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Fruits good on empty stomach

By Umar Nsubuga

Added 9th April 2019 06:03 PM

Naluwende recommends that one eats fruits at least half an hour before meals. This way, the fruits will have passed through the digestive system and will not mix with the other foods.

Fruits good on empty stomach

Fruits require less energy to be digested. Photos by Umar Nsubuga

Naluwende recommends that one eats fruits at least half an hour before meals. This way, the fruits will have passed through the digestive system and will not mix with the other foods.

KAMPALA - Every mid-morning Viola Naluwooza eats fruit salad. Naluwooza is simply acting on the advice of a nutritionist.

Contrary to what many people believe, Sharon Naluwende a nutritionist at Mulago Hospital, says eating fruits throughout the morning helps stabilise the body's natural energy and eases hunger while initiating the digestive system for the rest of the day.  Fruits supply natural sugars and cleanse the body.

Naluwende says fruits digest very quickly compared to other foods, and because some are very sugary, they ferment in the stomach.

"If you eat fruits after consuming a lot of other foods that digest slowly, the fermented fruits sit in the stomach longer and may cause bloating (gas accumulation) and discomfort," she said.

"Compared to other foods, fruits require less energy to be digested. Fruit digestion, absorption and assimilation require only a short time, compared to foods like chicken and meat."

Everything consumed by the human body eventually breaks down in the system and is transformed into glucose, fructose and amino acids. Experts say the brain cannot function on anything except glucose. Fruits, therefore, act as glucose in the body.

 
Haspha Nassolo, a senior nurse at Joint Clinic Research Centre, says fruits pass through the stomach in 20 to 30 minutes as if going through a tunnel and break down, releasing life-giving nutrients in the intestines. Most fruits are predigested except for bananas, dates and dried fruits.

Naluwende recommends that one eats fruits at least half an hour before meals. This way, the fruits will have passed through the digestive system and will not mix with the other foods.

However, there are restrictions for diabetes patients. Nassolo says, for a person with normal blood sugar levels, fruits may be eaten any time, but for a diabetic, the portions have to be restricted to regulate the amount of sugars ingested.

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