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Can fruits be eaten after a meal? Are uncooked vegetables better?

Q: I am a regular viewer of your programme Doctor NDTV. A few days ago one of your experts said on the programme not to take fruits 1 hour after meal or with the meal. I am from Andhra Pradesh where banana is almost a part of the meal. It is served with curd in hotels and at functions, the perception being that it helps in digestion. Is it scientifically correct? My second question is that some people say that raw vegetables should be eaten without cooking and without any ingredients like salt or chilli powder, just as we get them from the market as it cures all health problems. What is the truth?

A:As far as eating fruits are concerned, there is a little difference in opinion. The older generations believe in the consumption of fruits with or just after meals, however, new research has revealed that consumption of fruits during or just after meals may cause GI symptoms like gas, acidity, etc. Also they may hinder or impair the absorption of certain nutrients due to their constituents. With due respect to traditions and customs, it is better to avoid situations where large amount of consumption of fruits take place just after meals and in situations where it is mandatory, you should stick to only one helping. Raw salads like cucumber, onion, carrots, tomato, broccoli, capsicum, radish, beet roots are made by nature in a way that they can be consumed without any additives. We only add the chilli powder to enhance taste of these foods. They just need to be washed very well. Green leafy vegetables need to be soaked for about 10-15 minutes in a potassium permanganate dilute solution, all this is done to ensure absence of impurities and bacteria. The closer you keep to nature the more potential benefits will you be able to derive out of the foods you consume in their natural state. This will definitely take care of a lot of health problems. Contraindications have been found in case of patients with gastrointestinal disorders like flatulence, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.


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