I could talk about this all day, but the most important thing regarding fruit is how you digest it, as with anything if we take into account the ayurvedic principles. As you know, according to Ayurveda most diseases find their root cause in the digestive tract. Undigested food and waste materials (feces, urine, sweat…) that are of low quality, not eliminated on time, and do not have a good rhythm – remember the importance of those daily bowel movements – will eventually turn into āma, the sanskrit word for toxins.
Not all foods are digested with the same speed. Fruit can be digested within 30 minutes, while rice and beans could take a couple of hours to be processed by the digestive tract. In the western world, we are used to having an appetizer, then a main dish and then dessert. If you eat a plate of pasta and vegetables that need about an hour to 2 hours to go through the digestive tract, and you eat your favourite fruit, be it mandarines, grapes or melon, right after that, it will sit in your stomach too long, waiting for its turn to move through the digestive tract once your system is finished with your main meal. This causes a fermenting or rotting process inside the stomach, which then leads to bloating, cramps, diarrhoea and other symptoms related to indigestion.
On the other hand, incompatible food combinations like with fruit, do not only lead to indigestion and the creation of toxins; if we do this regularly, eventually it will damage the intelligence of our cells, which can then lead to many different diseases.
According to the ayurvedic diet’s principles we should always introduce the 6 tastes (6 rasas) in our meals: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. Since the sweet taste is related to Kapha, and this dosha is responsible for the first part of digestion, which is our mouth, it is adviseable to eat your fruit half an hour before your main meal. It might seem weird in the beginning, but as you start to make it a habit, you will see you you will feel lighter and that you will much more at ease after eating. Below I have added a couple of tips for you regarding the consumption of fruit.
The ayurvedic diet and the intake of fruit
- As said before, eat your fruit alone or at least half an hour before your main meal.
- The only fruits your can eat for dessert are pineapple and strawberries, due to their digestive enzymes.
- Never combine your raw fruit with dairy products (so yep, no fruit with yoghurt or cheese…). This goes especially for bananas, cherries, sour fruits and melons.
- Did I already say that melons should not be eaten with anything else than your hand or a fork? 🙂
- Certain cooked and dry fruits like dates together with warm milk or spices, are also the exception when it comes to combinations. These can be taken and are beneficial for people with an excess of Vata dosha.
- Try to eat most of your fruit in the morning and not in the evening. Bananas, apples, peaches, pears, apricots, mango, kiwi except citrus fruits are recommended for breakfast on an empty stomach. The only fruit that can be taken in the evening, are grapes.