Fruit and digestion.

Date: Mon, 10 Jun 1996 23:15:46 +0100
From: Paul Iannone <pi2.LOOP.COM>
Subject: Re: To Paul Re: Weight Loss

>>Eating fruit and fruit juice are primary ways of remaining overweight and having water retention problems.
>Please elaborate on the above statement. Why do you feel fruits and fruit juices cause weight gain and water retention ?

Fruit and fruit juice have long been known (by the Chinese, the oldest continuous human society) for being Too Sweet, Too Cooling, and Too Damp for daily consumption. Since these factors are the ones that are of concern in maintaining strong Digestion, fruits optimally weaken the Digestion. For people with Digestive imbalances, they should generally be avoided altogether.

From: Paul Iannone <pi2.LOOP.COM>

>My understanding of fruit it that it should not be eaten with other foods because it affects digestion. Best eaten in the morning. Tartaric acid (found in grapes and sour milk), Lactic acid (formed in muscle tissue during exercise) citric acid (found in fruit) and Malic acid (found in the tartness of apples) are all biochemical helpers in the metabolism of sugars and fats. If metabolism turns food into energy and living tissue, wouldn't it benifit the body to eat fruit?

Empirically, no. The way to test this is to give your elderly mom fruit for breakfast. Does she thrive? No. Now feed her her oatmeal without any fruit. She does very well indeed. You can think up all kinds of schemes---conventional medicine has done so. When the day is done, the tried and true will come through, as it always has. The myth that the last century has reinvented everything anew is quite flimsy. This society has allowed its holistic knowledge to be replaced with isolative guesswork. It is short-sighted historically, xenophobic, and confused by the brilliance of certain narrow accomplishments.

From: Paul Iannone <pi2.LOOP.COM>

>I've read some of the posts regarding fruit. Would like some clarification please.
>Could someone please verify that the term fruit that is being used is really fruit, in the sense of the ovarian, seed containing, portion of a plant. In which case tomatoes, squash, peppers and other such things usually thought of as vegetables, would be include as fruit. Or is the term fruit that is being used referring only to a subset of fruit? If so, which subset?

The term is being used to refer to what this culture usually calls fruit.
It is not intended as a botannical description.

From: Paul Iannone <pi2.LOOP.COM>

> I don't know what this culture usually calls fruit. I call tomatoes fruit. I call lemons fruit. I consider tomato juice a fruit drink.

I don't think there is a great deal of confusion on that count. Lemons are a clearcut fruit. Tomatoes are on the line: a fruit, unless they are cooked into a sauce, in which case they behave as a vegetable.

The point here is a plant material that is Sweet, Cooling, and Damp...all three of the factors that tend to weaken Digestion. In my lifestyle council, I try to keep things simple. Since the emotion of weak Digestion is *worry*, that seems the proper course to me. Don't eat fruit or fruit juice regularly, or at all if you are experimenting to see if you can improve your Digestion and over all health. And don't worry too much about the rest of the details of your diet. It is far more important for most people not to skip or delay their meals.

From: Paul Iannone <pi2.LOOP.COM>

>You have mentioned on several occasions that you advise against (much?) fruit consumption and yesterday added salads to that admonition. Please tell why OR refer me to a source as I eat a lot of both and want to know if and/or why I might be doing myself harm while thinking that I'm doing a good thing for my health.

Quite simply, the three exogenous dietary factors that tend to harm Digestion are: Sweet, Dampness, and Cold. Fruit, in general, contain all three factors, and food products like juice concentrate them. Signs of Dampness accumulation appear on all sides and are usually called 'allergies' (though Qi Stagnation and other factors also play a part). Signs of Sweet accumulation, easily observed through indulgence in highly Sweet food, is mood instability and tiredness (due to Collapse of the Stomach Qi and Detriment to the Kidney Qi). Signs of Cold accumulation are loss of appetite and Worry.

Salads, of course, are not necessarily Sweet, but most dressings are. Raw vegetables are generally Cold or Cooling, and Damp.

>I use garlic, both fresh and in pill form for my rather severe asthma and I know it has helped considerably.

Garlic fights Cold and Dampness directly. It is, however, not appropriate in cases where the Stomach or Lungs are Hot, which is very common.

>But, my question is, is there a recommended amount/dose that shouldn't be exceeded? I understand that it can lower blood pressure and mine is already low. Have not been able to find anything in the literature about this but maybe I'm not looking in the right places.

Garlic's effect on bp is transitory. As for amount, I used to eat garlic a bulb at a time, during my life as a yogi. I don't think there is much of a danger to overusing it, if it is appropriate to your needs and condition. I would recommend you reduce (or eliminate) your fruit so you don't need to high dose on garlic, though.