Fruit juices and fruits: What is the best time to have them?


Fruits and fruit juices are considered healthy and hence advised to be consumed as part of one’s daily routine. But one needs to take care of how and when they are consumed for optimum nutritional benefits. This is because fruit juices are high in sugar that can lead to increased blood sugar levels and insulin spike resulting in high-fat percentage in the body and hence, weight gain, as per nutritionist and lifestyle educator Karishma Chawla.

Fruit juices are sometimes also categorised under the spectrum of sugary sodas since they are high on sugar, mentioned Chawla.

“Fruit juices are often consumed on a raw food diet, most likely in the summers where the body prefers more cooling foods like fruits, smoothies and salads. But, the emphasis should be on cooling foods that are healthy, rather than indulging in fruit juices that are high in sugar and override the nutritional benefits of the fruit itself,” she said.

According to the nutritionist, fruit juices can be consumed post a vigorous exercise session to replenish the body with the necessary nutrients and natural sugars.

What about fruits?

*Fruits are the seed-bearing structures formed from the ovary after flowering. They are generally fleshy and are highly valued for their distinctive flavour, taste, freshness, juiciness, colour, texture and nutrition. They are considered to be very healthy and are widely consumed when one is not feeling well, attributing to the presence of numerous phytochemicals and other bioactive compounds,” said Chawla.

*Fruits are best consumed whole rather than in juice form. Whole fruit is high in fibre and does not lead to high blood sugar levels or insulin spike.

*The best time to consume fruits is in the first half of the day. Ideal thing would be to finish consuming fruits by 12 pm.

*Fruits must be avoided over a meal since it will result in a further increase in blood sugar levels. Also, fruits after a meal can lead to indigestion and discomfort.

*Fruits can added to vegetable smoothie to add natural sugar to the drink and also detoxify the liver. You can make a smoothie of spinach with apple, orange or some berries with some ginger and a pinch of salt.

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*Fruits can be eaten as a fruit salad with some herbs, spices and salt.

*One can combine fruits as a mid-filler in the morning with healthy nuts like almonds and walnuts or a source of protein like eggs

It is a good idea to regularly consume high fibre fruits that are low in sugar such as apple, pear, orange, sweetlime, guava, papaya, peach and plum. Limit the intake of high sugary fruits —  such as grape fruit, berries, banana, mango, chickoo — to twice a week.

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