I often get questions about how to properly eat fruit, whether on an empty stomach, or after meals. All my life, I grew up eating fruit after meals for dessert. This is supposed to be healthy, right? Well, it beats eating sugary sweets, but it isn't the best option.
Fruits are best eaten on an empty stomach. When you wake up in the morning is a great time because you've had the whole night to digest last night's meal. I always start the morning by slowly drinking a glass of water first, then I eat a big fruit plate. Some mornings I like to make a fruit salad with sweet and sub-acid fruits like bananas, mango, papaya, and maybe peaches or apricots (depending on the season), and other times I will choose acid fruits instead like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
Another option is to have a big plate of watermelon or melon for breakfast. If you do this, wait at least an hour before eating other fruits. Melons are best eaten before other fruits because of their high water content. They digest the fastest among all fruits, and need to pass through to your digestive system. If you add in other fruits, they will block the melon from passing through, and then it will sit in your stomach and ferment, causing gas and bloating.
This is exactly what happens when you eat fruit after a meal: gas and bloating. Fruit digests quicker than all other foods, so it gets trapped in your stomach with proteins, fats, carbohydrates and can't get through! So it begins to ferment and then you start feeling bloated and gassy. Not fun at all, and it can be very uncomfortable and embarrassing if you're in public or at a business meeting, yikes!
I suffered from terrible gas and bloating in college because I was eating so much fruit after meals and eating beans and rice all the time (more on food combinations soon). I thought it was just because I had adopted a vegan, plant-based lifestyle and I was eating a lot of fiber, but it was not the case. As soon as I learned to properly combine foods, the gas and bloating went away, and I felt so much more energetic.
When eating vegetables, wait at least 2 hours before eating fruits. When grains and/or beans are involved, wait at least 3 hours.
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