According to Ayurveda, when fruits are ripe and eaten in the proper season and climate, they are pure nectar. They immediately turn into rasa (nutritional fluid)—the first of the seven body tissues. Fresh, ripe fruit requires practically no digestion and helps to increase Ojas, the finest by-product of digestion that enhances immunity, happiness, and strength.
Sweet, ripe, super fruits provide valuable nutrients to the body. You will notice more energy and happiness from eating fresh, organic fruits on a daily basis. In Ayurveda, super fruits are also valued for their ability to cleanse the body of toxins.
When to Eat Fruits
Fruits are best eaten in the morning or for a snack separate from other foods. Eating fruits with meals or other food groups, especially dairy, can create a sour effect that can lead to discomfort, indigestion, and gas.
If you are going to eat fruit with meals, ensure they are either cooked or consumed before other dishes to lower their effect on your digestion.
Fruit Combinations: Chutney, Preserves & Desserts
Fruit combinations can be enjoyed in Ayurvedic cuisine as chutneys, compotes, and preserves. Cooked fruits combine well with a wide range of spices such as cinnamon, fennel, dry-roasted ground cumin, ginger, and coriander.
Sauté your choice of spices in a little ghee, add chopped, ripe fruit and some salt and cook until the fruit combination is tender, but not mushy, for a quick chutney. Fruits can also be eaten stewed or broiled.
Properly prepared chutneys and fruit crisps are wonderfully balanced fruit combinations.
Good Places to Get Super Fruits
As much as possible, shop for fruit at farmers’ markets or local orchards — supermarket fruit may have been artificially ripened, and therefore have lost some of its nutritional value.
Ayurvedic Super Fruits & Benefits
Considered the "king" of Ayurvedic fruits. Many varieties are available. When unripe, mangoes increase Pitta and Vata, but when ripe and sweet, they balance Vata and Pitta and increase Kapha. Ripe mango is considered a tonic—it builds rasa (nutritional fluid). Ripe, sweet mango may be eaten with grains or with milk.
Though sour to the taste, pomegranates are also astringent and help to balance Pitta in particular. They are great for digestion. Juice them, or just eat the seeds. Pomegranate chutney is a digestive and appetite enhancer and helps burn ama (toxins).
Apples are good for balancing Kapha. Raw, sour apples increase Vata and Pitta. Cooked apples help to create ojas and help to ease constipation. Start each day with a stewed apple.
Pears are good for quick energy and balancing the hormones. Try eating a fresh, sweet, juicy pear to uplift your emotions and see how you feel! Pears are light, sweet, and balancing for all three doshas. They can be stewed or baked, or sliced and sautéed in ghee and sweet spices.
Watermelon balances Pitta and is an excellent way to cool off in the hot summer, whether diced or made into juice.
Sweet grapes and raisins are regarded highly in Ayurveda. Some Ayurvedic texts praise them as the best among fruits. Sweet raisins sautéed in ghee are delicious when added to desserts and puddings.
Amalaki or Indian Gooseberry
Regarded as a Rasayana, amla balances all three doshas. It is considered a "divine" food that promotes health and longevity. Amla preserved in sugar and spices is energy giving.
In Ayurveda, ripe fruit is a staple food that increases ojas, helps balance the doshas, and provides a wide variety of important nutrients. For more delicious ways to cook with fruit, explore our recipe blog!