Deadly activism: Vegan influencer reportedly died of starvation

According to reports, a well-known vegan influencer who had millions of followers “died of starvation” after surviving solely on raw fruit. Zhanna D’Art, a social media guru from Russia, passed away on July 21 in Malaysia where she had sought medical attention after becoming unwell while touring Southeast Asia, according to friends and relatives.

She promoted a raw food diet on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

After years of surviving only on a raw vegan diet, Zhanna Samsonova, a 39-year-old vegan influencer, reportedly starved to death. The Russian citizen frequently advocated raw meals on her social media pages, according to the New York Post. According to Ms. Samsonova’s Instagram post, she had been vegan and only consumed raw foods for at least ten years.

The mother of Ms. Samsonova said that her daughter passed away from a “cholera-like infection.” The official cause of death, however, was not made public. Her mother informed Vechernyaya Kazan that she thought Ms. Samsonova had passed away due to tiredness and the strain an exclusively vegan diet had put on her body.

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The influencer had only consumed the large, sweet jackfruit and the durian, a spiky, mace-like fruit famed for its custardy meat and foul stench, for the previous seven years, a close friend told the New York Post. Samsonova had enthused over her stringent diet, saying, “I see my body and mind transform every day.” I never revert to my old behaviours because I adore the new version of myself.

A sad reminder that vegan diet is fine as long as it is supported by doctors advise and health checks. Or is perhaps the social media pressure contributing to preventable loss of live?

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Is Vegan diet safe?

Numerous reputable health organizations, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the British Dietetic Association, and the Dietitians of Canada, have stated that appropriately planned vegan diets are suitable for all stages of life, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. They have also emphasized that vegan diets, when well-balanced, can meet the nutritional needs of adults.

A well-planned vegan diet includes a variety of plant-based foods that offer essential nutrients such as protein, iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, and other vitamins and minerals. Key plant-based protein sources include legumes, soy products, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Fortified foods and supplements can provide vitamin B12, which is primarily found in animal-based foods.

However, it is essential to note that, like any diet, a poorly planned vegan diet can result in nutritional deficiencies. The key to avoiding possible malnutrition is ensuring a well-balanced and varied intake of plant-based foods, along with attention to specific nutrients that may require more consideration in a vegan diet.

Individuals who follow a vegan diet should educate themselves on proper meal planning, seek advice from registered dietitians or nutrition experts, and be mindful of their nutritional needs. Adequate calorie intake, portion control, and a focus on nutrient-dense foods are essential to maintain a healthy vegan diet.

If someone is considering transitioning to a vegan diet or has specific dietary needs or health conditions, consulting a registered dietitian or healthcare professional is strongly recommended. They can provide personalized guidance to ensure nutritional adequacy and overall well-being on a vegan diet.

It is important to recognize that scientific research and nutritional knowledge are continually evolving, so individuals should stay informed about the latest findings and recommendations regarding plant-based diets and their impact on health.

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