Fruits are known to be one of the healthiest foods available. But when it comes to food, many experts believe that when you eat is more important than what you eat. Modern and ancient nutrition systems both suggest that body digests fruit very differently and derives benefit from it quite differently. City-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra, however, stresses on the importance of not having fruits before or after your meal. “You can have fruits first thing in the morning, or as a stand-alone option in-between your meals. You must never have your fruit after your meal,” she says.
“On an average, you consume around 300-400 calories in a meal. Fruits have fructose, which can add to the number of calories you are consuming in 1 meal. Fruits should never be eaten after your meal. It should never be digested along with your meal,” says Pooja.
Other health-related problems with combining fruits with your meals
Eating fruits before or after your meal can lead to gas, constipation and stomach ache. When you combine fruits with your meals or have them before or after your meals, fruits end up remaining in the stomach. This is because your digestive system at that time is working on digesting the meal you just ate.
As a result of this, the fruits that are left behind in the stomach may become toxic and begin to gather in the diet tube. This can affect stomach acid, cause indigestion and make you feel a sense of burning. At times, this can even lead to chest irritation.
Things to keep in mind when you’re having fruits
1. You must always eat fresh fruits. Also, avoid consuming milk or curd with fruits.
2. Avoid eating at least half an hour after you eat fruits.
3. The best time to eat fruits is considered in the morning. Eating fruits in an empty stomach can be beneficial for your health. However, avoid eating citrus fruits in the morning as they can possibly cause acidity. You are good to go with fruits like bananas, mangoes and apples in the morning.
4. When you are eating melon, avoid eating anything with it. Melon has a lot of water content and it can be difficult to digest.
5. Eating fruits according to the season can be beneficial for your health. Spring and summer are considered ideal times for eating ripening fruits. Ayurveda suggests having fruits during summer time since they are low in fat. During summer, it is advised to eat a mixture of raw and sweet fruits.
(Pooja Malhotra is a Delhi-based nutritionist)