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1/07/2012

I've Heard Fruits and Vegetables Shouldn't Be Mixed Together?



We've all heard that fruit and vegetables should not be mixed...well this article is dedicated to explaining why and showing you what you can safely mix together...

The reasoning behind a lot of health nuts (such as myself), medical professionals, juice/smoothie enthusiasts (such as myself), etc... saying that you shouldn't mix fruits and vegetables has to do with food combining. This same rule goes for regular chewable food too, not just juicing or smoothies. There are a couple of reasons why...so here goes... 

(1) The stomach uses different enzymes for digesting both fruits and vegetables. When fruit is eaten, it should typically be eaten alone and on an empty stomach, because it digests faster than other foods. However, when mixing fruits and vegetables together (all of which takes a different amount of time to digest) can cause gas. The same type of thing happens with juice and let me just tell ya, it can cause some kind of flatulence. 

/AND/

(2) Okay, so we mentioned the whole enzyme thing in your tummy and how the body digests fruits differently from vegetables, but what we didn't talk about is the strong acid level in fruits...Because vegetables typically have far more protein, iron, calcium, antioxidants, complex B-vitamins and loads of other vitamins and minerals than most pieces of fruit, they tend to take longer to digest. Fruit, however, tends to have so much acid in it, that it literally breaks down and cuts the nutritional value of the vegetables (hence the gas...you've basically created some kind of chemistry experiment in your tummy). So you're actually getting a little less nutrients from the vegetables than you would if you were not to mix them.

Ever meet someone that's been vegan or had a plant based diet for a few years and all of a sudden they had to go back to eating meat, dairy, etc...and the excuse is that they weren't getting enough protein and/or B-12/Complex B vitamins? Well this could be part of the reason...Then there's always that vegan or plant based person who has been that way for 20-30 years...that are vibrant, full of energy and you wonder, how do they do it? These long time vegans and plant based life-stylers (alike) are the people that know this detailed information and are quite careful about mixing their fruits and vegetables. Now I'm sure learning this may have some of you worried...you might be happy to know that I (too) am guilty of mixing my fruits and vegetables...just NOT very often...and when I do, I make sure I've had at the very least the daily suggested amount of protein, B-vitamins, iron, etc. for that day.

In light of this shocking information...there is an exception to the rule! You might be ecstatic to learn that apples (which is a fruit and vegetable), bananas (which is a fruit and an herb) and carrots (which is a root and a vegetable) are exceptions to this rule. Apples and bananas can be combined with vegetable meals and juices/smoothies, and carrots, just like any other root can be mixed with fruit meals and juices/smoothies without it affecting the nutritional value.  Furthermore, lets not exclude the fact that some fruits have the same nutrients, vitamins and minerals as some vegetables, many fruits just don't have as much as the vegetables.

Now if you're anything like me...you're probably thinking whoaaa wait! I've been doing this whole thing wrong...calm down...take some deep breaths...its okay! If you're reading this, that means you're not dead! We live, we learn and we move on! Take a look at the pyramid below...

Studies show that mixing the Leafy Greens with any of the medicinal foods and protein/amino acids sections of this pyramid will not affect the nutritional value of the greens. The same goes for mixing with fruits. You can mix fruits with the medicinal foods and protein/amino acids sections. Again, as aforementioned, apples (which is a fruit and vegetable), bananas (which is a fruit and an herb) and carrots (which is a root and a vegetable) are exceptions to this rule. Apples and bananas can be combined with vegetable meals and juices/smoothies, and carrots, just like any other root can be mixed with fruit meals and juices/smoothies without it affecting the nutritional value.

Now this article wasn't meant to frighten anyone, it was simply meant to educate you. If you choose to mix fruits and vegetables together, just make sure that you are, in fact getting the proper amount of protein, iron, complex B-Vitamins and other vitamins and minerals that you need daily.

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1 comment:

  1. Great information, and so very true. I love mixing apples into my salads, and never had any problems with it. Digestion is seamless. Just to let you know, you should never - never - eat unripe apples, even if they are just slightly unripe, as this excessive sourness can cause arthritis and other inflammatory conditions in the body.

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