Growing up in a modern family with doctor for a father, I believed all my life that anything can be eaten at any point. I never felt the need nor interest to understand food. When I felt hungry I ate whatever felt good, aka tasty and healthy to some extent since healthy eating was strongly reinforced in my family. So a guava after dinner was perfectly okay or a bowl full of sweet grapes after lunch to tame my taste buds. When sick with common cold or stomach upset I took allopathic medicines and moved on with life.
My grandfather did share his wisdom on Ayurveda, dosas & kriyas, merit of homeopathy. But frankly who had the time and patience to listen in those days. As long as junk food was occasional we largely believed that we were growing up healthy.
It was only in my thirties, after the delivery of my first child, my body started showing signs of weakness. Perennial fatigue, migraine, very low immunity to common cold, bloating etc became routine. From my own many mistakes, research and dietician consultations I learnt that eating healthy and reducing junk is just one side of the story. Like 50% job done. But is my body getting full benefit from the fruits that I consume? Is it really 100% helping me build my body immunity? I learnt that when it comes to fruits, timing it right is of utmost importance. And in my opinion that’s like zero extra effort, so why not work on it?
While I firmly believe that you NEED NOT do calibrated eating at all times, this is more for you if you eat fruits with the larger intent of benefit than taste. I am not an expert on the topic but here are some simple adjustments that have shown good results for me and my family.
Also read How Much Is One Portion Of Fruit?
BEST TIMES TO EAT FRUITS
First thing in the morning after a glass of water
If fruit is taken on empty stomach then the absorption of nutrients is most optimal. The processing of all the nutrients, fiber and sugars is better in the body as there is zero competition from food groups for absorption.
In between meals, on empty stomach
Once the meal has been relatively digested and your stomach feels empty is the next best time to consume fruits. Again for the same reason that it has less competing compounds for absorption.
Keep at least 30 mins gap before you eat your meal
Once the fruit has been consumed, it needs about 30 minutes to digest. So it’s good to keep that much gap between your fruit snack and meal.
You may also like to read Are You Consuming Fruits At The Wrong Time?