Fruit should never be lacking in a healthy and balanced diet and it is experts who recommend it for the prevention of various diseases and the promotion of general welfare. But when is the best time to consume it? Right before a meal or hours after a meal, on a full stomach or on an empty stomach? Here is a first response: after a meal, particularly heavy fruit may become a sort of “firefighter” to the organism because it goes to “turn off” metabolic stress.

Citrus fruits in retro colander.


The indication comes from a study published in the journal Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders – Drug Targets. The merit of this action of contrast would own the polyphenols of fruit and its derivatives, such as fruit juice . Polyphenols are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that defend against free radicals and other molecules that promote inflammation. These “enemies” of the body are produced in large quantities just after eating an unbalanced meal, with foods particularly high in fat, carbohydrates or calories.


Even citrus fruits neutralize stress after a fatty meal

It is not the first time that scientific research has dealt with the benefits of eating plentiful fruit after a meal. For example, a study at the University of Buffalo (United States) appeared in 2010 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, promoting the flavonoids of orange juice to the role of “scavengers” in the body.  Two antioxidants, naringin and hesperidin, would be able to neutralize the oxidative stress and inflammation generated by a unhealthy meal and prevent damage to the blood vessels.

“Naringin is a flavonoid which is contained in grapefruit, lemon, oranges, clementines, tangerines, and cedar. This flavonoid is important for strengthening the capillary walls, purifying the body, promoting weight loss and has effect on the flu, muscle relaxants, anti-cancerous agents, hepatoprotection and anti-atherogenic mechanisms”, explains Dr. Sara Testa, nutritionist at Humanitas hospital.


What types of fruit play a positive role against postprandial stress?

“Fruits that best play an antioxidant role are purple fruits that fight free radicals responsible for cellular aging and inflammatory diseases. Among these fruits are blueberries, black plums, black grapes, blackberries and plums. ”


Is it better to eat fruit before or after meals?

“Preferably, fruit should be eaten before the two main meals because the fibers it contains help reduce the absorption of simple sugars, thus reducing the glycemic index of foods. Contrary to what is often recommended in weight loss diets, fruit in between meals stimulates the endogenous production of insulin and therefore stimulates hunger rather than reducing it”, concludes Dr. Testa.