The Importance of RIPE fruit

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People are quick to cross fruits off their "lists" because the fruit has given them some of the undesirable  effects listed below. In doing so, they lose potential to reap the benefits of all the nutrients, fiber, and perfect water that that fruit has to offer! 


Has a banana ever made you constipated? Have oranges or kiwis ever given you blisters in your mouth? Chances are you have experienced some side effect of eating un-ripe fruit. My hope in this post is to educate about the importance of fruit being ripe before you eat it. 


What it means when a fruit is "ripe"
After a fruit is picked, it starts letting off a gas called "ethylene" at a faster rate. This gas increases enzyme activity in the fruit.  Enzymes break down the starch and pectin in a fruit to bring it to ripeness. The enzyme that breaks down the starch in a fruit is the same enzyme in our saliva! So, basically a ripe fruit is pre-digested. (yummy!) Breaking down starch, makes the fruit sweeter and easier to digest. Breaking down pectin makes the fruit softer. So, when a fruit is "ripe" it is softer, sweeter and easier to digest. Ripe fruit is usually always more nutritious as well. 


             **Bananas especially take on super powers when they get fully ripe! Google it to find out how! **




                   
But why does this happen? Are the plants catering to our bellies? NO! (and yes)

 As a plant ripens, it's immune system is weakening so that the parasites (us) can eat and digest it. Then (before the days of indoor plumbing) we eat it and expel the seeds in a perfect fertilized package to continue the growth of the species. If a plant is not eaten by an animal, this same process happens, but the fruit continues to be broken down into a softer and sweeter goo that eventually returns to the soil along with it's seeds. 


The consequences of eating unripe fruit
If a fruit is unripe, that basically means that nature says it's not ok to eat it. The plant is not ready to reproduce. There are several signs that will tell you if a plant is unripe to eat. You should pay attention to these signs, as they will have consequences if you disobey.  For example, if you bite a fruit and it is acidic to the taste, or burns your gums or tongue, chances are it's not ok to eat. You will probably end up with blisters in your mouth. If you eat a fruit that is too hard, chances are it will not taste good, nor will it be juicy. Who wants that? If you ignore the signs and eat the fruit anyway you will have digestive problems. These range all along the spectrum, most falling at the end of slowwwwww movinggggg bowels. This is what give bananas a bad rap. Don't' eat a banana unless it smells sweet and looks like these:


My bananas from today. Perfect specimens of ripe, sweet, deliciousness!


Anyone remember this regarding berries:
"Red and sweet are good to eat, but I swear by this sonnet, the greens ones will make you vomit." It's a great rule to remember to avoid a disaster :)


Nature doesn't rush. Why should we. Let's wait for our fruit to be perfectly ripe before enjoying it. It will taste better and will be of greater benefit to you


TIPS:
- Don't put fruit in the fridge before a fruit is ripe. This ruins the ripening process.
- Find a dry spot to ripen your fruit to avoid mold. (especially in the summer)
- To speed the ripening process: 
      1.) Use a container with a tight lid or a sealed brown paper bag. The lid and the sealing  
           helps trap the ethylene gas, so it will be able to affect the fruit faster.  
      2.) Place a fruit near other fruits. Apples and bananas give off more gas than other fruits.   
           So keep this in mind when storing your fruit.
- Take in to consideration when you will need the fruit and buy accordingly. If you will be using it right away, buy the ripest one possible.  
- Never let not knowing how to tell if a fruit is ripe or not stop you from trying something new. Just Google it! You'll be glad you did!
- Keep unripe or nearly ripe fruit out on display on your counter. It makes for a beautiful decoration AND it's a great reminder of what you have available for a snack. Oh and the smell. I love coming home from work and being greeted by the smell of ripe bananas.  
My fruit stash I keep at stocked school. Notice my rainbow art project on the wall and
my doll made from a milk bottle?
Oh the joys of being a preschool teacher. :) 



It's easy to tell if most fruit is ripe. Squeeze for softness, smell for sweetness, look for non-greenness (it's a word, ok) But some fruit is not so easy to tell...


ABOUT CITRUS FRUITS:
To some, the concept of a ripe orange is a new one. Oranges are not like bananas or melons that can be squeezed or looked at to determine ripeness. But here are two pretty reliable ways to tell if an orange is good to eat:
        1.) THE WEIGHT: Hold the orange in one hand and focus on it's weight. Compare it with other oranges. The heaviest one usually will indicate the sweetest, juiciest, freshest one! 
This is a TANGERINE! HUGE and amazing! A little expensive... but WORTH IT!
              
        2.) THE SKIN: The skin will be looser and easier to peel as the fruit becomes riper. This 
              is very easy to tell with a fruit like the orange. Test for looseness before buying.  



DID YOU KNOW.....
A fruit is actually the plant's ovary!? I LOVE plant ovaries, don't you? They are so much more interesting and beautiful than animal ovaries. I would safely bet they taste better too.



Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments, just post below! You can also find me on Facebook at "The Empowered Way" I update the page everyday! 
Look out for my next video coming on Saturday!!

Search for knowledge. Be inspired.  
Start living THE EMPOWERED WAY!

Wishing you lots of love and ripe fruit,

Meg



 

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