by Dr Vinitha Krishnan, Nutritionist, Fortis Malar Hospital
Fruits are a great source of fibre, potassium, vitamin c and many other nutrients. These nutrients guard our bodies against various diseases and illness. Including fruits in our diet the right way can improve not only our digestion but our vitamin intake as well. Eating fruits the right way is very important as eating it the wrong way will do more harm to the health. Here are ground rules about eating fruit the right way.
Always eat fruits fresh. Do not cut them and store them hours before consumption. Fruits should be consumed within 20 minutes of being cut otherwise most of the nutrients are lost. It’s always better to consume local grown fruits. It’s best to eat whichever fruit is available in the season.
Do not eat fruits after meals. Always eat fruits two hours prior or two hours after you consume anything else. When you eat fruit in this manner our digestive system can easily and quickly process all the nutrients, the fibre and the simple sugars in the fruit and not let it ferment which may cause indigestion, heart burn, burping or any other digestive discomforts.
Its better to avoid fruits in the night. It could cause issues like heartburn and acidity. Always consume fruits before 6 PM. If you need to eat fruits in the night then consume fruits two hours before your dinner. Also avoid fruits as the first thing you eat in the morning as your body has been fasting, the sugar in the fruit will spike your blood sugar and you will be hungry again just about an hour later.
Its advisable to eat whole fruits rather than drink fruit juices. Because fruit juices lack the dietary fibre that helps in digestion and smooth bowel movement and also some vitamins and minerals are lost due to the excess heat generated when crushing the fruits in the juicer. Its ok to drink juices but not regularly. When u need to drink fruit juice, drink only fresh juice and never out of a can. Its not advisable to combine fruits with milk. Especially sour fruits like oranges should not be combined with milk. You can combine ripe fruits like banana with milk and consume.
At least 5 servings of fruit is recommended a day . One serving is approximately a medium sized cup. You could eat more depending on your individual appetite unless you are diabetic or you are pursuing a weight loss goal in which case its not recommended because of the high sugar content. Try to include a variety of fruits since each fruit contains different combination of vitamins and nutrients.