The jetlag is almost behind me. The laundry is almost done (let’s ignore the ironing pile of Everest proportions for now. It WILL go away, all by itself).
Today’s subject is one which provided one of the biggest surprises to me while I was at Hippocrates:
Fruit. Good for you, right?
Well, yes, but there are a few things you need to factor in before you help yourself to a serving of fruit salad the size of my ironing pile (I just checked, and it’s still there. My manifesting skills are clearly off today).
As you know, the majority of people who go to Hippocrates are ill. And I mean really ill. We’re talking stage four everything. Final curtains time.
As director Brian Clement frequently points out, their challenge at Hippocrates is invariably more difficult than that of someone’s family doctor (MD), because Hippocrates is most people’s last resort. When guests saw their own doctor, they were comparatively well. But by the time most guests arrive at Wheatgrass Central, they come with the attitude of “what do I have to lose?”
On arrival, the first thing that everyone with any type of illness is told is: NO FRUIT.
Because of the sugar in it. Yes, it’s not the refined white stuff that wends its way into your tea or coffee countless times a day, but chemically, it’s all the same to your body and, moreover, to any cancer cells, candida, viruses and bacteria you may have lurking in your system. They literally thrive on it.
And as for diabetics? You don’t need me to say it, I’m sure.
For those of us with the privilege of being well, fruit was only served twice a week. Not just because of the sugar content, but because of its acidity.
Your body craves alkalinity, unlike all serious diseases, particularly the Big C, which cannot survive in such an environment. Give it acidity, however, and it will set up shop in the bat of an eyelid.
85 per cent of the fruit we eat now didn’t exist a century ago; they are all hybrids. That’s not the same as being genetically-modified, but it’s still not what nature intended. Don’t ask me for a list; I haven’t got all day (see earlier reference to ironing crisis, above). Just take it on the chin.
High fruit consumption is often the reason why healthy eaters are flummoxed as to why they cannot lose weight when they are trying. Here’s why:
Because of this well-intentioned meddling, our fruits contain between 30 and 50 times more sugar now, depending on the type in question.
Sugar. Now there’s a thing.
It’s irrefutably one of the major causes of all the health problems in the west. The majority of us is severely addicted to it (along with fat and salt). And believe me, after eating a (small) tub of raw vegan vanilla ice cream last night, I am all too aware.
Even as recently as the Victorian era, sugar was considered such a precious commodity that it was kept in an ornate box and locked with a key. Only afforded by the very wealthy, it was brought out only on high days and holidays, then put away again. Can you imagine that now?
FACT: These ancestors of ours consumed around 1kg per year.
FACT: That figure today is closer to 72kg per year – and that’s without the fruit.
FACT: The average child consumes twice their body weight in sugar annually.
I hear you. Fruit is soooo much better. But like I said, it’s STILL sugar, so you can’t take it for granted. And all of the goodies in it can be found in vegetables.
But it’s not just about the sugar. Mass farming methods caused by high consumer demand also come into play. No fruit (unless you have your own crop) is picked ripe.
Take Florida oranges, for example. April is the correct time to pick them, yet they are harvested in November, stored, and then artificially ripened. Or, quite often, they are sold unripe.
And this applies to just about every fruit you are eating, wherever you live. I have heard it said that in the UK (and no doubt in the States and elsewhere too), a huge proportion of the “fresh” produce on sale in supermarkets may have been in cold storage for as long as a year!
But back to the fruit.
When a fruit is eaten unripe, it acts as a parasite, leaching the minerals it lacks, particularly from your bones, a bit like dairy does.
So, how do you know when a fruit is ripe?
It should fall from the main stalk with just a gentle tap. And the “nipple” (think of the round stud-like bit on an orange where it connects to the plant) should be dried up. Trouble is, when we buy from supermarkets, we never get to try this test as these parts have already been removed (with the exception of the posh clementines they sell in Waitrose at Christmas).
So, as ever, moderation is the key.
If you decide to cut out sugar elsewhere in your diet, you will certainly notice the difference in your behaviour when you feast on fruit. And if you want proof, look no further than the contrast in the self-contained, non-fruit-eating gorilla compared to its wired-on-bananas relative, the chimp.
If you’re packing your children’s lunchbox with the stuff and wondering why you can draw comparisons to your offspring and the aforementioned chimp, perhaps therein lies your solution.
HOW TO EAT IT:
- Try to cut down to twice a week, à la Hippocrates. And be reasonable in your portion size.
- It’s best eaten on an empty stomach. Why? Because it travels through the stomach quicker than any other type of food (2 hours), so unless you want the digestive equivalent of a multi-car pile-up in your system with resultant trapped wind and discomfort, it’s advice well taken.
This may seem strange when you consider that fruit is primarily eaten as a dessert or added to salads. It shouldn’t be.
The catastrophic thing for me in all this was when I learned that this also includes tomatoes, which used to be a staple ingredient of every salad I ever ate. But I have found a way round it by making a tomato-only salad with garlic, onion and olive oil, which both combine fine with fruit, without any problems.
Which brings me, finally, to melon. You may have heard the phrase “eat alone, or leave alone”. Ignore this, and you can multiply the multi-car pile-up analogy by a factor of 10. It rushes ahead of everything else with a turbo-charge and only stays in the stomach for 15-30 minutes.
Blueberries are your best bet, as they are packed with anti-oxidants, yet contain the lowest levels of sugar of all fruits. And berries generally follow close behind, including raspberries and strawberries. After this, go for pears and apples.
And try to avoid mixing anything off the following two lists with one another. Within the list is fine, but nothing together from list 1 or list 2. This is because list 1 is classed as an “acid” fruit (like I said, they all are, but these particularly so), and list 2 is classed as “sweet”. And they’re not great mates once they hit your stomach:
- Acid: grapefruit, lemon, lime, strawberries, orange, pomegranate
- Sweet: banana, all dried fruit, persimmon
As for the ironing? I have it on good authority that the creased look is in. It is now.
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