I love fruit. Especially during the warmer months when their sweet juices offer hydration and infuse my body with easily
digested and natural sugars for enhanced energy.
A naturally detoxifying food, fruit is truly Mother Nature’s most perfect offering, and also one of the most overlooked secrets to longevity, beauty, and health.
Consider the brilliant design of the human body: With our long and winding digestive tract (25-30 ft), the body absorbs nutrients beginning in the small intestine, but only after the first stage of digestion in the stomach. Large and sluggish meals therefore provide no useable nutrients until it can make its way from the stomach to the first part of the small intestine, or duodenum (and then, who knows what the body will be able to use after that tiresome and lengthy wait).
On an Empty Stomach, Fruit takes roughly around 20-40 minutes in the stomach to digest. Melons take the least, and bananas take the longest.
Secret #1: It is a trick to think that a sandwich, or protein bar, will give you any quick and sustainable energy. In fact, these foods can take anywhere between 4-8+ hours (depending) in the stomach alone. They only provide stimulation. Not energy. If Mother Nature intended for us to seek lasting nourishment outside of her garden, she would not have made fruit to obviously accessible. When a fruit is ready to be eaten, it will actually drop right from the plant. At this moment, the fruit has the most viable nutrients.
But we’ve gone and done it again. In order to make fruit accessible throughout all areas of the land, and at every season, we pluck, pull, and ship fruits and vegetables from one end of the world, to the next. Not only is this a lot of travel time, but we don’t wait for them to jump from their branches. We pluck them early!
Oh how I wish I had a papaya tree in my backyard.
Secret #2: The best time to eat fruits (and vegetables) is when they are in season, and local. The fresher they are, and the less time the spend backpacking across the country, the more nutrients they will contain.
Secret #3: We often hear about eating seasonally, and locally, but in addition to this little secret, the best time to enjoy a fruit is when it is ripe.
Let’s face it: Fruit goes bad. This is by no means a bad thing however, nor does it mean that we should spray foods to keep them from going “bad.”
“Bad” is part of a natural organism’s life cycle.
Instead, we should focus on the beauty that exists within living foods. The best time to eat a fruit is when it is ripe. A ripe fruit will have a more alkaline pH, and leave a more alkaline residue in the body, whereas an unripe fruit can be irritating and leave an acid residue in the body.
Additionally, a “ready to eat” ripe fruit is easier to digest, and requires less energy for digestion. The point of nourishing the body with living foods is that they are more readily digested, and that their nutrients more abundant and easily assimilated and absorbed.
What good is a raw food if the body cannot break it down?
A green banana would not fall from a tree, and it is constipating when eaten before spotted. A green banana will hang on for dear life until it has received all of the divine power and nutrients that it is going to receive from its life-sustaining branches. When it falls, or in our case, is easily plucked, it is a sign that it’s ready to give back to the earth–It is ready to provide.
A fruit is thus part of a plant’s healthy growing cycle. It contains seeds so that it can bare the next generation of fruit. How cool, eh?
When talking about a fruit’s lifecyle, I cannot help but get giggly and think of a particular dinner scene in the movie, Notting Hill. Brokenhearted by the wonderful Anna Scott (played by Julia Roberts), William, (played by Hugh Grant), has been set up on a random date by his dear pals. The “date”, unbeknownst to anyone prior to dinner, is a “fruitarian.” Here is their dialogue:
Keziah: No thanks, I’m a fruitarian.
Max: I didn’t realize that.
William: And, ahm: what exactly is a fruitarian?
Keziah: We believe that fruits and vegetables have feeling so we think cooking is cruel. We only eat things that have actually fallen off a tree or bush – that are, in fact, dead already.
William: Right. Right. Interesting stuff. So, these carrots…
Keziah: Have been murdered, yes.
William: Murdered? Poor carrots. How beastly!
Charming movie. I laugh every time.
Keziah, however she might pronounce her name, is fortunately wrong… these fruits are not dead, but ready to be consumed. A banana, for instance, should not be consumed until it is ripe with a splattering of tiny brown spots. You will find that the peel easily releases the edible fruit for eating without a fight, and that the fruit is not only sweeter, but also much easier to digest!
So, enjoy your fruits, and do so without the consumption of other foods at the same time.
Secret #4: Eat foods alone, and on an empty stomach. With the exception of leafy greens, fruits should not be combined with other foods. Fresh fruit should not be eaten as a snack, dessert, or close to other meals (3-4 hours).
Remember, we want to get the nutrients from our meals to our small intestine quickly. Fruits will take the least amount of time in the stomach. When consumed with other, slower digesting foods, it slows down that beautiful process. The only time we should consume Mother Nature’s perfect food is on an empty stomach (so, for breakfast, for instance), and preferably when Mother Nature has given her O.K. to consume (when ripe). When we combine fruits with other foods, especially more concentrated food (animal protein, almond butter, dairy, bread), we create fermentation in the stomach (gassiness). This is an unpleasant feeling, and a common cause of headaches, lack of energy, and constipation, etc.
Secret #5: How do you tell when a fruit is ripe? Generally, the fruit will smell sweet, and give a little to the touch. A pineapple, that does not yet smell like a pineapple, is not ready to be sliced open and eat.
Do you have any tips on enjoying fruit? What is your favorite fruit?
I love papayas, ripe bananas, crisp pink lady apples!