A raw food vegan influencer who went on an extreme diet of exotic fruits has reportedly died of hunger and exhaustion after contracting an infection.
Zhanna Samsonova, who is from Russia, had been consuming only raw foods such as fruits, sunflower seed sprouts, fruit smoothies and juices for the last five years.
Zhanna further restricted her eating habits in the last few months, according to her friends.
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The 39-year-old woman, known online as Zhanna D’Art, died on July 21, reportedly of a “cholera-like infection” which was exacerbated by “body exhaustion” from an extremely limited diet, her mother Vera Samsonova told Russian newspaper Vechernyaya Kazan.
Zhanna previously detailed how she stopped eating and drinking for days when she contracted COVID in 2021.
“I completely lost my appetite, and I decided not to force my body, but simply to give it a rest, refraining from any food and drink,” she wrote on social media at the time.
The official cause of Zhanna’s death has not been determined, but many netizens have slammed assumptions that a raw vegan diet was solely behind her death, suggesting she was hiding an eating disorder or another illness.
Her family is now aiming to return Zhanna’s body to Russia. It is known that she had lived in Sri Lanka for several years.
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Vera told local Russian media that on the day that she died, Zhanna was actually expected to fly back to the Russian city of Kazan.
She admitted that he did not approve of her daughter’s extreme diet. Vera said she had tried to convince Zhanna to adopt more balanced eating habits, but her daughter refused.
A friend of Zhanna’s who did not wish to be named claimed that they saw Zhanna a few months ago in Sri Lanka “looking exhausted”.
“They (the family) sent her home to seek treatment. However, she ran away again. When I saw her in Phuket, I was horrified,” they said.
“I live one floor above her, and every day I dreaded finding her lifeless body in the morning. I convinced her to seek treatment, but she was unsuccessful.”
The official cause of death for Russian raw food influencer Zhanna Samsonova is not yet clear, though reports claim that diet-related exhaustion exacerbated an infection. Credit: Instagram
Zhanna’s Instagram feed shows a different story, however, and is filled with videos with tens of thousands of views of colourful raw dishes including soups, salads, fruit, and even burgers and cakes.In a post published on June 7, Zhanna said she was excited about the fruit season in Thailand saying that it was “the time to gain weight.”
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