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When Is the Best Time to Eat Fruit?

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?

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

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.

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.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments

bhattuc on September 16, 2020:

Elaborate and exhaustive. Very useful.

Brandon Lobo (author) on April 02, 2018:

Thanks Nadine

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on April 02, 2018:

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

Doug Bradford on December 03, 2017:

Great information very helpful.

Anshu kumar on November 23, 2017:

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.

Nitesh rajak india,assam on April 26, 2017:

Thank you very much for the information

Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on March 14, 2017:

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

Brandon Lobo (author) on February 09, 2017:

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.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on February 09, 2017:

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.

Brandon Lobo (author) on February 07, 2017:

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 from Long Island, NY on February 07, 2017:

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.

Brandon Lobo (author) on July 08, 2016:

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 from Long Island, NY on July 08, 2016:

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.

Brandon Lobo (author) on May 28, 2016:

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

Cindy from Planet Earth on May 27, 2016:

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

Brandon Lobo (author) on March 21, 2016:

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 :)

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on March 20, 2016:

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?

O from New York on January 17, 2016:

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!