Fruits are the candies of nature. They are not only fresh and delicious but also healthy and beneficial. They contain many nutrients such as vitamins, fiber and enzymes and they are a good source of energy. Unfortunately, eating fruit has a negative side as well. In this article you will read the main problems with fruits and practical solutions that will let you enjoy them without any adverse effect.
Problem: Chemicals and Pesticides
The big problem with fruit is the use of chemicals and pesticides in the modern day large scale production. Many chemicals used have been accused of causing numerous problems to our health, from cancer to infertility. Some fruits like peaches, grapes and pears are harder to grow and studies have shown that they contain higher amounts of pesticides.
Solution: Buy Organic and Wash well
In order to reduce our contact with chemicals and pesticides, we should always aim for the best quality our money can buy. Organic fruit is expensive but it pays off in quality, taste and nutrient content. The best advice is to buy organic fruit from your local farmer’s market. You can also register to an organic box delivery service or even grow your own. Always wash the fruit before you eat it and if it’s not organic it is recommended that you peel it.
Problem: Rot in the stomach
The fruit needs to be metabolized immediately. If you eat fruit as an after dinner dessert it gets mixed with the other foods containing protein and fat are forced to stay in the stomach for hours. The high temperature in the stomach causes fruit fermentation in the same way grapes becomes turn into wine. For this reason one can feel slightly drunk if you eat lots of fruit after a full meal.
Solution: Fruit alone with empty stomach
Fruits should be eaten when your stomach is totally empty so they can be digested immediately. For the same reason it is better to eat it alone. For example, you could eat fruit for snack between meals or a fruit salad for breakfast. If you want it to be part of your meal you can drink a fresh juice is before dinner, as an appetizer. It will get digested quickly and regulate your appetite so that you avoid overeating during the meal.
Problem: Acidic residues
Fruits contain simple sugars in the form of fructose. The fructose is a monosaccharide like glucose and metabolized by the body immediately, leaving acid residues. If you excess amounts of fruit, you gets lot of calories and acid fills the stomach and the blood. Too much acid is bad news for your body. Western diet, lack of physical activity and everyday stress create highly toxic and acidic environment. The acidic environment in the body and the lack of alkaline foods in our diet is responsible for many modern diseases.
Solution: Fruits with Greens
One way to balance the acidity created by the sugar in fruit is to accompany it with something very alkaline, such as green leafy vegetables. You can put in your fruit salad some finely chopped parsley. You can blend fresh spinach in your fruit juice smoothie or you can enjoy your fruit with a few tender leaves of lettuce. Many of the fruit recipes I personally use rely on this logic of balancing the Ph and reducing the acid.
Problem: The fruit makes you fat
If you eat lots of fruit and you don’t move too much, the energy that is not consumed will turn into fat. Fruits such as grapes, cherries and ripe bananas are very sweet, with high carbohydrate content and therefore rich in calories. The good thing is that fruits contain fiber that fills you up easily. However, some fruits have little fiber and fruit juices have no fiber at all making it easy to drink more than you should.
Solution: Eat moderate amounts of fruit
Fruit, like all things in life need moderation. The key is to eat less of the best quality you can get. Some serving size suggestions: 1 banana, 2 small apples, 3 apricots, 1 cup of grapes and 1 small bowl of cherries. When you drink fruit juice always chose natural with 100% fruit content, and drink only one glass at a time. If you are thirsty, drink water.
Problem: Dental Hygiene
Very sweet fruits contain sugars that are acid and cause tooth decay. The grapes are a problem because their skin gets between the teeth while the texture of bananas leaving much residue between the teeth. Citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit are also harmful to the enamel of teeth due to the acidity.
Solution: Rinse and brush.
What you need to do is brush your teeth after eating fruits and use dental floss to clean the fruit skins that usually stuck between the teeth. It’s also a good advice to drink juice with a straw and rinse your mouth with water after eat fruit or drink juice.
In conclusion, you need to remember this: Although fruits are very healthy, natural foods, make sure you follow the above guidelines to avoid the negative side effects for your health. Choose the best local, seasonal and organic fruits you can afford. Eat them with an empty stomach and always alone or just with some greens. Control the amount you eat and always remember to wash your teeth.
FT Bletsas is a food writer, author, TV Show Host and speaker from Greece. He shares his passion about Good Food that is Healthy, Tasty and Fun with live Foodmusic shows, TV programs and publications. For more information that will help you boost your Food IQ, visit his website www.ftbletsas.com