Raw Choices Bear More Fruit
The English word “fruit” comes from the Latin verb “frui,” meaning to enjoy or take pleasure in. Most people do enjoy these delicacies from nature because they appeal to our sweet tooth. Fruit forms a significant proportion of the American diet and has increased its share over the years in the form of processed fruit, especially orange juice. Starting in the late 1950s, Americans began consuming more processed fruit than fresh, an unhealthful trend that continues. Rather than having fruit canned, jellied, frozen, sweetened or concentrated, eat it fresh to enjoy its full flavor and nutritional properties.
Fruits fall into four categories: aggregate fruits, which grow in clusters, such as bananas and dates; berries, such as strawberries and raspberries, which have many seeds throughout; drupes, also known as stone fruits, such as peaches and plums, which contain a single stone or pit; and pomes, such as apples or pears, which contain cores and small seeds. All fresh fruits contain the natural acids—malic, citric and tartaric—necessary for the proper and prompt elimination of toxins, poisonous acids and other impurities produced partly as natural byproducts of digestion and metabolism, and partly from external sources such as air, water and pesticides. These natural fruit acids are highly alkaline and strong cleansers, providing excellent protection against germs and diseases.
The human digestive tract is believed to have evolved around a diet of fruits and their close relatives, nuts and seeds. Fresh, raw fruits and nuts contain all the vitamins, minerals, natural sugars and amino acids required for human nutrition.
Regular fruit consumption, like regular vegetable consumption, has been shown to offer significant protection against many chronic degenerative diseases, including heart disease, cataracts and strokes. It is important for cancer patients, however, to limit their fruit intake because the sugar in fruit can feed the cancer and make it grow. Some people are allergic or highly sensitive to fruits and vegetables without realizing it. This means that they are creating high levels of inflammation when they eat certain fruits or vegetables.
Canning is the most common way to preserve fruit and make it available out of season. Canned fruits lose varying amounts of vitamin C, beta-carotene and other vitamins and minerals during processing and turn from alkaline to acid, which is detrimental to the body.
Freezing fresh fruit has the effect of prolonging its life; most frozen fruits are flash-frozen without having been heated, so there is not as much nutrient loss, and most do not contain added sugar, so if you can’t get fruit fresh, frozen is your next best option.
Another way to preserve fruit is by drying, either in the sun or with heated air in a dehydrator, to reduce the water content to 15 to 25 percent. Only a few nutrients are lost when drying; the main one being vitamin C. Dried fruits provide quick energy and are a compact source of dietary fiber. There is no more fruit sugar in dried fruit than in raw, but dried fruit has been concentrated and thus tastes sweeter. Most people eat more dried fruit than they would fresh fruit at one sitting, consuming more sugar than if the undried fruit were eaten.
Dried fruits are frequently dipped in a sulfur solution or subjected to the fumes of burning sulfur. This is done for two reasons: to give a more appealing color and appearance, and to enable producers to put them on the market with a much higher water content—as high as 30 percent—and sell less fruit for the same price as naturally dried fruit.
Proponents of sulfuring claim that the process kills insects and prevents them from getting into the stored fruit. True, no self-respecting insect will eat sulfured fruit, but this is also an excellent reason for you to avoid it. Sulfur dioxide is a poison, and the body treats it as such. Sulfur compounds destroy B vitamins and can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. They degenerate the kidneys and retard the formation of red corpuscles. All of this is just another reason to eat fruit fresh, organic and raw.
Fresh Fruit Delight
- 1 cup fresh mango
- 1 cup fresh strawberries
- 1 cup fresh bananas 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 6 pitted Medjool dates
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cup fresh alkaline water
- 2 Tbsp fresh chia seeds
Blend the dates, lemon juice and chia seeds with 1/2 cup of the date-soaked water. Cut up the mango, strawberries and bananas and mix with the blueberries. Pour the date-chia seed mixture over the fruit and toss until well coated.
Brenda Cobb is author of The Living Foods Lifestyle and founder of The Living Foods Institute, an educational center and therapy spa in Atlanta offering healthy lifestyle courses on nutrition, cleansing, healing, anti-aging, detoxification, relaxation and cleansing therapies. For more information, call 404-524-4488 or visit www.livingfoodsinstitute.com