By Ebi Pere
So today I’m going to be talking about fruit combos to avoid, healthy fruit combos, and the effects of combining fruits wrongly.
I guess we all know what a fruit is, it’s the seed-bearing part of a plant, often edible and colourful.
We have so many examples; oranges, guavas, bananas, strawberries, pears, pineapples, paw-paws, and one of my favorites, the soursop, etc.
Fun fact: do you know the soursop is also known as custard apple?
We also have melons such as the cantaloupes, horned melons, honeydews, winter melons, bitter melons, watermelons etc. But here in Nigeria, the watermelon is more common than the other melons.
Fun fact: do you know that the watermelon and the cantaloupe contains more than 90% of water?
We all know fruits are very important for the body to function properly. And I know we’ve heard and even eaten the fruit salad. But the question is, are we eating them the right way? And yes, you can eat fruits wrongly.
I can’t imagine for how long we’ve actually caused harm to our bodies in the name of ‘eating fruits’. I guess the question on your mind is, how do we eat fruits wrongly? And what are the fruit combos to avoid? Let’s see that in the next paragraph;
- Eating melons with other fruits: melons should only be eaten with other melons or should be eaten alone. When melons are eaten with other fruits, it tends to be difficult for it to be properly digested since they have a high water content and digest faster.
- It therefore overworks your digestive system and since it’s not properly digested, chances are you might not get all the nutrients.
- Pawpaw and lemons: avoid this combination at all cost as it makes you develop anemia and also leads to problems with your hemoglobin.
- Pineapple and milk: this could cause stomach pains, nausea and headache. One could also develop an infection or have diarrhea.
- Guava and banana: this could cause gas and acidosis (increased acidity of the blood). Which in turn could make you feel nauseous, develop stomach pains and headaches etc.
- Fruits and vegetables: they have different rates of digestion. Fruits have more sugar, thus the vegetable cannot be digested properly, stressing out the digestive system. Fruits also tend to have more acid, so it literally cuts down the nutritional value of the vegetables. For example, oranges and carrots shouldn’t be eaten together as this combination may cause heartburn and excess bile reflux.
- Banana and milk: this combination is a heavy one and it’s highly toxin forming. It is said to make the body lethargic because it sits heavy in the stomach and slows down the mind. If you wish to enjoy your banana smoothie occasionally, you could add cinnamon powder or nutmeg powder which would stimulate the digestive system and aid in digestion.
- Orange and milk: if you take your cereal or oatmeal with orange juice, you should stop it because the orange makes the stomach unable to process the starch in the cereal. This is because the acid in the orange lowers the activity of the enzymes needed to digest the carbohydrate present in the cereal. Also, when orange juice and cereal combines in the stomach, it can be very difficult to digest especially in children.
Fun fact: do you know that an acid called citric acid is present in all citrus fruits including oranges?
- Eating acidic fruits together with sweet fruits: such combinations could hamper your digestive system. Eating them together is found to cause acidosis, nausea and headaches due to the fermentation of the sugar in the stomach.
Since we’ve seen some fruit combos to avoid, let’s see how we can safely combine our fruits. One of the best ways to eat fruits is by eating them with their kind. You should eat melons alone or with other melons. You can also eat acidic and sub-acidic fruits together, and you could also eat sub-acidic and sweet fruits together. I’m going to give a list of common acidic, sub-acidic and sweet fruits so you’ll know how to safely combine your fruits;
• Acidic fruits: they are rich in ascorbic acid and some of them contain antioxidants. These include; blackberries, sour cherries, goose berries, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange, pineapple, sour apple, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines etc.
• Sub-acidic fruits: they have low levels of acidity. These include; apple(sweet), blueberries, cherry, kiwi, mango, pear, raspberries etc.
• Sweet fruits: they don’t contain acid, they provide concentrated sugars and take longer to digest. These include; banana, dates, pawpaw, grapes (all sweet grapes), peaches etc.
So since we’ve seen examples of acidic, sub-acidic and sweet fruits, you can have fun combining acidic and sub-acidic fruits together such as pineapples and mangoes, etc. Also, you could combine sub-acidic and sweet fruits together such as bananas and mangoes, etc. But don’t combine acidic and sweet fruits together.
Some things to note when eating fruits;
• Don’t eat fruits on an heavy stomach. Since they require little or no digestion, it would make the fruit sugar to sit longer in the stomach which could ferment and cause stomach problems.
Fun fact: do you know that fruit sugar is also known as fructose?
• It’s best to eat fruits alone and on an empty stomach.
• Don’t eat fruits together with meals. It’s better to eat them at least 15 or 20mins before a meal.
In conclusion, fruits are a very important part of our diets. They contain various vitamins and minerals needed for the body to properly function. So eat fruits regularly, try fun recipes with smoothies and even fruit salads. I’ll end this article with a quote which says “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
I would love to hear from you, you know questions, contributions, suggestions, corrections anything at all. If probably there’s something you would want me to write about or if you have any questions as regards to the article, leave me a message in the comments section below. I’d really love to hear from you.
From your favorite health educator, Ebi Pere.