Why should we eat fruits?
1.Fruits are alkaline forming
When the body is acidic, it is more susceptible to diseases and can lead to acidosis. It has been known for a long time that fruit is one of the most alkaline-forming foods that exist. Some fruits like oranges may be acidic to taste but are alkaline-forming after digestion. An alkaline diet is said to improve the K/Na ratio and may benefit bone health, reduce muscle wasting, as well as prevent diseases such as hypertension and strokes. Most fruits are alkaline-forming, except a few like prunes, plums and cranberries.
2. High in Water Content
Fruits also have a high percentage of water, about 80%, and hence are very hydrating. Water is one of the most essential nutrients. It regulates body temperatures, eliminates toxins, carries nutrients and helps chemical reactions that occur in our cells. Water also lubricates and cushions our joints.
3. Source of natural sugar
The body needs natural sugar as a source of energy. The complex sugar from starchy food is broken down into simpler sugars by digestive enzymes. Fruits contain simple sugars which are used directly by the body, unlike refined sugar which is devoid of nutrients and fibre, and do not provide any minerals and vitamins. Fruit on the other hand is a nutrient-dense food, full of vitamins and minerals.
Medicinal Properties of fruits
Fruits help to clear the system of wastes and toxins and replenish the body’s sugar, vitamins and minerals. The fibre in the fruits acts as a laxative and aids the smooth passage of food in the digestive tract. Papaya is an excellent source of vitamin C and carotene, and a medium-sized mango provides much of the vitamin A necessary for the body. The minerals in the fruits and dry fruits like raisins help to build strong bones. Fruits like custard apple supply enough calcium to meet our daily requirements.
Certain fruits are known to be beneficial in combating certain ailments. Apple, pomegranate, lemon and orange are said to be beneficial for the heart. Fruits like apple dates and mango are said to be good for the central nervous system. The nutrients in these fruits exert a tonic effect on the nerves. All berries are said to strengthen nerves and build blood. Watermelons cleanse the kidneys. Lemons are a good remedy for liver problems and indigestion. Thus, a generous helping of fruits taken every day may help prevent diseases and keeps one energized and healthy.
How should we eat Fruits?
1. Eat Seasonal Fruits
Food culture usually evolves to suit the needs of every region. Globalization has taken away the food culture that is suited to a region. When one chooses to eat local fruits, one is sure that they are fresh. Nowadays it is difficult to know what fruit is in the season as all kinds of fruit are readily available. When we eat seasonal fruits, we know that the phytonutrients have developed to their full potential. Fruits are available in certain seasons for a reason. We need more of certain nutrients during certain seasons. Watermelons and tropical fruits are available in the summer, and they should be eaten then as they are high in water content and potassium. They replenish the water and salts that have been lost through sweat. Citrus fruits are available in winter. According to Ayurveda, in winter, the constitution is usually imbalanced, which results in a sluggish internal environment that leads to the breeding of many viruses. To avoid this we need to build up our immunity, and what better fruit than oranges to do this.
2. Eat a Large variety of raw fruits
Nutritionists advise eating a large variety of fruits, so as to get all-round nutrition. One should also eat one type of fruit at a time, and avoid mixing acid fruits with sweet ones. Choosing local variants and seasonal fruits will be more affordable and an assurance that one eats fresh fruit rather than packaged, processed or preserved stuff. Fruits are best eaten raw, as they lose much of their nutritional value when cooked.
3. When Should we Eat Fruits?
The best time to eat fruits is first thing in the morning after a glass of water. There are some nutritional claims that fruit should not be eaten along with other foods. This is because they believe that when fruits are eaten with other foods, they stay longer in the stomach and ferment the other digested foods, causing gas and indigestion. Another claim is that the body has trouble digesting the carbohydrates in fruit when in combination with other foods. Even though this is not supported by science, natural hygienists believe that fruits don’t combine well with other foods. The reason is that fruit contains simple sugars that require no digestion and hence don’t stay for a long time in the stomach, whereas foods rich in fat, protein and starch, stay in the stomach for a longer period of time because they take more time to digest. Therefore when you eat fruit after or along with a meal, the fruit sugar stays longer in the stomach and ferments. You need to leave a gap of at least 30 minutes between a meal and a fruit snack. Ideally, one should eat fruits an hour before the meal or two hours after, if they have diabetes or any other digestive problem like acidity.
To know about the health benefits of the regular fruits that we eat, click on the link below
Avocados are a good source of fibre, potassium, vitamin C and K, folate, and B6. The healthy monosaturated fats in avocado helps to absorb better, the antioxidants in food such as lycopene and beta-carotene
Amlaki or Indian gooseberry has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. It is one of the three constituents of the Ayurvedic formula Triphala. It is a rich source of vitamin C and is useful for the body, no matter what form it is eaten in.
Bohemian, mid-century, baroque or Scandi. Annona muricata, commonly called soursop, is a fruit high in nutrients such as calcium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin C, vitamin B1 and vitamin B2. Consuming the pulp is said to cure a range of maladies from pain and inflammation, hypertension, constipation, anaemia, migraines, diabetes to urinary tract infections.
Limes are a good source of citric acid, natural sugar, vitamin C, calcium and phosphorous. It contains more vitamin C than the lemon. The vitamin C content in lime increases the body’s resistance to diseases, aids the healing of wounds and prevents damage to the eyes. The rind of the fruit contains a volatile oil which is used in medicine for improving digestion.
Mango fruit is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds. The mango fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin-A and potassium. 100g fruit is said to provide 156 mg of potassium while just 2 mg of sodium. The mango is known to be a very good source of vitamins such as vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, and ß-carotene.
The Polynesians have used the noni fruit and leaves as folk remedies for over 2000 years. In India, the Ayurveda and Siddha texts refer to noni as an internal cleanser, and a remedy for joint aches and skin conditions. In recent times, research has shown that, noni is a fruit with immense medicinal value for various conditions ranging from menstrual pain to cancer prevention.
Papaya is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and a good source of fibre and minerals like potassium. It is also a rich source of anti-oxidants like carotenes and flavonoids. It helps in digestion and is one of the most easily digested food. It helps build immunity, is an excellent tonic and is energy giving.
It is a light food and is a tonic for the heart. It is considered good for inflammation of the stomach. The sweet variety of the fruit is a good laxative. The pomegranate juice is said to cure fevers and is said to provide the minerals that help the liver store vitamin A. It also helps boost immunity.
In Ayurveda, Turkey berry is used to “cure liver and kidney disorders, nerve conditions and night blindness. It is also used to relieve stomach ailments, as a diuretic, for curing stomach ulcers and to rid intestinal worms.” Pharmacological studies have demonstrated the ability of this plant to exhibit antioxidant activity, cardiovascular, immunomodulatory, and nephroprotective activity thus supporting its traditional uses.
Litchi or Lychee
From inhibiting cancer cells and viruses to protecting the skin, liver, and heart, the litchi or lychee fruit is abundant in healthy nutrients needed by the body. 100 grams of litchi has most of our daily requirements of vitamin C. Litchi protects the skin from oxidative damage, which leads to fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. The vitamin C in litchi ensures good collagen production.