During their older years, many senior citizens have changed their eating habits, and have adapted to a fruit based diet, primarily, in the belief that it is a healthy way of eating and will keep them well. However, after being on this fruit based way of eating for as little as 6 months, some of the seniors, to their amazement, began to develop oral problems, and teeth disintegration, although generally their health was fine. Some problems suffered were—
- Tooth loosening and dropping out.
- Pieces of teeth breaking off.
- Gum Recession and tooth cracking.
Many fruit diet advocates suggest that this diet is near to being the ‘perfect diet’, but they seem to have paid little attention to the special mineral requirements of the mouths of seniors.
The above symptoms can be readily explained when the mineral content of fruit is weighed against the whole body mineral requirement, and like all body tissue, oral bones and teeth are constantly being rebuilt.
- The phosphorus content of fruit is very high, and the magnesium, calcium content is very low.
- For the maintenance of bone and teeth structures a proper mineral balance is needed, if too much phosphorus is present with a low presence of magnesium, the already low fruit level of calcium disappears, along with its bone enhancing properties.
- The high level of phosphorus in fruit is similar to the high phosphorus level in animal food products which is the cause of the bone disease in the elderly (osteoporosis), so it can be expected to have a similar effect on the teeth bone and jaw bone in the elderly person on a fruit based source of nutrition.
- Such mineral imbalances make a direct contribution to the oral problems mentioned which are experienced by people who have opted to indulge in an ‘only fruit’ style of eating.
Other health problems have been reported by seniors who changed to this mode of eating, which include the thinning and breaking off of hair and problems with their skin. While it is recognized that it is not only a fruit based diet which leads to dental decay, the indications are that the dental disorder situation is certainly aggravated in a person who uses fruit as the only form of nutrition. The senior who believes that such eating habits will help her/his overall health, should be persuaded to mix the fruit eating with the intake of many green leafy vegetables also. Both Kale and Spinach are excellent examples and a good source of many minerals.