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Irina blog fruit
Photo credit: Patrick Fore

By Dr. Irina Schurov, LiveRight

Fruit and berry season has arrived! This is a great time of year when we can enjoy eating these fantastic nutrient-rich products and nourish our bodies with plenty of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Of course, fruit is a very good replacement for pastries, cookies and other “easy carb” snacks for children. However, it is also very easy to enjoy too much fruit during the summer. Especially, if you or your child has a compromised digestive system.

With this in mind, what exactly do we need to know about fruit?

  • Fruit digests quickly and is pushed from the stomach to the intestine very early on. Meals that are especially rich in protein and fibre require much more time and gastric juice to digest. For this reason, fruit does not mix very well with other food groups and can disturb the digestive process of the main meal. It is, therefore, advisable to eat fruit as a snack between meals or on an empty stomach.

  • Fruit is very sweet and causes a lot of sugar to be released into the blood, leading to a spike in energy. It would, therefore, be sensible to not eat fruit in the evening when your body needs to prepare for good quality sleep.

  • Fruit is rich in a type of sugar called “fructose”. Unfortunately, many people cannot digest fructose very well and, instead, absorb large amounts. Researchers showed that up to 40% of people suffer from a condition called fructose malabsorption, in which fructose is inefficiently absorbed within the small intestine due to a limited amount of the fructose digesting enzyme. It is for this reason that, instead of nourishing our bodies, sometimes fruit can simply sit in the gut and be fermented by bacteria. The result of those bacteria feasting on fructose is a lot of gas and bloating, which makes many people feel uncomfortable. Therefore, eating too much fruit at the same time can cause digestive discomfort.

  • Fruit is designed by nature to carry seeds and produce new plants.  So, similar to grains, fruit and berries contain certain amounts of antinutrients that can irritate the digestive system. Cooking fruit helps to avoid this effect.

  • It has been demonstrated that fructose does not trigger the release of “leptin”, a hormone that signals satiety, and instead triggers the release of another hormone called “ghrelin”, a hunger stimulating hormone. That is why eating fruit makes you want to eat even more fruit. Monitoring your portion of fruit could help bring this situation back under control.

To conclude, while you absolutely should enjoy eating fruit during the summer season, please, think about when and how much of this great food you consume. Eat local, organic, fresh and very ripe fruit to gain maximum benefit from these fantastic products.

Author's Bio

irina schurov

Dr. Irina Schurov is a Nutritional Neuroscientist with a PhD from Cambridge University (UK) and over 20 years’ experience in science and health-providing services. She created and founded LiveRight, an initiative to help others through nutrition and wellbeing strategies. By building an educational platform around healthy eating habits, by restoring the relationships between people and food, by supporting your individual circumstances and through personalized coaching in nutrition, she wants to help you and your family achieve the optimal balance between help and life.

Irina focuses especially on children with ASD and related neurological conditions by addressing the connection between gut and brain by detoxifying, nourishing and resetting a whole body biochemical balance. She provides personalized nutritional support to families and an individual DNA nourishing programme for each child in order to maximise their potential in life.

LiveRight

www.liveright.eu