To eat fruit with my food or not? That is the question.
There are two camps of people- one group loves fruit in their salad, from fresh slivers of mandarin oranges to plump strawberries to crisp fall pear slices. The second group likes to keep their salads savoury, distinctly separate from their fruit.
When it comes to food combining, there are a wide array of opinions and thoughts as to whether it is a good idea to eat fruit with your other foods. The art of food combining is based on simple biological facts about the human body. It takes a lot longer to digest protein than it does to digest simple sugars...the time difference between the two being several hours. Some people, especially those with sensitive tummies, find that they experience indigestion and digestive woes when they eat certain types of foods together, but feel fine when they eat those foods separately.
It only takes 20 minutes for the body to break down fruit in the stomach and pass it along to the intestinal tract. While, it can take several hours for a piece of protein to pass from the stomach to the intestines. The problems can occur when a quickly digestible food gets stuck in the stomach. If your stomach is full of a heavy meal and then you eat some fruit on top of it, that fruit could potentially be waiting in your stomach to get digested for a couple of hours. Within this time period the fruit can start to ferment in the stomach, instead of being broken down and assimilated properly in the intestinal tract. Fermentation in the stomach can cause pain, gas, and bloating.
So, is it ok to eat fruit in my salad?
1. If you are eating salad at the beginning of a meal, feel free to enjoy fruit in your salad. Vegetables are also digested rather quickly (although not as rapidly as fruit), so you shouldn't encounter any issues. Allow yourself 10 minutes between courses, before you move onto the heavier portion of your meal.
2. Avoid eating fruit in the middle of your meal, if you are eating a heavier protein or fat (fats also take a longer time to digest).
3. As with anything, this is a personal process and different for everyone. Not everyone has challenges with food combining. Listen to your body to determine if you feel fine eating fruit with your salad or meals.
4. There are exceptions - Some fruits contain naturally occurring digestive enzymes, which help you digest other food. Papaya, pineapple and mango are all known for their digestive supportive properties. The recipe below is a delicious way to enjoy arugula, because the sweetness of the mango balances the bitterness of the greens. Plus, arugula is also great for enhancing digestion.
Mango Arugula Salad
2-3 cups arugula
1/2 mango, cut in cubes
Dressing: handful walnuts or pecans 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 tsp honey or maple syrup pinch sea salt
1. In a food processor blend together the dressing ingredients. 2. Cut the mango and place on top of arugula. 3. Drizzle the dressing on top.