I know it is hard to believe, but eating incompatible fruit combinations can make you sick. If you have been reading my health articles, you probably know by now that I am a firm advocate of a Mediterranean Diet that includes adequate amounts of fruits because they contribute many vitamins and minerals indispensable for good health. So, if that is the case, how eating fruits can make you sick? Because when you eat certain fruits in combination with other foods, your body produces toxins and chemical reactions harmful to your organism. These toxins can lead to disease.
Thus, the first rule is to pay attention to the different combinations you can incur in when eating fruits; right combinations will promote health while wrong combinations will generate disease. This is due to certain incompatibilities between foods that can be classified as chemical and physical:
*Chemical incompatibility: One where toxic elements are formed during the process of digestion due to the fact that some of the nutrients found in the foods being part of the meal are chemically incompatible among themselves.
*Physical incompatibility: One where some foods slow down the digestion of others, causing the mixture to stay longer than needed in the digestive tract, meaning the stomach and intestines. An example would be eating farinaceous and acidic foods in the same meal.
Classification of fruits
It is important to know the different groups in which fruits are classified as this classification would help you combine them properly. Fruits are generally classified as:
Acidic fruits: These fruits are rich in acids. Not all acidic fruits contain citric acid as is the case of pineapple. Acidic fruits include oranges, grapefruits, pineapples, mandarins, lemons, tomatoes, kiwis and strawberries.
Low acidic fruits: The acids in these fruits are not as strong as the ones in acidic fruits. Low acidic fruits include apricots, plums, grapes, green apples, pears, nectarines, peaches, cherries and mangos.
Sweet fruits: These fruits do not contain acids. Among them we find ripe bananas, all dry fruits, ripe mangos, cherimoyas, sweet grapes and figs.
Neutral fruits: They are the richest in proteins, vitamins, mineral salts and oils. Neutral fruits are avocados, papayas and nuts.
Be aware of certain mixtures among fruits
Fresh fruits are easily digested because they are low in proteins, starches and fat, while they have a large content of water, enzymes and vitamins, characteristics that cause them to be absorbed quickly through the intestine. Because of its fast absorption, fruits should not be eaten right after meals as they will sit on top of the rest of the other foods in the stomach and will ferment. This fermentation will cause toxins and poor digestion.
Although it is better to eat fruits by themselves, they can be tolerated when they are ingested with other foods that present similar digestive conditions. The following are some guidelines you can observe when eating fruits to prevent the formation of toxins:
Acidic and low-acidic fruits: It is best not be combined them with other foods. Especially, do not combine them with sweet fruits or starches such as potatoes, bread, rice, corn, cookies, cereals, pumpkin, lentils or wheat. You can combined them, though, with animal protein such as red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese, and nuts.
Sweet fruits: They can be combined among themselves. Sweet fruits are not compatible with acidic fruits; when the acids mix with the sugars they stay longer in the intestine and toxic fermentation take place. In addition, the formation of glucose takes longer.
Do not mix sweet fruits with cheese, yogurt, nuts, seeds, beans, chicken, fish, red meat, eggs and coconut.
Neutral fruits: Consuming neutral fruits (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, etc.) and sweet fruits in the same meal will always cause indigestion that can injure the liver. When the oils from neutral fruits combine with the sugars of sweet fruits, they produce toxic compounds harmful to body cells. Neutral fruits can be combined among themselves.
Combinations you should avoid
1. Oranges and carrots: They can cause malfunction of the liver. They increase the production of bile, increase substances that harm the kidneys, and may cause heartburn.
2. Pineapples and dairy products: This combination is quite toxic to the organism.
3. Papayas and lemons: It may generate problems with hemoglobin, causing anemia.
General recommendations to follow when eating fruit
1. Eat fruit before a meal, not after
2. Do not indulge in juices from acidic fruits
3. Do not take fruit juice after a meal. You can drink it one hour before the meal.
4. Do not mix fruits and vegetables within the same meal.
5. Do not mix oranges with other fruits.
6. Citric fruits should be eaten in the morning.
7. Sweet fruits can be eaten at any time of the day.
8. Fruits should be eaten ripe. Fruits that are not ripe become acidic in the body.
For a nutritive and tasty fruit salad, you can mix the following fruits: papaya, ripe mango, pears, figs, dates, red apple, peaches, banana, nectarines, and fresh cherries.
Many scientific studies have shown that when people eat adequate amounts of fruit, a substantial decrease of many common chronic diseases happens. Keep in mind, however, that incompatible fruit combinations may lead to disease.
Have a wonderful and healthy day.
Emilia Klapp, BS, RD.