"Man has always thrived as he has eaten freely of fruits." -H. Irving Hancock.
"The best food on this planet is ripe fruit. The healthiest people on the globe are the fruit eaters of tropical countries. The great muscular Maoris of New Zealand are a frugiverous race. I have seen a boat crew of these great chocolate colored giants that would outrow the 'crack' university crews were they properly trained. The bread fruit of the Samoan Islands has made a race of giants. I have examined these men and women on their native soil and finer human specimens never lived."-Dr. Paul Edwards.
"The more we depend upon the fresh fruit just as it is plucked from the tree, the greater will be the blessing."
Fruits supply sugar, acids, mineral matter and bulk. The mineral elements of fruits are more readily assimilated than those of flesh meat and vegetables. Acid fruits aid in the digestion of nuts and other nitrogenous foods. Acid, juicy fruits keep the system clean and free from germs. They render lime and soda salts soluble, enabling the system to throw them off. They allay instead of creating thirst. Alcohol and tobacco cannot stay long with the individual who uses no flesh foods and partakes freely of ripe juicy fruits. Use more fruit and fewer vegetables if you would not experience thirst.
Cane sugar is not digested in the stomach but causes fermentation by hindering the digestion of other foods. The sugar of fruits (grape and fruit sugar, so-called), and that of honey are all ready for assimilation, so require less labor on the part of the body and may be used more rapidly for the repair of muscular fatigue.
The laxative effect of fruit is very important. Very ripe bananas taken when the stomach is empty often produce immediate effect. Pineapples after nitrogenous foods, ripe olives, peaches, pears and nearly all fruits are helpful.
The matter of bulk in the diet is an important one. The whole digestive tract suffers if there is not a fairly good bulk of food to be handled by it, yet serious results follow when a large quantity of concentrated food is consumed; consequently, fruits and green vegetables being composed largely of water supply just what is needed.
Fruit must be thoroughly ripened, sound and well matured. Many unripe fruits contain raw starch which causes trouble when they are eaten.
The largest fruit of its kind is usually the cheapest. It is poor economy to spend money and (if the fruit requires paring) time, for seeds, skins, and cores. Besides, as a rule the larger fruit is more perfectly matured, so more wholesome as well as of a finer flavor.
Do not use the skins of fruits much. They are composed largely of woody fibre and are intended only for a covering to the fruit. In the days of stomach washes, the skins of fruits were noticeably abundant in the "unswallowed" food.
For the best effect, fruits should be used without sugar. When one has accustomed himself to the use of grape fruit and oranges without sugar, the addition of it will make them positively disagreeable to his taste, besides causing rebellion in the stomach.
Since acids hinder the digestion of starch, it is better to take acid fruits at the close of a meal including starchy foods, and we should especially avoid taking starches and acids into the mouth at the same time, before the starch has been acted upon by the saliva.
There is great opportunity for the display of artistic skill in serving fresh fruits, and nothing so well repays a little effort as the combination of leaves, ferns and vines with fruits. One beautiful dish that I remember was of plums, grapes and peaches with autumn leaves; another, with rich branches of foliage plants and a variety of fruits. Grape leaves combine beautifully with fruits.
One person with whom I am acquainted can use no starch}' foods. The many attempts which she has made to use them invariably result in her becoming extremely weak, and helpless with rheumatism; but she thrives on a diet composed almost exclusively of acid fruits and nuts. She writes-"On my fruit and nut diet I seldom feel thirst, but after eating even starchless vegetables I suffer exceedingly from it. I find also that I do not require so much sleep as when living on another diet.' Her chief fruits are sour apples, grape fruit, oranges and mealy-ripe bananas with a few raisins, dates and figs occasionally for dessert. She is at her best when currants are ripe; and takes them every day as long as they can be obtained.