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Updated: Feb 13, 2019

We all know that fruits are good for us. We also know that our diet should have at least 2 to 3 fruits a day. Now, the question that arises is, "When do I eat fruits? Do I have it with my meal? Do I have it after meals? Do I have it before meals?"

Most of us have a habit of having a few pieces of a fruit or two after a meal especially dinner. We believe fruits are a good option to replace heavy desserts.

Well, that may not be your best option.

Fruit sugars and nutrients are meant to immediately supply the body with energy, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. So, when you consume fruits after meals i.e, when your stomach is full: instead of all the energy and nutrients of fruits going straight to your bloodstream and cells, they linger in the stomach together with food that you have just consumed, which requires time to be digested by your stomach.

This means that all of the fruit nutrients have no option but to stay in the stomach until the rest of the stomach’s contents are ready to be sent further for absorption.

This is not so good because by the time that the fruits you have eaten get to the small intestines, many of the vital nutrients in them have already been destroyed in the stomach.

If you want to assure proper nutrient absorption from a fruit then-

- consume fruits sometime before a main meal.

- consume them as a mid meal. Or

- consume them empty stomach, ie early morning as the first meal of the day.

This will assure best nutrient uptake from the fruits.

Some people also believe that having fruits, especially the citrus/ acidic fruits like lime, orange, pineapple on an empty stomach will cause acidity. Note that all fruits, including acidic fruits end up being alkaline once they are in your stomach. However, if you do get a bout of acidity when you are eating a fruit on an empty stomach it could be because of other reasons which have already caused acidity to trigger. In such a case go for fruits that are not acidic like bananas, guavas, chikkoo or pears.

Jennifer Dhuri

Registered Dietitian


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