foods (the chemistry), which the body is adapted and equipped to metabolize.

2. Make tropical fruits your main foods

Tropical fruits should be the main foods on a frugivore diet. I am placing this point at the top of this list because it is probably the most important and common mistake:

The pivotal mistake when being on a fruit diet is to rely mainly on temperate and sub-tropic fruits. Those type of fruits are rather watery and acidic and have not evolved with primates! It is essential to get enough high-quality, ripe tropical fruits! Ripe tropical fruits are the foundation of successful frugivorous nutrition.

Tropical fruits have another nutritional profile than fruit from colder climates. They are generally more nutritious and contain more energy (calories) from carbs (sweet taste) and lipids, and proteins, and high levels of micronutrients. Therefore, not eating enough ripe tropical fruits on a fruit diet carries the risk of undernourishment. 

Why tropical fruits?

Because we are tropical frugivores, our physiology requires the nutrition of tropical fruits! Temperate fruits cannot sustain us in the long term! Apples, strawberries, melons, kiwis, and other acidic fruits cannot sustain us entirely. In the short run, yes, those types of fruits are great for cleansing periods and fasting or juicing.

Fallback Foods

If you cannot get your hands on enough high-quality tropical fruit, you need to provide other nutrition sources over the long run. If you do not live in the tropics, frozen fruits and bananas can serve as a staple. Frozen acai and mango with bananas in a smoothie bowl can make a good meal.

However, when optimal foods are not abundantly available, we have to eat our “fall-back” (see below). That is what happens to chimpanzees in the wild. And to our ancestors that moved out of the tropics. Our fallback foods are cooked foods. like root vegetable, cooked meat, but also dairy and grains.

Read more about the importance of tropical fruits here and the evolutionary background of temperate fruits and humans here, and why humans are a tropical species here.

3. Eat your fruits ripe

“Eat your fruits ripely!” might sound like too basic for a serious adivce, but there is a need to emphasize this! Only ripe fruits provide the full nutrition we need from fruits! During the ripening process, nutritional chemistry changes (read more on that here). This has a biological reason: the plants only attract fruit-eating seed-disperser when their seed (embryo) has matured and is ready to grow into a new plant. 

Understanding the effects of fruit ripeness – not only on sweetness, color, taste, and smell – but also on nutrition, is especially important on a fruit diet. Most of us do only have limited access to ripe tropical fruits. Fortunately, some of our favorite tropical fruits ripen after being picked from the trees, like mangoes, bananas, and papaya (see a list here). In addition, as a second-best option, buying frozen fruits is excellent for getting ripe fruits because it is fruits that are too ripe to be transported that are being frozen to be sold. 

4. Eat enough calories

Avoid undernourishment on fruit-based and raw food diets! Raw foods have a much higher water content than calorie-dense cooked and animal foods. We have to learn that the volume of food we need is bigger on a raw food diet. By choosing sweet tropical fruits, like bananas, papayas, and mangoes we can achieve our nutritional needs faster than by eating watery, acidic fruits. To obtain around 2500 calories, you would need to eat nearly 3 kg of tropical fruit. However, if you include calorie-dense nuts or fatty fruit, the volume is less.

This is an example of a day of frugivorous meals of ca 2000- 2500 calories a day:

  • One açai bowl with 200 grams açai berries and 3 bananas, plus added greens and chia seeds (650-700 calories)
  • One handful of Brazil nuts (150-200 calories)
  • One banana and one mango as a snack (200-250 calories)
  • A fruit meal with a variety of fruits (300-400 calories)
  • One handful of pecan nuts (150-200 calories)
  • One large green salad with avocado and mangoes (300-400 calories)
  • Banana Smoothie with coconut milk (250-350 calories)

If we compare this to chimpanzees we see that on a raw, plant-based diet, eating large amounts of food is observed in nature: Chimpanzees eat around 3-6 kilos of food in the wild – depending on the food type and body weight (a wide range between 25 – 70 kg)! They eat around 80 different “food items” and basically eat throughout the whole day…!

Mind yourself that eating a (mostly) raw diet with lots of ripe fruit will help you reach your optimal weight. Natural sugar will not make you gain weight if you are overweight. If you are underweight, the species-appropriate diet can help improve your gut health, which in turn will optimize nutrient absorption.

Protein on a fruit diet

Where do we get proteins from on a fruit diet? All raw foods, including fruits, contain some amount of proteins. Tropical fruits contain around 1-3.5 grams of protein per 100-gram fruit. Many larger mammals in the wild are plant-eaters. And chimpanzees in the wild get their proteins mostly from tropical fruits, nuts, and greens. If you get enough proteins on a fruit diet largely depends on the quality of fruits, but also on additional foods like nuts, greens etc. A 2000-2500 calorie day of typical frugivore foods provides around 50-55 grams of proteins, which meets the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of around 0.8 grams/kg body weight per day. Be aware that wild tropical fruits contain more protein than cultivated ones.

But how can the relatively low amount of protein in a high-fruit diet be enough when the standard diet contains much more? We must understand that proteins are not “burnt” like energetic nutrients (sugar and fat). Instead, proteins are broken down into amino acids and are recycled if needed, while excessive amino acids are transformed into urea and are excreted via urine (see here the protein metabolism overview). A high protein intake is, therefore, well-known to overburden the kidneys and even damage the kidneys. We are not adapted or physiologically well-equipped to metabolize a high-protein diet. A standard diet might contain too much… not the other way round.

Because of the recycling of amino-acids, the body is only forced to use protein as an energy source, when we do not provide the body with enough fuel to burn (sugar, fat) is. Yes, we still need to take in the amino acids from raw foods, but we do not need nearly as much as most people believe we need.

Thus eating enough calories, and sweet fruits is what helps keeping the muscle mass and protein levels. Chimpanzee create some serious muscles on a high-fruit diet!

Read also our in-depth article and calculations on protein on fruit diets!

5. Taking the right nutritional supplements

As a consequence of living in a sub-optimal environment (and a degraded, polluted one), we can only get as close to a natural human diet as possible while acknowledging the shortcomings and accounting for them. The need to take supplements depends on the area you live in, the quality of food you can access, and, how healthy (or pre-damaged by toxins and diet) you are.

Supplements to consider on a fruit diet generally

  • Vitamin B12
  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium

Vitamin B12 and K2 are intrinsically produced by our microbiome (bacteria in the gut) – however, most of our microbiomes are severely pre-damaged by antibiotics and pesticide exposure. Supplementing those two vitamins should be considered, as we can easily slide into a deficiency as long as our microbiome is not perfectly healthy.

Iodine should be supplemented if you live off the coastline without iodine-rich air and foods. Consider supplementing with kelp or potassium iodine.

Selenium is a synergist of iodine and needs to be added to the diet when you live in an area with selenium-poor soil (Europe). Luckily a few Brazil nuts a day are an adequate selenium-providing functional food.

Magnesium and calcium are minerals that are usually abundant in food. We only need additional calcium during intense detox. Some take it long-term, as it is unsure whether the plant foods we eat today contain the same amount as food grown in the wild. Also, calcium uptake and metabolization are dependent on the “sunshine nutrients”:

Additional supplements to consider if you do not live in the tropics or sub-tropics

  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin K2
  • Magnesium
  • MSM (organic sulfur)

Why? Because as a member of a tropical species, you need to “supplement the sun” if you live in an area with low sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency was such a huge factor in human health that the lack of the sun was a selective force that drove the evolution of lighter skin color (produces vitamin D easier). The ancestors of cold-native people knew the need to take cod-liver oil.

Vitamin D3, vitamin K2, calcium, and magnesium work synergistically, which is why it is helpful to supplement those nutrients together. Besides an oral Vitamin D3 supplement, you can use a high-quality UV light therapy (sun-studio or UV-light device).

If you cannot get sulfur-rich fruits like durian in your diet regularly, consider taking organic sulfur (methylsulfonylmethan or short MSM) to supplement this mineral (read more on the benefit and necessity of taking MSM here)

Additional supplements during intense detox

Changing your life to healthier habits will enable your body to eliminate more toxins and can induce detoxification symptoms when the liver or kidney is over-tasked. To support the liver in its biochemical activities (especially phase II detoxification) to transform the prepare them for elimination, you can take the co-factors and other nutrients that are needed and used in the process:

  • Zinc
  • MSM

Herbal supplements: medicine and nutrition

Herbalism is an ancient art, but it is also found in nature. Chimpanzees were found to self-medicate with herbs in the wild. Thus intuitive knowledge is essential in nature – and for us to find the way back and return to our natural diet.

Herbal supplements can be used for their medicinal properties or functional (nutritional) properties. Plants, especially herbs, contain secondary metabolites – bioactive phytomedical molecules. This is the concept of the original natural medicine. Some plant supplements can be used for their high nutrient content, i.e., to increase nutrients that are hard to find in our diet. Those are functional foods: For example, selenium in Brazil nuts, iodine in kelp, minerals in chlorella algae, etc.

Getting nutrients in their natural, organic matrix is the better option most of the time. An example: iodine can have a toxic effect if selenium is not present abundantly. However, iodine in kelp comes bound in different chemical forms, which do not act the same as the isolated iodine.

If you do consider supplementation, it is important to choose natural, additive-free and high quality products!

You can find more details on supplementation in this article here:

6. Not all fruits are equally suitable for us!

Not all fruits are optimal for our health. Why? We are fruit-eaters (frugivores), but not all fruits are originally human foods. The reason is that we have co-evolved as seed-dispersers with some fruits but not with all fruits.

Tropical fruits

Because humans originated in tropical Africa, our original and optimal fruits are sweet tropical fruits like banana, durian, mango, papaya, lychee, etc. Primates are important seed dispersers of tropical fruits and, thus, share a symbiotic coevolutionary history. Not only do they nutritionally match our needs, but also they have none to low toxic defense compounds against humans (even the seeds!). Therefore, it is no surprise that most tropical fruits are edible for humans. Tropical fruits generally contain more proteins, fats, and other nutrients, that lack in temperate fruits. Therefore the bulk of fruits on a frugivore diet needs to be tropical fruits (see above).

Temperate acidic and non-sweet fruits

The situation is a bit different for fruits that grow in temperate climates. Many acidic and temperate fruits we eat today are actually not edible for humans in their wild form – but suitable for birds. This is because many temperate fruits we eat today have evolved as a food source for seed-dispersing birds. Many cultivated temperate fruits were bred extensively to render them palatable by enhancing sugar content and decreasing sour or toxic components.

Read more on tropical vs. temperate fruits here.

Read more about non-sweet vegetable fruits here.

Some of the fruits that might not optimally suitable for humans are nightshades, squashes, citruses and avocado:

  • Tomatoe plant
  • Eggplant
  • Bell Peppers
  • Olives
  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Avocados
  • Citruses

How suitable is a specific fruit for humans?

In some cases, the taste of a fruit reveals that it is not a fruit we wouldn’t consume in large amounts in nature, like sour citrus or avocado without seasoning. Some of those fruits can even cause reactions like allergies, heartburn, and stomach issues in sensitive people. Nightshades were bred to taste better and drastically reduce the toxin content. Still, they cannot be considered optimal, as many people do show inflammatory reactions to consuming them.

We have to take into account that taste is a highly individual perception, and we all have different preferences. Many fruit-eaters love indulging a whole avocado fruit, while others do not like the taste of avocados at all.

However, unequivocally, fruits that originally are toxic their wild form are not really suitable for humans – so knowing the cultivation history and the wild form of a fruit matters in terms of health.

Undoubtedly, we can consume and enjoy those fruits if we like them – especially in temperate areas. But, we are well-advised for a successful fruit diet, to pay attention to that topic and not base the entire diet on temperate and acidic fruits long-term.

7. Know the quality of your fruits

The quality of fruit might be the most challenging task. Your fruits must be ripe, nutrient-dense, and free of contaminants! Keep in mind that conventional farming not only leaves toxic residues on the harvest but destroys soil microorganisms and reduces minerals in the soil and plants. Every alienation from a natural ecosystem that the human body has not adapted to is a step away from living and eating species-appropriate.

Quality of food and fruits from best to worst:

  • Wild fruits
  • Fruits from permaculture and food forests
  • Fruits from small farmers you know and trust
  • Demeter or bio-dynamic label
  • Your own garden
  • Organic fruits
  • Conventional from small farmer
  • Conventional from large-scale production (avoid)

Unfortunately, organic foods are notorious for being expensive. And some types of fruits are simply unavailable in organic quality where we live. Just try as much as you can. And if it is not possible, buy fruits with a thick shell or peel (which luckily are often tropical ones).

Wild fruits: We often don’t have access to the fruits (and nutrients) of our original natural habitat

An important factor when it comes to a fruit-based diet is the circumstance that we do not live in our natural habitat and only have very limited access to wild, ripe tropical fruits (unlike like chimpanzees). This is essential for the success of the diet, because wild fruits, do have a different nutritional profile: they contain more proteins, another carb composition, and more micronutrients (K. Milton, 1999).

“Humans clearly come from an evolutionary past in which hexose (fructose) – rather than sucrose-dominated fruits were consumed, and human digestive physiology should, therefore, be best adapted to a carbohydrate substrate similar to that of wild fruits. But, in addition, wild fruits differ in other respects from their cultivated counterparts. These include a high content of roughage – woody seeds, fibrous strands – as well as higher average protein levels, higher levels of many micronutrients … and , at times, considerable pectin.”

Kathrine Milton; 1999

This insight is another challenge for our natural human diet in modern society and must be accounted for nutritionally, when adopting a frugivore diet.

8. Eating greens, sprouts, nuts, tubers, and seeds

Frugivorous primates eat a range of different foods besides fruits: nuts, greens, tubers, insects, and sometimes meat (see section 1). Those foods provide the necessary nutrition for the human body and are sometimes referred to as “building” foods or “fall-back” foods. If you do not live in the tropics in a food forest, it most likely is even necessary to supplement your diet (see section 5) and even add “survival” foods (see below)!

Foods on a frugivorous fruit diet

A list of possible foods to integrate on a fruit diet, which are part of a frugivorous diet in the wild:

  • Ripe, tropical fruits
  • Coconut
  • Raw nuts and seeds (especially tropical ones) like Brazil nuts, pecan, macadamia, and chia
  • Greens (tender greens, microgreens, sprouts, salads)
  • Root vegetables like carrots, celery and beetroot, and starchy sweet potatoes. Steaming and baking is a good option here.
  • Anything that is appealing and safe to be eaten raw. Animal products might be an otpion, depending on your individual situaton (see below).

Striving for the human natural diet while not living in a natural human habitat remains a challenge even in times of effective fruits and food transportation around the world. Therefore, we cannot be perfectionists, just do the best we can. If you feel like doing a period of clean eating and trying to address health problems, you can do a fruit-only diet for a limited amount of time (weeks or months). In the long run, you need to integrate more other foods to nourish your body. It always depends on your individual situation, health, and your goal.

“Survival” Foods

If you feel like those foods are not sufficient for you, or struggle during winter, consider integrating some of the fallback foods that our ancestors have eaten to survive in cold habitats. Find an overview of biologically suitable foods, and survival foods for humans here:

“What foods are suitable for humans?”

Learn more Here

Should we really eat only fruits?

Eating fruit only is a topic of discussion. I personally concluded that a species-specific diet includes the foods of a frugivore in nature. Instincts are important, too, and are a tool in deciding what to include. There is no way to do this 100% right, but still, we can find value and solutions if we ask the right question and answer them dogma-free!

Should we eat fruits only?

This question is raised by many and is definitely a question of debate. What we can do here to come to a conclusion, is to look at frugivores in nature and use our own instincts. Frugivores do not exclusively eat fruits in the wild. Frugivorous primates consume a range of fruits, nuts, seeds, greens, sprouts, insects and even hunting smaller mammals sometimes. But, the primary and preferred food source of chimpanzees is ripe tropical fruits. And at times, chimpanzees show periods of eating fruits only, depending on food availability. 

A neglected but crucial factor in deciding what to eat, is to face the reality that we do not live in our natural habitat! Most of us do not have access to wild, ripe tropical fruits! Wild fruits have a different nutritional profile than cultivated ones: they contain more fructose than sucrose, and more micronutrients, proteins, and fibers (K. Milton, 1999).

“Humans clearly come from an evolutionary past in which hexose (fructose) – rather than sucrose-dominated fruits were consumed, and human digestive physiology should, therefore, be best adapted to a carbohydrate substrate similar to that of wild fruits. But, in addition, wild fruits differ in other respects from their cultivated counterparts. These include a high content of roughage – woody seeds, fibrous strands – as well as higher average protein levels, higher levels of many micronutrients … and , at times, considerable pectin.”

Kathrine Milton; 1999

One open question remains, what is “only” fall-back food for chimps?

Another key question regarding a healthy fruit diet emerges here:

Should we imitate the natural diet of our closest living relatives (the chimpanzees) as much as possible?

The chimp diet gives us the best indication of our natural diet. However, their food choice is not always what we would consider appealing. For example, most humans would not eat raw meat, eggs, insects or bark like chimps do, because we do not find them appealing as food – unless while starving maybe, which brings us back to the question of fall-back foods.

Thus we can use combine the knowledge on frugivores in the wild with our human instincts: we study what frugivores in and food and ask if we find the foods appealing and enjoyable in its natural raw state, without having to add flavors (salt, sweet or spices) or mixing it with other foods and herbs. Those foods are our species-appropriate foods – our biologically optimal foods. Yes, as omnivorous frugivores, we can eat other foods. But again, a question is:

Which foods have to be considered fall-back (or survival) foods in order to prevent starvation, rather than optimal foods?

This probably remains an open question. What we can use here is instinctual knowledge and learning to observe our body’s needs. Do you enjoy tender green? Raw nuts? Then I would say, go for it. This only applies to unaltered raw foods, though. From a nutritional standpoint, we need to carefully analyze if we really do have access to enough high-quality fruits which can sustain us long-term (you certainly can go for a few weeks with fruits only and do an intensified cleanse with fruits).

9. Relearn to trust your natural, intuitive knowledge

How do we actually know what the human biological diet in the wild would be? In nature, we observe animals consuming foods, and based on this information, we describe the diet of an animal species. With humans, however, we seem to be confused! Why?

Animals in the wild intuitively know what their diet is. However humans can’t really do that because we do not live in our natural habitat. Therefore we can only study what we should do by studying our primate relatives in the wild… And we can relearn what we would eat in nature:

Instincts and taste buds have evolved in each animal species to know what is food and what is not. Bitter, disgusting, tasteless, etc. are warning and preventing us from eating something potentially harmful.

A raw diet will help you learn again to discern what is edible and tasty in its natural state. Anything that needs flavoring or cooking to be tasty is not human food. Over time, instincts tell us exactly what to eat and what not.

10. Do not jump in too fast

Transitioning often takes time. Just jumping in from 0 to 100% without an adjusting transitioning period can stress and overburden our body’s detoxification and elimination system. Our species-appropriate diet is the goal, but often this cannot be achieved within a few weeks. Jumping all in can cause severe discomfort and detox symptoms in many people. Many people report that it took years to transition fully, and some keep going forth and back according to their best capacity.

Some take longer than others

As a rule of thumb, the older you are and the more toxins have accumulated in your body, the longer it takes to transition. Transition slowly and take your time. For example, you might start by leaving meat and dairy behind and then leaving grains and beans behind, and simultaneously always keep increasing the amount of raw foods, especially ripe fruits.

Stages of transitioning into a fruit diet

There is no “rule” how to transition. Just take steps to eliminate more and more foods that are not suitable for humans and increase raw, high-quality foods. A good start is by processed foods, meat, dairy, grains and buying organic foods. Sometimes such a change alone can already induce a detox crisis. When detox crises hit, simply take it slower. A next step could be to gradually decrease the number of cooked foods and increase raw foods, then raw vegan and increasing fruits.

Possible stages of elminating foods that are not part of a species-appropriate diet:

  • Eliminate grains and legumes
  • Eliminate meat
  • Eliminate dairy & eggs
  • Slowly decrease cooked foods
  • Striving towards more fruits

11. Know what detox symptoms are

It is also crucial to know that this is not always smooth. When a detox crisis occurs, it is important to recognize it as a healing crisis and distinguish the symptoms from a degenerative state. While the old hands (or old monkeys) and experts know this, it’s a very frequent mistake that actually make people desist and give up. Those healing crises are very often misinterpreted as a sign of a bad diet or deficiencies.

To understand why transitioning too fast can cause detox crises, understand what detoxification and its symptoms look like. Detox symptoms can be very individual, as it can be the temporary worsening of your main symptoms or the emergence of prior symptoms. There are also more general symptoms like feeling tired, dizzy, or flu-like symptoms. Those are often caused by the mobilization and elimination of stored molecules that the organism plans to expel but does not have to resources to do so. It can be described as “lymphatic congestion” because the lymph system and kidneys and intestines are the primary routes of elimination (read more here). By transitioning too fast, you can mobilize the “safely” stored toxins more quickly than they can be eliminated.

Healing crises occur again and again and in different intensities with varying symptoms. The main difference between a degenerative process and a detox crisis is that the symptoms are temporary. And we should simultaneously see improvements in other previously “troubled areas”.

While detox symptoms are common and temporary, it can still be damaging when detoxing too intensely. Take a step back, incorporate some more of your old foods and go two steps in front later. Change the diet on your own pace. It’s not a failure if you cannot eat fully “clean” for a while.

12. Mind your teeth health

Many forget that on a high-fruit diet, teeth are often and prolonged exposed to sugar and fruit acids. We can go for months and even years feeling awesome… but then teeth sensitives kick in. Enamel damage is sometimes reported, but due to critical mistakes. But not everyone on a fruit diet gets dental issues, because a fruit diet per se is not the problem! There are, however, things we need to pay attention to prevent enamel damage. Enamel de- and remineralization is a whole subject on its own, thus we have an in-depth article and guide.


  1. Adult male chimps regularly eat meat, unlike other chimps (available at https://www.pnas.org/post/journal-club/adult-male-chimps-regularly-eat-meat-unlike-other-chimps). (link)
  2. LSUHSC School of Medicine – Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. LSU Health New Orleans (available at https://www.medschool.lsuhsc.edu/biochemistry/Courses/Biochemistry201/Desai/Amino%20Acid%20Metabolism%20I%2010-14-08.pdf). (link)
  3. J. Shurkin, Animals that self-medicate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences111, 17339–17341 (2014), doi:10.1073/pnas.1419966111. (link)
  4. K. Milton, Nutritional characteristics of wild primate foods: Do the diets of our closest living relatives have lessons for us? Nutrition15, 488–498 (1999), doi:10.1016/s0899-9007(99)00078-7. (link)
  5. No author (2020) Buy a chimp a meal, Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage. Available at: https://chimfunshiwildlife.org/appeal/buy-a-chimp-a-meal/ (Accessed: April 26, 2023).
  6. Staff, H.H.P. (2022) How much protein do you need everyday? Harvard Health. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-much-protein-do-you-need-every-day-201506188096 (Accessed: April 26, 2023). 
  7. Raw Figs – Your Health Search Engine (available at https://www.rawfigs.com/?s=lymphatic%2Bsystem®=0). (link)


Our Mission

Are we frugivores?

Exploring the species-appropriate diet of humans.

We challenge the dietary classification of humans as omnivores. Why does this matter? Because knowing our evolutionary, species-specific diet is the compass in the ever-growing contradictory diet and health jungle.

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Medical Disclaimer

The content on this website serves informational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice. See full medical disclaimer here.

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