Fruit Is Healthy, But What Happens When You Eat Too Much Of It?
We’ve all heard the age old adage that too much is as bad as too little of something. As cliché as that may sound, there’s no denying that there’s some truth to it. But, while it may hold true for foods like chocolate and meat, as well as with lifestyle choices like watching television, could it also hold true for our super healthy fruits?
You’ll be surprised, but no matter how healthy something is, overdoing it is never a smart thing.
Some fruits can even be dangerous, depending on your nutritional levels and the specific fruit itself.
Signs You’re Eating Too Much Fruit
“While it’s true that most fruits are rich sources of fiber & will encourage healthy digestion, excess fiber in your diet can lead to digestive problems“
Because we’ve all heard so much about the benefits that fruits carry, we often attempt to stuff them into our diet, thinking of it as the healthy thing to do. There are however many health issues associated with excessive consumption of certain fruits, including diarrhea, abdominal discomfort and even blockage of the digestive tract.
A clear sign that you need to cut down on your fruit intake is bloating. This is because fruits contain high levels of a sugar known as fructose, which many of us have trouble digesting.
Specific Fruits To Watch Out For
There are some specific fruits that you need to be extra careful with, as they can cause some serious and lasting damage to your health.
“Bananas are among the best sources of potassium, but a high intake of this mineral can lead to hyperkalemia, a condition that causes heart, muscle, & nerve problems”
Although bananas are an excellent source of various essential nutrients, including potassium, excessively high intake of this mineral can lead to a dangerous condition known as hyperkalemia. Heart, muscle and nerve problems are a common consequence of this condition.
There have also been instances of permanent nerve damage because of this condition, so it’s best to lay off that all-banana diet that some health experts actually advocate.
“Citric fruits like orange are incredibly because of their high vitamin C content, but their acidic nature can aggravate acid reflux problems – chronic acid reflux can cause severe complications”
As yummy and healthy as oranges may be, there’s a reason they are said to be immune-strengthening – it’s because of their rich content of vitamin C, while also a good source of dietary fiber. However, they are highly acidic and an increased intake can lead to acid reflux.
Repeated instances of increased acid intake can actually lead to Barrett’s Esophagus, a condition characterized by precancerous lesions on the esophageal lining. In fact, if you already have symptoms of reflux, it’s best to avoid this acidic fruit altogether.
“Tomatoes are noteworthy for their high lycopene content, but excessive intake of lycopene can slow down your immune response, making you more vulnerable to common infections”
Not only do tomatoes offer flavor and color, they also carry numerous health benefits. They get their bright red color from a pigment known as ‘lycopene’. Though this compound is associated with lowering the risk of cancer, if tomatoes are consumed in excess, lycopene can slow the activity of the immune system, making it more likely for the body to be hit by common bacterial or viral infections.
“Litchis contain naturally occurring toxins that can inhibit your ability to synthesize glucose, causing dangerously low blood glucose levels that can result in death”
Though litchis are packed with many health benefits, they also contain high levels of some naturally occurring toxins. If consumed in excess, these toxins can inhibit the body’s ability to synthesize glucose, leading to abnormally low levels of blood sugar.
In fact, children in a Bihar village have fallen prey to a disease known as encephalitis, characterized by seizures and coma, owing to very high levels of litchi consumption on an empty stomach.
“Excessive intake of beta-carotene can cause skin discoloration & a condition called carotenemia”
Although carrots are packed with nutrients like vitamins and minerals that can be extremely beneficial for your health, they contain high amounts of a particular molecule, known as beta-carotene. In moderate amounts, this pigment that gives carrots their distinctive orange color can be beneficial for vision, immunity, and general health.
Excess carotene levels in the blood can, however, lead to skin discoloration, resulting in orange-pigmented skin. Although more common in infants, this condition termed as carotenemia can hit adults as well.
Despite the numerous health benefits of fruits, it’s best to stick to a maximum of three servings a day. In fact, eating more than 2 cups of fruit per day would mean your diet isn’t really balanced or fulfilling all your nutritional needs. After all, fruits comprise just one food group, and for a wholesome diet you need to include every food group. So, instead of going to the other extreme, simply exercise moderation and a little bit of common sense!
~Raja Muzafar Ali