The issue on when to eat fruits has been a subject of much discussion. While modern science does not address this, traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda have clear guidelines.
According to this system, fruits are best taken in empty stomach. Also, fruits are best taken in the morning and their benefits are believed to deplete if taken later in the day. Proponents of this theory state that fruit should never be eaten with or immediately after anything. They believe that fruits, if not eaten correctly, can ferment or putrefy, causing formation of acid waste which is counter-productive. Toxic acid system can be recognised by bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea, heartburn, burping, weight gain and premature ageing, anxiety and skin changes.
In other words, it’s not recommended to eat fruits for dessert as they start fermenting in the stomach while waiting for their turn to be assimilated. It is also stated that certain persons who have a strong digestive system may eat fruits any time of the day.
While no scientific research can back these claims, clinical experience surely supports the merits specially among persons who have dysbiosis (imbalanced gut flora e.g. candidiasis ) or digestive disorders.
Further, if you work out, then it is a good idea to take some fruit before and after working out. In case of diabetes or weight management, this guideline would need to be revised. In case of using fruit as a snack, try to eat it at least a couple of hours after meal time to derive the maximum benefit of fruits without disturbing your digestion.
Meanwhile, the message is to treat fruits as an invaluable part of the diet . They are easy to digest, have high water content, are high on heart healthy potassium, loaded with valuable disease-fighting elements like enzymes, fibre, prebiotics , vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, alkaline in nature and, of course, are delicious to taste . Excessive fruit intake should be guarded against, specially if you are overweight, diabetic or have a digestive disorder.
Whole fruits are preferable to fruit juices. Avoid packed juices as a habit. If you feel better eating fruits at a particular time of the day, then ensure that you respect your body’s preference. There may also be individual tolerance for certain fruits. Listening to your body is important and remember you are unique. Keep a food and symptom diary to figure your body’s tolerance.
If you can adopt the wisdom of eating fruits the right way, you surely stand to benefit from these wonderful gifts of nature. Aim to have at least one to two servings of seasonal fruits on a daily basis, preferably during breakfast or as a snack .
Author is a clinical nutritionist and founder of http://www.theweightmonitor.com and Whole Foods India
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