Fruits are always considered to be a good source of nutrients and fibre to keep your digestion healthy, but not all fruits have the same effect. Below are six popular fruits that we consume when trying to keep a healthy diet. Here we take an in-depth look to see which ones are truly beneficial and which ones are not.
Papayas are a healthy source of nutrients such as vitamins A, B and C, carotenes, dietary fiber and other minerals such as potassium, riboflavin and magnesium. They are also low in calories. Since they contain an abundance of dietary fibre and high water content, papayas are very helpful in decreasing constipation. The digestive enzymes present in papaya, papain and chymopapain, help break down proteins from meat, poultry and fish and stops them from converting into fat. The amino acids in papaya help prevent symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) by accelerating digestion. If unable to find or eat papayas, green papaya supplements are another convenient way for your regular intake of papain, which improves digestion and allows you to avoid problems.
On the other hand, papaya can cause allergic reactions in certain people, especially those who are easily prone to allergic attacks or are allergic to latex. Papayas contain chitanases, which causes cross-reaction between latex and the foods that contain them, according to the George Mateljan Foundation. It’s important to mention that the latex in green papaya can cause miscarriage and therefore is a big NO for pregnant women.
Verdict: Unless you are allergic or pregnant, then by all means, go ahead and consume that beautiful sunset colored bliss and ease your constipation.
Berries are a mixture of good news and bad news when it comes to digestion. They are a naturally rich source of fibre, minerals and antioxidants, but they are also known to cause stomach cramps in some people due to either fibre overload or allergies.
Because they are so full of fibre, your body may not be as receptive to such a big amount of it all at once, and can actually reject it, causing stomach cramps and disorder in the digestive system. Most berries contain some amount of fructose. To some people, fructose can cause difficulty in absorbing them and induce digestive problems.
Verdict: Berries are good, but too many berries may actually harm your system. Moderation is the key in this case. Introduce such high fibre food to your diet slowly. Also, drinking plenty of water in addition to taking high fibre foods can lower risks and symptoms of digestive problems.
Who has not ever heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Actually, an apple a day can keep anyone away, if you throw it at them hard enough (drumroll, please.)
Lame jokes aside, apples also stand on the same position as berries. On one hand, they are a good source of nutrients and are high in fibre. On the other hand, apples being high in fibre are actually problematic.
Apples contain a soluble fibre which is called pectin, and the skin of the apple contains insoluble fibre as well. At the same time, apples have high quantities of fructose in them. Eating too much of the insoluble fibre can actually harm your digestive system and cause constipation. On the other hand, the high amount of fructose can lead to bloating or even diarrhoea.
Verdict: Instead of finishing one apple after another, try slicing up one apple a day and go through the slices throughout the day as a snack. Also remember to take plenty of water to balance the intake of high fibre. If you are having a really problematic time with your digestion, go easy on the apples.
Watermelon contains about 92 percent of water, hence the name. But apart from that, watermelon also contains vitamins, lycopene, antioxidants and amino acid. It is a good fruit to keep you hydrated, but the sweetness and the high fibre will also cause bloating and indigestion, if taken in high amounts. Overconsumption of lycopene can lead to gastrointestinal disturbances.
Verdict: Watermelon needs to be eaten in moderation. And though it is called watermelon, it is safer to drink water with it as well, to make sure the high fibre doesn’t cause problems.
So apparently dragonfruits don’t resemble, well, dragons. I was disappointed.
What I was not disappointed by is its beneficial abilities for your body. Not only is it helpful for reducing digestive problems, it also promotes growth of probiotics in your body. It contains soluble fibre which is more easily digestible.
So far, there had been no reported side effects of dragonfruit.
Verdict: Since it is an exotic fruit, you may want to introduce it slowly to your diet and your body. It is a good source of fibre and nutrients and helpful to reducing digestive problems. Try it out! I am going to try it myself.
Besides, how cool would it be to say you ate a dragon – even though it is in the form of a fruit. Sweet!
Bananas are my personal favorite to-go fruit. Apart from being high in potassium, it also restores electrolytes in your body. The help restore bowel function to normal if suffering from diarrhoea. Their fibre content is just the right amount for helping with digestive problems. There remains some arguments as to which type of bananas are healthier for eating, the green ones or the fully ripened one. Though the fully ripened ones have black spots and are squishy, they are also the better ones to eat. But you can try to introduce the green ones to your diet slowly and see how your body reacts.
Verdict: Go bananas! Snacking on one or two bananas a day has been recommended for a healthy and clean diet.
The next time you are having digestion problems, try one of these six fruits. Use them wisely and you’ll feel better in no time.