Fruit has always been recognized as one of the healthiest foods there is. In the minds of most people, fruit is seen as a healthy food we should eat more of due to its vitamin content. But even when realizing the exceptional nutritional qualities of fruit, very few people actually give it the place it deserves in the diet. Fruit is still eaten as a “snack” or a “dessert,” but is rarely seen as a staple food. In the mind of the masses, fruit is a “healthy snack” but not something that can really sustain a hard-working man, like meat or bread. They don’t realize that fruit should be a staple in the diet, and has been for thousands upon thousands of years, long before bread and rice were cultivated, and long before cheese, sandwiches and twinkies were invented.
Fruit is the ideal food for exercise. The best post workout snack or meal is not muffins, yogurt, or protein shakes, but fresh fruit. Runners and other athletes have long known that there is nothing better than high-water content, sweet fruit, such as oranges or melons, after a workout. They contain enough water to hydrate the body and their natural sugars are quickly utilized for energy production. Regular physical activity improves insulin sensitivity, which is the effectiveness of insulin in transporting sugar to your cells. In other words, if you exercise, you’ll be able to utilize fruit sugar a lot better and will be less likely to experience ‘sugar swings’ and blood sugar fluctuations.
- Fruit is the best source of the natural sugar needed for energy.
- Fruit is packed with vitamins, and still represents the best source of vitamins in any food.
- Fruit is packed with anti-oxidants.
- Fruit is easier to digest than grains. Fruit is basically pre-digested. Digesting ripe fruit hardly requires any digestive enzymes, and is thus less taxing to the body.
- Fruit is alkaline forming (whereas meat, fish, grains and legumes are acid-forming).
- Fruit contains an abundance of pure water.
- Fruit is easy to eat. It doesn’t require much preparation.
- Fruit is beautiful. All of our senses are nourished by fruit, not just our taste buds.
- People who eat lots of fruit live longer. A study published in the British Medical Journal (September 2001), showed that fresh fruit offers the best bet for a long life. The results of a study showed that frequent fruit eaters had a 32 percent lower risk of dying from cerebrovascular disease such as stroke, and a 24 percent lower risk of dying from ischemic heart disease, than those who ate fruit less than once a day.
- Fruit contains lots of fiber, which is necessary for optimum digestion.
Natural Hygienists have known for a long time that fruit doesn’t combine well with other foods. The reason is that fruit contains simple sugars that require no digestion. Thus, they will not stay for a long time in the stomach. Other foods, such as foods rich in fat, protein and starch, will stay in the stomach for a longer period of time because they require more digestion. So if you eat fruit after a meal, the fruit sugar will stay for too long in the stomach and ferment. This is why people experience digestive trouble when eating fruit that way. They then blame that particular fruit for their trouble and claim that they are “allergic” to it.
Natural Hygienists have been recommending for a long time that fruit be eaten alone with no other foods. They have also recommended eating melons alone and avoiding mixing acid fruits with sweet fruits such as bananas. These are great recommendations, but can be definitely be simplified.
Many people have a difficult time eating a meal of fruit alone. They’ll eat a meal of melon and not so long after they’ll be hungry again, for the simple and obvious reason that melons are not calorie dense. Eating a small cantaloupe (200 calories) is not going to sustain you for very long. The solution to this is very simple: since fruit digests so fast, it is possible to eat fruit before any other food. You can, when you are hungry, eat as much fruit as you care for. One type of fruit only would be ideal. Then wait a little bit, like 5-10 minutes, and have any other food you desire. This can be a salad, a little avocado with tomatoes, some nuts, or anything. It can be cooked food too. If you’ve been trying to follow food-combining rules without success, this new information could be very valuable to you.
It has been known for a long time that fruit is one of the most alkaline forming foods there is. Even if it is acid to the taste, like oranges, after digestion the end result is alkaline-forming. Alkaline means a substance has a pH of more than seven. This means the it can freely "donate" electrons to hydrogen ions. The opposite of being alkaline is being acidic. Less than 7.0 is acidic (sour) and more is alkaline (sweet)
by Frederic Patenaude