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Eliminating certain foods or food groups can help many to reach health goals. For some, specifically removing fruit allows new progress with health conditions like leaky gut, interstitial cystitis or autoimmune conditions. Those who are intolerant to fruit often need to avoid it completely, but a master fruit list is elusive and varies depending on the source. Because I put my own interstitial cystitis into remission by eliminating all fruit (read more on this here), I’ve gained insight into fruits that others may have missed. This post shares that master list if you, too, would like to eliminate all fruits to see if it helps you in your wellness journey.
Know of a food that digests as fruit that I missed? Please feel free to share in the Comments section below the post. My Master Fruit List does not list every obvious fruit (such as pineapples and kiwi). Rather, the purpose of this list is to share lesser known fruits, foods than many of us didn’t realize digest as fruits, causing stagnation in the gut due to the genetic inability to digest this food group. I will add to this list over the years as I learn of more foods that fit this classification.
See this post to read more about fruit and interstitial cystitis specifically, as well as food intolerances’ role in IC.
Read this post to learn the difference between food intolerances, food sensitivities and food allergies. These three labels have very different definitions that can mean the difference between getting well or having a hard time making progress with one’s health challenges.
What other conditions can be reversed by eliminating fruit? I believe that list is as long as the list of illnesses. I have a friend whose daughter put her serious asthma into remission by eliminating fruit. It all depends what your food intolerance is and what your health challenge is. The first step for many is to find what your food intolerance is OR to eliminate all fruit to see if it makes a difference. Of course, being on a wellness diet at the same time is usually necessary, because the wellness diet reduces inflammation in the gut and allows healing to begin. Such wellness diets include the GAPS diet, the AIP diet, the Wahls Protocol and a well-sourced Keto diet. Less strict versions of these diets include the Paleo diet and the Weston A. Price diet. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below, or follow links ^^^ 🙂 in this paragraph to learn more about these options.
Secondary Food Intolerances (Combining Foods)
Keep in mind that most, if not all, patients also have a secondary food combination they are intolerant to, in addition to their one to two primary foods. For me, and many with fruit as their food intolerance, this is potatoes + grains eaten within six hours of each other. I must avoid this food combination with as much vehemence as I avoid fruit. The potato + grain combination will likely affect many of you who also can’t digest fruit, so know that potatoes and grains can come in various guises in our modern world: Potatoes masquerade under names like “vitamin A palmitate” and “Ascorbyl palmitate” in supplements. Low-fat and non-fat milk products contain vitamin A palmitate. Potato is also found in all brands of baking powder except the Rumsford brand. Most yeast contains potato, except the Red Star brand. Jicama, tapioca and cassava are all considered potato. Dextrose is usually potato; iodized salt contains dextrose.
Grains that are sneaky or subtle include flax and sesame. So if you eat flax or sesame within six hours of any potato containing food or supplement, you can trigger IC symptoms or an autoimmune flare. Other grain-containing foods include whiskey, bourbon, scotch, beer, vodka (including herbal tinctures made with vodka), rice or malt vinegar and malto-dextrin. Keep all these eliminations in mind if you wish to pursue a really clean elimination diet.
Beyond the Master Fruit List, know, too, that certain foods we call fruits actually are not. These foods are safe to eat on a fruit elimination diet: all melons including watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew etc, tomatoes, rhubarb and yacon.
Master Fruit List
Special attribution and thanks go to Dr. Jared Zeff from whom I received my original fruit intolerance list. I have added to his list over the years based on my body’s response to certain foods that I now understand to digest as fruit. My list below is, I believe, the most updated. The original food intolerance observations and discoveries came from Dr. Otis Carroll.
All obvious fruits (i.e. apples, oranges, bananas, kiwi, all berries, peaches, mango, papaya, grapes, figs, dates etc.)
All sometimes-lesser known tropical fruits (i.e. mangosteens, jackfruit, cherimoya, lychee, durian, goji berries, acai etc.)
Olives, olive oil
Palm, palm oil
Dried flowers, especially the red ones: hibiscus, rose hips
Bergamot and Earl Grey tea
Allspice, cloves, mace, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander, curry powder
Cream of tarter
Wine and all vinegar (except rice vinegar, rhubarb vinegar or another made without fruit)
Citric acid, acetic acid and malic acid
Vitamins with bioflavonoids or citrates
Amla (Indian gooseberry), camu camu, acerola cherries, kakadu plums (all foods very high in vitamin C often used in supplements)
Schizandra (Schisandra sinensis [an adaptogen, often used in herbal blends])
Tribulus fruit, triphala, pippali, forsythia (used in herbal supplements)
Glycerin (used in herbal tinctures)
Some honeys contain fruit (this comes from the orange rind sometimes used in the honey making process to keep out small fruit flies)
White flour (which sometimes contains citric acid as a preservative)
Arrowroot starch/powder (I have only seen the evaluation done for Bob’s brand.)
Interested in reading more stories about women with IC? I was interviewed for this article as one of ten women who have put IC into remission. Read the stories, and perhaps gain new insight into your cause and potentially helpful steps.