Healthy eating should be simple and in the main, it is. There are some rules however when it comes to eating certain foods and fruit is one of these foods. Before you fob me off with the thought that eating fruit is simple – you just pick up a piece, eat it and be done. Right? Wrong. The way we eat foods - in this case fruit - is one element of food combining. Food combining is basically a set of dietary guidelines that recommend how and which foods should be eaten together for optimal digestion. An example of this is avoiding consumption of proteins and starches together. The reason is that the body requires an acid base to digest proteins and an alkaline base to digest starches. While proteins and starches combine well with green vegetables, they do not combine well with each other.
Fruits are a complex food group. Some are very high in fructose (the naturally occurring sugar found in fruit), while others are quite low. Fruit can also cause a range of digestive issues when consumed at the wrong times or when combined with other foods. Fruits digest so quickly that by the time they reach the stomach, they are already partially digested. If they are combined with other foods, they will rot and ferment in the gut. Do avoid these issues, ensure you follow the tips below.
Always eat fruit on an empty stomach
As said above, combining fruit with other foods can cause it to ferment and rot in the gut. Eating fruit on an empty stomach will also ensure that all nutrients from the fruit are absorbed. If you find yourself still hungry following a piece of fruit, try to wait at least 30 minutes before to eating anything else.
Never mix fruits – choose one single fruit and eat alone
This one also comes down to the food combining guidelines. Eating mixed fruits (such as fruit salad) can cause havoc on the digestive system. Not only is this combo a high sugar nightmare, but the combination can cause gas and bloating due to the high levels of fructose mixing together.
Don’t eat fruit before you go to bed
It is said that consuming fruit prior to sleep may keep you awake and disrupt the digestion process.
For the record, the best fruits to eat are the ones with lower fructose levels. This includes all berries as well as rockmelon (cantaloupe), pears and kiwi fruits. Fruits extremely high in fructose are grapes, mangoes, all stone fruits (peaches, nectarines etc), watermelon and pineapple. You can tell by the flavour (sweetness) of the fruit that it is high in fructose. These fruits are digested extremely quickly and can elevate blood sugar levels.