We all know that eating more fruits and vegetables is important for our health. Fruits contain many vitamins, enzymes and water, and give us energy and vitality. They should be part of your daily diet and are vital to your health! With that said, it is possible that fruit can make us feel lethargic and bloated. Why is that? It turns out it all depends on when you consume them!
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I have been speaking about this issue with clients and friends, and they all seemed surprised and astonished by this statement, but fruit can make you feel worse if you eat it at the wrong time. To understand why that is we need to look at how fruit is digested in the body.
Fruit is one of the easiest food to digest. It is out of your stomach within thirty minutes to an hour after you ingest it. As comparison, starches need two to five hours to digest and proteins – four to six hours.
To improve the digestion and absorption of the nutrients in fruit, this means you have to consume them on empty stomach!
Now that you know how quickly fruit is digested, think about what happens if you consume fruit together with a starch or protein, or even worse – as a dessert! You guessed it, it will delay digestion and cause all sorts of unpleasant digestive issues. I am sure you are familiar with them but let me just name a few: bloating, gas, stomach ache. The reason for this is that as the fruit is consumed together with other food, that takes longer to digest, it cannot freely move to the intestines to be digested. It stays in the stomach for longer, and can cause fermentation and acidification of the entire food. This on the other hand can lead to impaired digestion of the food we eat. When we don’t digest the food well, our intestines cannot optimally absorb the nutrients from the food we eat. And here you see how it all can contribute to nutritional deficiencies and digestive issues.
Now that you know how fruit is digested, I am sure you will agree with me that having a fruit salad as a dessert is not a healthy idea! Have fruits on empty stomach – best time to eat them is in the morning – to improve your digestion.
Fruits have strong detoxifying properties, helping to dissolve toxic substances and cleanse the tissues and system. The proper digestion of fruit is also dependent on your gut microbiome. Having plenty of friendly bacteria in your gut will help break down the fruit sugar properly. On the other hand, if your friendly flora is compromised (from antibiotics, pollution, preservatives and many other factors) sweet fruit might not be the best choice for your health. If you notice that you feel bloated, or your stomach gets upset after eating fruit on an empty stomach it might be a sign your gut flora is out of balance.
So with that knowledge you have now, enjoy this divine, nourishing food in the mornings to make the most out of it!
What is your favourite fruit? My all time favourites are strawberries, figs and watermelon, but honestly I love them all! 🙂