By: Yomi Henry-eyo
There is a health fad going round telling people when it is best to eat fruits.
One myth says: You will get diabetes if you indulge in too many fruits.
If you have not been diagnosed with diabetes, you should not worry about having your occasional favourite chocolate cake and ice cream every now and then.
Our bodies and digestive system are complex and are incredibly intelligent machines. Fruits can be eaten at any time and it can be eaten along with other foods. The body produces digestive enzymes for protein, fat, and carbohydrates which help it digest mixed meals. Besides, since the stomach has a high concentration of hydrochloric acid, bacteria is killed before it is able to reproduce so fermentation cannot take place in the stomach.
This gives you an opportunity to cancel out the myth that, “always eat fruit on an empty stomach, if it is eaten with other foods, it can cause fermentation and rot in the stomach, hence affecting digestion”.
As far as I am concerned, as well as many people like myself, I would not eat fruits at all if you tell me there is “a certain time” to eat them. Honestly, I would turn to my good old calorie dense, nutrient poor and sugar loaded milk chocolates instead. The odds of fruit timing is not as dangerous as we think.
This belief started from a certain chef and then it was accepted all around the world. We should be careful about demonising fruits because there are enough processed foods in the supermarkets, and fruits are certaining not one of them. It is low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals higher mineral and vitamin content than we can ever get from other types of foods.
It is claimed that eating fruit can cause the stomach to empty more slowly.
The truth is that it does not cause food to sit in your stomach indefinitely. It is important to note that, this change in speed is significant, it does not slow down digestion, to a dangerous extent. More so, is it not an advantage that the stomach holds the food for a while longer hence making you feel fuller for longer and consuming lesser calories in the day?
One study found that in healthy people, fibre slowed the time it took the stomach to empty half its contents from an average of 72 minutes to 86 minutes.
There is actually no scientific support behind the idea that, eating fruit with meals is the cause of bloating, diarrhoea and discomfort.
Another myth is that “eating fruits before or after a meal reduces its nutrient value.
It means that you have to eat fruits on an empty stomach if it’s not your first meal of the day, you have to wait for 30 minutes before eating fruits. This is a topic of argument because the body was made to survive and extract the nutrients it needs from any pile of food in it. The body is efficient at separating what it needs to nourish the body from unwanted waste and so on.
Like all information on digestion, the body releases food from the stomach gradually into the small intestine gradually and carefully.
Fruits like pawpaw, pineapple and other exotic fruits like kiwi contain proteases; an enzyme that speeds up the breakdown of proteins – for example, meats and so on.
Based on this information, it is definitely worth eating some fruits intentionally with your meal.
It can be added to salads and taken as an accompaniment with some stews.
Therefore the digestive system is more than able to digest and absorb the nutrients from fruits, whether it’s eaten on an empty stomach or with a meal.
Next time we will be considering some fruits that actually fight diabetes, and contribute dramatically to our nutritional health.