Eat Fruit By Itself
Updated: Apr 8, 2018
Ayurveda (ah-yer-vey-duh) is the world’s oldest healing system, which originated in ancient India. It means the science or knowledge of life. It is a form of medicine that is totally holistic in that it strives believes that our physical, mental, emotional, energetic, and spiritual bodies are all combined.
There are a number of main cornerstones of Ayurveda. I won’t get into all of them now (will save that for a blog post soon to come all about Ayurveda and my experience with it) but, for now, you should know that one significant Ayurvedic consideration when it comes to eating is: food combining.
According to a blog post on Banyan Botanicals (a great resource for learning about ayurveda), ‘careful food combining can dramatically improve the quality of digestion, support the body in receiving a deeper level of nourishment, and positively impact our health’. For today, we’ll focus on FRUIT.
Within Ayurveda, it's believed eating fruit with other foods leads to the food digesting at different speeds, which can put you at risk for excess fat storage and indigestion.
This is because sugar breaks down faster than a lot of other foods (like fats, proteins, and fibrous veggies) and so combining the them can lead to gas, bloating, indigestion, and constipation. For this reason, its best to eat fruit alone.
Our ancestors followed this ‘rule’ without even really intending to because when they came across an apple tree, for example, they stay and eat nothing else but apples until full.
Some Ayurvedic practitioners hold a strong opinion about fruit being consumed alone, but there are others that are more lenient and provide these exceptions.
1. You may find it interesting to learn that the sweeter the fruit, the more difficult it is to digest with other foods. So, if for any reason you decide that you’d like to combine your fruit with food, choose less sweet fruits. One example of a combo that I like is homemade granola with blueberries. It’s rather simple to intuitively just know which fruits are considered sweeter than others because, well, you can just taste it. But just in case, here’s a table (love these – such a nerd :D) for your reference:
2. If you decide you want to have sweeter fruit with your meal, wait at least 30 minutes after eating your fruit before anything else. As a child, I remember my grandparents (who were not Indian) always eating fruit from the buffet at hotel during family holidays first. I always thought this was weird. I’d ask them, ‘why would you do that? Don’t you want your fruit as desert?’ Today, it makes so much sense to me. (sidenote: pay attention to the way your grandparents eat and live – they lived in a time where they instinctively had to be more intuitive than us to stay healthy. Usually the way they lead their lives can be great lessons to us all)
Ayurvedic Fruit Rules
Have fruit as a meal, separate from other foods – this is especially beneficial during summer months and when having heavier, sweeter fruits
Wait at least 30 minutes after having fruit before eating any other food
If you feel like mixing fruit with another meal, choose the less sweet fruits
Have fruit as a snack if you feel hungry between meals as it is easy to digest
When eating fruit, always consume from heaviest to lightest (sweeter is usually heavier) – in Ayurveda, our digestion grows stronger as we grow hungrier so by eating the heavier, or more difficult to digest, fruits first, we set ourselves up for optimal digestion