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Fruits: with or without a meal? by Sohail Ismail
Whether one should combine eating fruit with their main meal is a topic that has always left me asking more and more questions. Many nutritionists do not comment on this subject and if they do, it is limited.
From a naturopathic perspective, it is a "no" to combine fruits with food. It is claimed that the "...fruit will sit on top of the food in your stomach and ferment and putrefy".
Fruits are mostly water (90-96 percent) and therefore it may take approximately 30 minutes for the water to get absorbed. Among solid material, the major component, dietary fiber, is the last to be digested, which is in the large intestine (through microbes).
What is digestion?
It is the breakdown of food through enzymatic and mechanic action. Just like any food, fruit takes around 24 hours for digestion and excretion out of the body. What is a meal? Do you mean cooked food only? To me, scientists, nutritionists and dietitians, the meal is everything: cooked food, soup, vegetable salad, fruits etc. Scientifically, bread is from the fruit of wheat plant. Some times some foods are eaten as cooked or as raw, e.g. fruit as a salad.
After much research on this topic in the past, I was never able to find information of good quality, that is, until now. I was speaking with my friend, Dr. Zafar A. Nomani (Professor Emeritus of Nutrition, West Virginia University and recipient of King Hassan II International Research Award on Health and Ramadan Fasting, Casablanca, Morocco) and posed him with the aforementioned topic.
This is what he had to say:
The notion that fruits create stomach problems is not right. Some people may have an exception to this and as a result, they should evaluate their diet based on their individual health status in consultation with a doctor. The dietary fiber in fruits helps in the churning of the stomach content. The reflex action opens the valve between the stomach and the small intestine. It helps in the movement of digesta in the small intestine. Actually, fruits which are rich in dietary fiber help in reducing stomach acidity, heaviness of stomach, etc.
I had the opportunity of observing food habits of various regions or cultures of the world. In general, the food habits of the subcontinent ( i.e. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh.) and the Arabian Peninsula are most horrible and extremely unbalanced. Dubai (UAE, where I - the health blogger - am currently living) represents people from both regions. In your article you have described their food habits during Ramadan very well.
Do not worry. Fruits are good. You can eat them before, during and after a meal.
My findings are based upon scientific studies which include human and animal experiments (don't worry, the animals were not exploited in anyway).
One can eat fruits during or after the meal. During Ramadan the common practice which is "Sunnah" is to break the fast with dates, which is a fruit. One may include some fruits or a cup of fruit juice - not sherbet and drinks full of added sugars.
When dietary fiber in fruit touches the inside lining of the stomach, it stimulates muscle contraction and expansion and has a churning effect. Hence the movement of the digesta. It contributes in preventing constipation, upset stomach or acidity. This has been shown in hundreds of studies.
Therefore consuming fruits before, during or after a meal (e.g. breaking a fast, breakfast, lunch or dinner) is fine and I do not see any harm with this, though overeating is not good to say the least. Some people in the states eat only fruits during the meal, especially at lunch.
When people claim "not to combine food and fruits together," this may be because fruits are more expensive and less available (at least in the past), and to make its best use there has been a tradition to eat fruits afterwards or before the meal. Maybe for this reason the saying has come that not to eat or combine food and fruits with the meal. In todays global economy everything, including fruit, is easily available.
I also forwarded some articles to Dr. Nomani to comment upon and this is what he had to say:
With these popular mass-media publications, I first look the author's credential and reliability. I made an internet search about the authors, you referred, and I could not form a good impression about them. It is a waste of time to comment on such half knowledge experts. These people make life most complicated and even harmful.
Along with the research studies on Ramadan fasting, my area of specialization has been "Dietary fiber." Some of the statements by the authors are very annoying. For example, what do they mean by fruits sitting on top in the stomach? By using words such as fruits producing "toxins" and other words from their vast vocabulary, they are trying to scare and impress the reader. How much have these authors actually studied in this area is questionable.
Fruits are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Fruits and vegetables are mostly made up of water, around 90-95 percent. Along with dietary fiber they provide, carotenoids, flavonoids, certain water soluble vitamins, antioxidants and a myriad of other health benefits. Dietary fiber is indigestible complex carbohydrates by digestive tract enzymes such as lipases, proteases, amylases. The components of dietary fiber are: cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, pectin, gums and mucilage and other non digestible carbohydrates. Part of the fiber is digested (fermented) by microbes in the large intestine. Dietary fiber helps in motility in the stomach, small intestine and large intestine. It helps in movement of digesta (digestive tract content). Actually, it helps in removal of toxins by regular bowl movement. Dietary fiber by itself does not contribute from a nutritional perspective, but has lot of physiological importance in prevention of many health problems - constipation, diverticulosis, certain kinds of cancers, diabetes, obesity, blood pressure and others.
Nutrition is simple. Just follow the basic principle of variety, moderation and balance. The biggest problem in the west and during Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting) is over eating. When we say eat fruits and vegetables, it does not mean that one has to live on these foods. In general, people in the west and the Arabian peninsula do not consume enough dietary fiber, which should amount to approximately 30 grams per day.
Unless you have some serious digestive disorders, eating fruit with your food should be fine...
I hope this insight was both helpful and beneficial.
Another simple tip for a healthy, productive and pleasant lifestyle: do some kind of exercise and be physically active, of course along with the good nutrition.
About the Author
I specialise in nutrition and am a qualified level 3 (REPS) Personal Trainer (5 Years)
I also hold a BSc. (HONS.) in Information Systems with Business Management.
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Ajmal to Unveil Special Delivery Against England by Zilare
Saeed Ajmal, the Pakistan offspinner, has confirmed he will unveil the "special delivery" he has been working on during Pakistan's upcoming Test series against England in the UAE. Ajmal had said in August, before Pakistan's tour of Zimbabwe, that he was saving the variation for the England series, and has now said he will try it but will revert to his existing variations if it does not work. "I am working on a special delivery," he said at Pakistan's training camp in Lahore. "I won't tell you about it but you will know it when you see it. If it does not prove to be reliable then I will shift my focus back to the deliveries that have brought me success and I will keep that variation for the next series."Ajmal was the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket in 2011, with 50 wickets from eight games at an average of 23.86, and was a key factor in Pakistan winning five of those Tests. He took 18 wickets during Pakistan's last series in the UAE, against Sri Lanka in October-November last year, and said he recognised he would have an important role to play against England. "We are going fully prepared and are working on special plans for their batsmen. I am aware of the weight of responsibility on me and am ready for it. In Dubai, the ball does break on the second and third day so hopefully I can play an important role. In Abu Dhabi it's difficult because it's a batting track."Much of Ajmal's success in 2011 accrued from the inability of batsmen to read his doosra. Often in games, Ajmal bowled almost as many balls that turned the other way as regular offbreaks, leading to some apprehensions about him going the way of Saqlain Mushtaq in losing the ability to bowl his stock delivery. He also bowls with a flatter trajectory than most offspinners, but said that was because he was not comfortable flighting the ball. "If I bowl with flight I cannot bowl well. If I bowl at a quicker speed I can then use variations in pace. If I take 90% of my wickets with the doosra why should I not bowl it? Whether you bowl a doosra or an offbreak, the ball should be bowled on the right line and one should take a wicket with it."Ajmal's style of bowling is in stark contrast to England's offspinner Graeme Swann's, which is based on beating the batsman in the air and repeatedly landing his stock delivery on the right length. Though Swann took just 27 wickets in the eight Tests he played in 2011, he remains the highest-ranked spinner in the ICC Test rankings, and Ajmal said there would be healthy competition between the two of them through the series. "Swann is a good bowler and has even been the No. 1 bowler in the world. He has his own variety, I have my own."Pakistan lost just one Test in 2011, and have won their last three Test series, though two of those have been against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Ajmal, though, pointed out that his best performances of the year had come against stronger opposition. "Whomever you play against, you have to work for your wickets. Sri Lanka are a top team and I was Man of the Series against them. West Indies [against whom Ajmal took 17 wickets in two Tests] are not a bad team either - we have never beaten them in an away series. Bangladesh was not that good a team but only nine of my wickets came against them."
Sri Lanka need mental strength - Duleep Mendis
Duleep Mendis, the chairman of selectors for Sri Lanka, has said the team is going through a period of transition and needs to be given time to start performing consistently. Sri Lanka's victory over South Africa in Durban in December 2011 was their first in Tests for 18 months, and the team had faced plenty of criticism during their barren run. However, Mendis said it was only a matter of time before the team came together. "You need to develop the spinners," he told ESPNcricinfo. "You need to develop the fast bowlers. Now Rangana Herath is becoming a good bowler. Even for the seamers, you need to give them a little time to play matches and to get wickets. They should know how to get 20 wickets. "You need to give them time. You need to give them matches. Then only will you gradually become successful."When Kumar Sangakkara resigned as captain after the 2011 World Cup, he said it was to give Sri Lanka a chance to start planning for the 2015 tournament, and Mendis confirmed that the selectors were looking at player development in that context. Their strategy, he said, was to blood young players in the limited-over formats first, and then in Tests."What we thought was we will put more emphasis on the youngsters in the T20 games and some of the one-day games. Then even in the Test team, we thought, whenever possible, we will introduce some of the youngsters into the side and see how they perform."Since Sri Lanka's loss to India in the World Cup final on April 2, 2011, eight Sri Lanka players made their debuts in Test cricket, four in one-day cricket and five in T20 internationals.According to Mendis, the key trait the players needed to develop was the mental strength to cope with the demands of top-level cricket. "You need a lot of mental coaching. You come to Test level and what you need is mental strength. You have learned the technical aspects of the game already, so you need the mental strength to go through difficult times, and to come out of the difficult times."One of the main criticisms Sri Lanka faced over the last year and a half has been their bowling attack's lack of incisiveness, but Mendis said the pace department was shaping up well. "I would say the pace attack is not a problem. We are going with Dilhara [Fernando], who is clocking 140kph, Chanaka Welegedara, who is bowling well, Dhammika Prasad and Thisara Perera."At the same time, he said there was room for improvement and that there was a problem in the spin department but "with a lot of experience gained on these tours, they will come into a position where they can become match-winners."To ease the transition, and to cope with any injury problems, Mendis said the selectors had earmarked a group of 10 bowlers and a similar number of batsmen as players with the potential to play for the national side. "Some of them are performing well in the A team," he said. "Some of them are performing well with some of the other teams and the best are in the national team."Sri Lanka's defeat of South Africa in Durban came after they received a three-day hammering in Centurion. According to Mendis, that defeat would have rankled the side and motivated them to prove themselves in the next game. "When you get beaten in one game, you want to do well in the next game; just to make a comeback and show that you can do much better than the other side. It was a good team effort to beat South Africa in South Africa for the first time. "To beat any country away is something to talk about and especially to beat South Africa for the first time in South Africa, it was a great victory."What Mendis wanted to see is the team producing those kinds of results on a regular basis. "You need a lot of encouragement for the players and you need to put them on the right path, but more than anything else, I always emphasise, you need a lot of mental strength."
Bresnan ruled out of warm-up match
Tim Bresnan has been ruled out of England's first warm-up game in the UAE after suffering discomfort in his right elbow. Bresnan, who currently stands 12th in the ICC Test bowler rankings, underwent surgery on the elbow just over a month ago and reported soreness in the nets on Wednesday.As a consequence, he sat out training on Thursday and Friday and won't be risked for the match against an ICC Affiliate and Associate XI starting on Saturday. "Tim Bresnan, in particular, has still got a bit of swelling in his elbow as a reaction to his operation, so he's not quite ready yet," Andrew Strauss, the England captain, said. "We're aiming for the second warm-up game with him."With just two warm-ups games scheduled before the Test series Bresnan's chances of proving his match fitness are receding. His absence will give either Chris Tremlett or Steven Finn an opportunity to challenge for a Test place, although Tremlett is also suffering from an eye infection which has hindered his preparation."[He has a bit of a sore eye at the moment, but that is nothing of great concern to us. It's just niggles more than anything," Strauss said.Neither Tremlett or Finn offer Bresnan's prowess with the bat, however. Bresnan is currently averaging 45.42 with the bat and 23.60 with the ball and has helped England to victory in all 10 of the Tests in which he has played.Finn, at least, believes that a month playing in New Zealand just before Christmas should have provided excellent preparation for this tour. While conditions in UAE Buy Cheap Jerseys are unlikely to provide as much assistance as Finn enjoyed in New Zealand, he believes the slow pace of the pitches in both countries will be similar."It was a great experience for me, and I feel like I've learned a lot from it," Finn said. "The wickets were quite slow and low, so it was good to go and get some practice on those sorts of wickets."It was just a good chance for me to go and do a lot of bowling. I bowled 140 overs in the four games. It was something I really wanted to do personally, and the satisfaction I got from going over there was great."
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The Revival of the European Tour by Alex Alexander
Last year marked the 25th anniversary of Ken Schofield's first attempt to take the European Tour on the road. Tunisia isn't Dubai, but it represented the start of a concept that led in some ways to a change in the game's power base. Schofield, the tour's chief executive, adopted a "beyond our boundaries" strategy and remembers the Tunisian Tourist Board offering 60,000 provided the 1982 Tunisian Open became an official tour event. Done deal.
The 1982 Players Championship was also the first held at the TPC Sawgrass, and Schofield's tour was represented only by Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo. It was not hard for the Europeans to feel like second-class citizens when they arrived at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., that year. But times have changed.
George O'Grady, who succeeded Schofield as tour commissioner, brings a juggernaut of the world's best players to the 2008 Players next week. Moreover, a tour that just two years ago was left for dead by the PGA Tour's new multimillion dollar FedEx Cup has revitalized itself and become, in many ways, a tour of equal importance with the U.S. circuit.
The genesis of the resurgence was a meeting O'Grady called with his players at the 2006 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. The talk focused on the direction of global golf and their tour's stake in it. At the time Tim Finchem was finalizing plans for the PGA Tour Playoffs and no World Golf Championship events were scheduled outside the U.S. through the end of the next television contract. O'Grady and the European Tour felt snubbed.
Tired of being dictated to by the PGA Tour, O'Grady led a group discussion that banded together his best players and ultimately led to the Race To Dubai and the Dubai World Championship, a FedEx Cup knockoff with a $10 million payoff in a year-end extravaganza scheduled to conclude the 2009 season. Among the leading voices that night: the definitive global golfer, Ernie Els.
Essentially, Els pointed O'Grady to where the money was: the United Arab Emirates and Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum. O'Grady's relationship with Mohammad, the Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, spawned an upgrade to the events in Qatar and Abu Dhabi, with talks of a fourth Middle East event in Bahrain close to being finalized.
Mohammad was the European Tour's answer to FedEx, and by promising a reported 100 million to the Race to Dubai over a five-year period -- with a five-year, 150 million option to renew -- gave O'Grady not only a toehold in one of the fastest-growing hubs in the business world but also a war chest. As part of the relationship, O'Grady announced plans to open an international office in the United Arab Emirates. This will provide a pipeline not only to Dubai, but also the rich markets of India and the Far East.
The rest of this success story was a case of all the pieces coming together: World economic strength shifted overseas, the dollar lost value and Euro Tour officials made a concerted effort to schedule the best events opposite soft spots in the PGA Tour schedule. By taking advantage of the shortened U.S. season, O'Grady's tour moved into India, South Korea and the next great frontier in golf, China. Throw in appearance fees, which are not allowed on the PGA Tour, and the result is an attractive circuit that, because it also includes the majors and the World Golf Championships, many players and agents consider an unofficial world tour.
Twelve of the top 25 players on the World Ranking are members of the European Tour (six others have exempt status), including 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson, who took the option extended to a major champion in case he wants to play Europe after the Tour Championship in September. (Tiger Woods has elected not to take this option, although his relationship with Mohammad -- one that will pay Woods a reported $25 million to design a course in Dubailand -- may ultimately change his mind.)
That's quite a position of strength for a circuit that until recently often was mentioned in the same breath as the Nationwide Tour as far as its standing as a global golf power. Sergio Garcia used that claim as a point of motivation at the 2006 Ryder Cup, the second consecutive nine-point victory by the Europeans over the U.S. "Hopefully we won't get asked if the Nationwide Tour is the second best tour in the world anymore," said Garcia at the post-match press conference. Now it is more than just the top 12 players from Europe having an impact once every two years; the depth of the tour is being noticed at WGC events and at majors. Forty-two of the 79 players in the WGC-CA Championship field at Doral were European Tour players. At the Masters a record 36 European Tour players were in the field, 20 of them European-born. A similar number will appear at the Players. "If you went back a few years, those numbers would be almost unthinkable," said O'Grady, crediting Schofield for paving the way by co-sanctioning tournaments with other members of the International Federation of Tours in Australia, Asia and South Africa.