Friday, October 15, 2010

The Impact of Fruit on Digestion

I've been listening to some of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's lectures lately.  They all focus on food and digestion.  Much of it I've heard in one way or another before, but in the lecture I was listening to a few days ago, she was talking about fruit.  I hadn't really heard much about how fruit impacts digestion, so I found it interesting.  Here are a few of the highlights that I wanted to share. 

Don't eat fruit with meals.  There are a few exceptions - lemons, avocado, tomatoes... basically any of the non-sweet fruits.  Dr. Campbell-McBride advises that you do not eat any sweet fruits with your meals, as it really interferes with digestion.  Especially in the digestion of meat - you should really avoid having fruit with meals that contain meat.  We usually have fruit with many of our meals - we all love it and it serves as our dessert.  I'm going to make some changes so that we don't have fruit with our meals anymore and see how it impacts our digestion.  I am pretty sure we'll find it right in line with this concept as I think back to the last few days and think about how I felt after different meals that did or did not contain fruit.  I just never put two-and-two together, I guess. 

The best time to eat fruit is first thing in the morning.  Your digestive system is better equipped to handle it in the mornings, so it just digests bests then.  We tend to eat fruit in the mornings quite often, so I guess we'll continue doing so. 

Eat fruit as a snack between meals.  Eat it by itself as a snack a couple hours before and after your larger meals.  And don't combine it with other types of food, just plain, fresh, raw fruit.  This is easy enough, we all love fresh fruit as a snack. 

Eat only ripe, local fruit.  Fruit you find in the grocery stores are undigestible for your body because they were not picked at the peak of ripeness.  Fruit needs to be fully ripe when picked to be digested well... if it ripens off the tree or bush, it is undigestible for your body.  Fruit is very good for your body, as long as you are eating it when it is best and fully digested, which means it fuels your body best.  Fruit will cleanse your body.  It is full of antioxidants and detoxifying substances.  We try to eat fresh, local, sustainably-raised fruit as much as possible.  Its tough sometimes, living in a northern climate with a short growing season, but you don't need a lot of variety at all times of the year.  Apples over-winter quite well in cold storage and I try to freeze and dehydrate a good deal of fresh, ripe fruit.  This year I froze blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, dewberries, strawberries, peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, pears, apples.  I dehydrated blueberries, strawberries, peaches, apricots, and apples.  I also canned a few things, even though I know they're nutritionally lacking.  I buy very few fruits from the grocery store - normally just bananas, lemons, limes, and pineapple, grapes, and avocado on occasion - the rest I get from my local farmers.  I'm sure we'll pick up some oranges or clementines this winter, but I'm hoping that's about all we'll need to buy from the store. 

We'll be making some changes in the way we incorporate fruit into our diets.  It will be interesting to see how it impacts each of our digestion.  Of course, we won't stick to these principles all the time - there will be times when we're out and about and choose not to stick to these - but we're going to try to when we're home.

1 comment:

Mary Voogt said...

In my years of research about digestion I've read this advice many times. But then I'll read the complete opposite (like eat fruit after a meal to help with digestion). Or I'll read that you should always eat a source of fat with fruit (to absorb the nutrients). So I never know what to believe and just eat it how I want to :P Too much conflicting info for me. That being said, I don't eat a ton of fruit anyway. So I don't worry too much about it.