When Is the Best Time to Eat Fruit?

Updated on December 31, 2017
lobobrandon profile image

As a student studying science, one of Brandons' majors was Biology. During this time he researched journals on fruits and the human body.

You don't need to visit a dietitian in order to realize the true benefits of fruit. It's something we've been told since we were kids. Most of us follow this advice and include fruits in our diet, every single day.

At times, the following questions tend to bug us:

  1. Am I eating the right fruits?
  2. Am I eating enough of them?

Yes, you need to make sure that you have a variety, but the most important question you need to ask yourself right now, is: Am I eating my fruits at the right time?

Source

Health Benefits of Fruits—The Driving Force

Apart from being delicious, the major driving force, as to why people love fruits, is the fact that they are known to have hundreds if not thousands of health benefits. Some of the most popular facts are:

  • They reduce risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Protection against certain cancers.
  • Increase in Immunity levels.

The facts mentioned above are just a handful of the most common reasons we choose to include fruits in our diet. Now that we've established why we eat fruits, let's just make sure that we are actually extracting the benefits of the fruit we consume.

But before we get there... Analyse yourself

When do you usually eat your fruits?

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The Best Time to Eat Fruit

Eating fruits at the right time allows your body to extract the nutrients, rather than letting the fruits ferment in your stomach while the other food gets digested. Below are some of the best times to eat fruit:

In the Morning

As you may have already figured out, or heard from friends / read on the internet. The best time to eat fruits is early in the morning on an empty stomach. This gives your body a chance to digest the fruit quickly, without the presence of other food items which take longer to digest.

Fruit contains the simple sugars and hence the enzymes needed to digest them are different. This process is quick; but, it is ideal to have a gap of at least half an hour between the time you eat your fruit and anything else. You can, of course, mix fruits. It's also a popularly known fact that yogurt (soy yogurt) goes well with fruit as it's a simple fat.

Of course for people with diabetes or other ailments, it's best to consult a doctor to find out which fruits you can eat. Papaya is known to be good for diabetics.

Breakfast Blueberry, Pomegranate, and Kiwi Salad

Blueberries, Pomegranate, and Kiwi.
Blueberries, Pomegranate, and Kiwi. | Source

In the Afternoon or Between Meals

Having fruit on an empty stomach in the afternoon can give you just the boost of energy that you need. Again make sure that you follow the 30-minute rule.

Pre- and Post-Workout

Another great time to indulge in some fruits is Pre and Post workout as that's when your body could use the sugars as energy during the workout, or to restore your energy levels after a workout.

Fruits to Consume Before a Workout

It is a well known medical fact that the human body does not store potassium for a long time, yet it is an essential nutrient. A great source of potassium is the banana. Additionally, the banana is also a great source of quickly digestible carbohydrates and it is recommended that you consume a medium banana with some greek yogurt around half an hour before your work out in order to get a good combination of energy and protein.

It is not uncommon for people to skip out on fruit containing carbs, it's best to consult your dietician for advice here.But it is a fact that protein doesn't digest quickly enough to become a source of energy for your morning workout, instead, the protein you consume will be used later on to prevent muscle damage and aid in building new muscle tissue.

Fruit smoothies pack a powerful punch of micronutrients which are beneficial for the human body. Additionally, fruit sugar, scientifically termed fructose is easily absorbed by the body providing the necessary energy for a workout. Smoothies are more than a quick snack, the high valued nutrition they provide categorizes them as meal replacements. Indulging in a smoothie before an evening workout is a great way to provide your body some essential nutrients.

Fruits to Consume After a Workout

After an intense workout, your body needs to recover it's lost nutrients. Think of your body like a car which has been on a long ride and needs to be refueled before it can move any further. Some of the best post-workout fruits include bananas, pears, raisins, grapes, watermelon and blueberries as they offer minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that your body needs. Moreover, the easily digestible carbs replenish your glycogen levels.

The Truth About When to Eat Fruit

The Worst Time to Eat Fruits

Yup, just as there's a good time, there's a bad time too. Eating fruits along with other food, tends to make you belch often due to the fermentation that happens in your stomach. However, in general, the following are bad ideas:

Before Bed

Fruits are basically sugar. So when you eat fruit just before bed you're going to have a lot of sugar in your blood, which makes you active. Or in other words, it's going to be difficult to fall asleep. So, the best thing to do in order to make sure you aren't all pumped up before bed is to try and eat all fruit at least 2-3 hours before bed.

Surprising Times you Should NOT Eat Fruit

Do You Love Smoothies?

Some studies have shown that consuming coconut milk or nut milk in small amounts with fruit, such as in smoothies doesn't strain the digestive system and digestion is completed quickly. At least, fermentation of the fruit is out of the picture. Nut butters, milks, and even soy milk yogurt are easy to digest.

Nonetheless, it's always best to have your fruit alone and not mixed with anything. So if you want your skin to look lively and your body to gain all the nutrients packed in the fruit you consume, all you need to keep in mind is that you need to eat them on an empty stomach. I wouldn't say eating fruits at other times harms your body, but you're not really benefiting from it.

Questions & Answers

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      • lobobrandon profile image
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        Brandon Lobo 2 weeks ago

        Thanks Nadine

      • Nadine May profile image

        Nadine May 2 weeks ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

        Great article and congratulations for hitting the million views mark I just saw.

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        Doug Bradford 4 months ago

        Great information very helpful.

      • profile image

        Anshu kumar 4 months ago

        Hi.....

        It is always said.... "u r made of what u eat" . But this sentence does not go straight. As i have seen many big eater lean. What is most important is You should know the right uses of resources with maximum efficiency . So Same stands for ur diet. So what ever u eat first in the morning. At that time body has max efficiency to extract nutrients.

      • profile image

        Nitesh rajak india,assam 11 months ago

        Thank you very much for the information

      • janshares profile image

        Janis Leslie Evans 13 months ago from Washington, DC

        Informative article, Brandon. I love fruit, eat it mostly in the morning or during an afternoon break. Thanks for sharing useful info.

      • lobobrandon profile image
        Author

        Brandon Lobo 14 months ago

        Personally, I prefer not to have fruit on an empty stomach in the morning. But at other times of the day, I eat fruit on an empty stomach. When I just return home, for example. That's just my personal choice though.

      • Coffeequeeen profile image

        Louise Powles 14 months ago from Norfolk, England

        I really need to eat more fruit. I didn't realise either that it's best to eat fruit on an empty stomach. Banana's are my favourite.

      • lobobrandon profile image
        Author

        Brandon Lobo 14 months ago

        There's been recent research that litchi should not be eaten on an empty stomach as this particular fruit tends to break down sugar in the blood and you end up with insufficient blood sugar levels which can lead to neurological problems.

      • Glenn Stok profile image

        Glenn Stok 14 months ago from Long Island, NY

        I forgot about this. Glad I reread your article. I didn't realize that fruit should be eaten on an empty stomach for best results. I also never knew to avoid fruit before bedtime. Now I know why I have trouble sleeping sometimes, as I have eaten an apple or other fruit at night. From now on I need to make sure I leave more than 30 minutes to eat other things before or after eating fruit. Your explanation makes sense.

      • lobobrandon profile image
        Author

        Brandon Lobo 21 months ago

        This was the effect of some research after a Japanese friend told me about it, I considered it to be really cool and had to share it.

      • Glenn Stok profile image

        Glenn Stok 21 months ago from Long Island, NY

        Thanks for this useful tip Brandon. I eat all kinds of fruit for the reasons that you mentioned. But I never realized that eating them on an empty stomach is the best way to take advantage of the enzymes needed to digest them. This makes sense since mixing different kinds of foods in the stomach reduces the ability to properly digest them.

      • lobobrandon profile image
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        Brandon Lobo 23 months ago

        Hi Chatty Chat, I wouldn't call it a bad time. But there's definitely a best time to eat fruit :)

      • Chatty Chat profile image

        Cindy 23 months ago from Planet Earth

        I didn't know that there was a bad time to eat fruit. Thanks for informing me.

      • lobobrandon profile image
        Author

        Brandon Lobo 2 years ago

        I'm no doctor this is just some research that I did when curious from a few journals. But I think fruits and porridge are good as I've done that myself :)

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        As children we had been taught not to eat fruits on an empty stomach and I still can't convince my sisters not to do this. They claimed that because it is okay for me because I got used to it. How about eating fruits with porridge in the morning?

      • Rabadi profile image

        2 years ago from New York

        I've been trying to get fruits more in the system since it's winter the fruits aren't as fresh but I'm looking forward to buying some anyway lol, great article and read I will pass this forward and am following you, mind checking out my page? :) thanks!

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