Summer’s in full swing here in the north eastern United States and there’s nothing like hitting the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning for the freshest, tastiest and most nutritious produce for your picnic spread. It’s also the one time we can get local in season melons. All kinds of melons become available this time of year: water melons, sugar babies, cantaloupes, honey dews….mmm. Not only are they packed with all sorts of vitamins and minerals like vitamin A and magnesium; but they’re also powerful skin tonifiers, and have a mild laxative effect; just to sing a small praise to the glories of melons.
In Ayurveda we know that improper food combining leads to improper digestion, which can in turn lead to doshic imbalance. We fully support eating your melons especially when they’re in season. However, be careful to avoid mixing them with other foods. This may come as a surprise to some, so please let us explain. When we eat melons, the stomach secretes enzymes to digest the fruit, which takes only about one hour. This is fairly quick compared to other foods like grains which take up to 6 hours to digest. When we mix fruits and grains, the enzymes focus on the sugars in the fruits and the poor grains are left all alone in the stomach with no enzymes to help them digest. Undigested or fruit leads to fermentation, presenting itself as sharp pains in the side body torso region, or a burning sensations.
The moral of the story is to eat your fruits alone on an empty stomach (we suggest eating only one fruit at a time), wait at least one hour, and then take other foods. This will lead to good digestion which can allow your body to happily reap all the powerful benefits of eating the fruits.