We’ve all heard how eating fresh fruits and vegetables is an important part of a healthy diet. They are a source of essential vitamins, minerals, fibre and are sources of phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and anti-inflammatory agents that promote a healthy body. While vegetables can be consumed at any time, to get the most out of your fruit favourites, you need to bear in mind when you eat them.
I talk more about the best time to eat fruit in this video; how especially, you should avoid eating fruit right after a meal. I am often contacted by people who struggle with IBS-D, with a predominant symptom being a sudden urge to dash to the loo. When I ask them about the kind of food that they eat on a daily basis, fruit often comes up. While fruit is obviously a very healthy choice for a snack, it’s important to know that it breaks down very quickly and can create a lot of gas. If you eat fruit as a dessert after a large meal (which will take a lot longer to break down) then that meal will be in the way of the fruit trying to make its way through your system, and create uncomfortable gas and bloating, and the urge to dash to the loo.
For anyone with a sensitive stomach and gut, I therefore recommend eating fruit before 1pm to avoid these unpleasant and sometimes distressing symptoms.
If you have been eating fruit after a main meal, try stopping, and having your fruit earlier in the day on its own. This will enable you to still get the most out of the high nutritional value of fruit, and no longer need to feel worried about the aftermath.
Be wary too of salad if you have a sensitive stomach and gut. It may appear to be a light, healthy, harmless meal, packed with nutrients (which it is), but it can cause cramps and bloating in some individuals because it’s raw. You may be surprised by how common it is for people to have difficulty digesting raw vegetables. This is due to cellulose, a component of raw veg that is difficult to digest. The solution – cook some of your veggies before you throw them on your salad. Steam them, roast them, sauté them, or grill them – any cooking method will make a big difference.
If you have any questions about a digestive and gut health issue, or would like advice on a supplementation protocol, please get in touch.