Tips for Choosing and Preparing Fruit
Few foods in life are as delicious and healthy as fruits. After all, it’s rare to find something so sweet, and so delicious, that also happens to be very good for us, yet with fruit, that’s exactly what we have. There are countless varieties of fruit, each with it’s own taste, and unique health benefits.
People often assume that fruit isn’t as good for you and have been warned by their health practitioners to limit their intake of fruit. However, the natural fructose sugars in fruit have been proven to promote optimal health and well-being, and to also help satisfy our sweet tooth in the process! (For more myths about fruit see my article “The Hidden Truth About Fruit and Healing”).
Choosing and Preparing Fruit
How much fruit should I eat? If you are not eating much fruit you can gradually increase your intake, choosing those fruits that appeal to you.
Fruits need to be eaten separately from vegetables, starches and proteins because they require different enzymes to digest.
Slow down when you eat fruit so your food can mix with the digestive enzymes in your saliva.
Types of Fruit, Berries and Melons
(Note: It’s important to pick fruit that is ripe. You can ask your grocer to help you pick the best fruit.)
Acid fruit: Grapefruit, kiwi, lemons, limes, strawberries, pineapples, pomegranates, oranges
(acid fruits are best eaten separately from sweet fruits)
Sub acid Fruit: apples, apricots, nectarines, cherries, grapes, peaches, pears, mango
Sweet Fruit: bananas, coconut, persimmons, dried fruit, dates, figs
Melons: cantaloupe, honeydew watermelon, papaya (should be eaten separately from other fruits because of their faster digestion)
Note: If you are finding that acid fruit like oranges and lemons are difficult for you to digest, try the sub acid and sweet fruits (listed above). And if this is still a challenge, then go to vegetables, raw or lightly cooked. Then ease into eating fruit gradually.
Fruit is best eaten at room temperature, rather than just out of the frig.
What about Fruit Juice? Fruit juices can also be very beneficial for you, providing you choose the right ones. Cold-pressed juices are best because they retain more nutrients, do not undergo extensive filtration or pasteurization, and they taste great too. You can also make your own fruit juice in a juicer.
Avoid fruit juices from concentrate, or which have been pasteurized, as they will have lost a lot of their nutrients. They may also contain added sugars and preservatives to extend the shelf-life
How to Select the Best Fruits
Look for organic produce when available – Organic fruit is free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals. It is grown in rich organic soil, how nature intended. Organically grown fruit contains more nutrients and usually tastes better.
Examine the fruits carefully– Take time to examine the different fruits and see what kind of condition they are in. You can also give them a gentle prod with your finger to see how soft or hard they are. If the fruit is slightly soft, it is probably ripe. If it is hard it is under-ripe, and if it is soft and mushy it is over-ripe. If unsure, you can ask the grocer about the best fruit to buy.
Select a variety of different types of fruit– We’ve looked at acid, sub-acid, and sweet fruits, so make sure to get a good selection of all three. Also, don’t forget your melons, and be sure to eat them separate from other fruits.
How to prepare your fruits
Now that you’ve chosen the right fruits, here are some handy tips on how to prepare them for eating.
Clean your produce, especially non-organic produce, with a veggie-wash to remove pesticides, etc. (You can put some Veggie Wash in a spray container for easy use)
Prep fruits and store in the fridge – Some fruits need peeling, chopping, slicing etc, before they can be eaten, and when you’re hungry or pressed for time, this can be a bit of a problem. Therefore, it’s best to set aside some time when you’re free to prep any fruit that needs special preparation. Then simply store in air-tight containers in the fridge to use over the next few days.
Enjoy your fruit and your improved health!!