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Is it Bad to Eat Unripened Fruit?


Depending on your choice, unripened fruit can either be a delicious, nutritious treat or sickening to the stomach.

If a fruit is not naturally green, and yet appears to be so, you can be sure it is not yet ripe. Unripened fruit is highly acidic and has a sour taste, which can overwork your digestion and leave you with a stomach complaint.

It is a common mistake to think that all fruit at your local fruit store is the ripest you are going to get.

Climacteric fruits may be purchased unripened and left a day or two in the fruit bowl at home to ripen naturally. Some of these fruits include apples, apricots, avocado, bananas, rockmelon (but not honeydews or watermelons), figs, guavas, mangoes, nectarines, papaya, peaches, pears, plums, tomatoes.

How to Ripen Fruit Fast

Follow these easy tips to speed up the ripening of your unripened fruit at home:

  • Placing the unripe fruit in the paper bag on a counter and leave it for a day or two.
  • Place bananas next to the unripe fruit. Be sure to check the fruit daily to make sure it hasn't started to rot.
  • Avoid placing the unripened fruit in the fridge where it is dark and cold. As seen in the summertime, fruit generally ripens at a greater speed in lighter and warmer conditions.
  • Try to choose ripe fruit in the first place.
Cooking is also another solution to unripened fruit. It doesn't speed up the ripening process, but it does:
  • Increase the sweetness of the fruit;
  • Decrease the bitterness and astringency of the fruit;
  • Soften the fruit, allowing it to be eaten more easily.
There are several fruits however that when eaten raw, prove as delicious as they are nutritious.

Green Papaya

Papaya in all its forms is deliciously sweet and refreshing. Papayas, including that of the green variety, are laiden with antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C, flavonoids, B vitamins, Folate, pantothenic acid and the minerals, potassium and magnesium. They also contain a high amount of fibre and the digestive enzyme papain.

Unripened green papaya may be used to treat:

Digestive Disorders
The enzyme papain found in unripened papaya is reported to relieve symptoms of gastric juice deficiency, excess digestive mucus, intestinal irritation and dyspepsia.

Menstrual Irregularities
For those seeking relief from irregular period, raw papaya juice should be drunk. The muscle fibres of the womb are stimulated by unripe papaya juice, which trigger a natural menstrual flow.

Skin Disorders
Unripe papaya can relieve the swelling and inflammation of wounds, as well as reducing the severity of symptoms of other skin disorders such as acne and psoriasis. It has also been anecdotally reported as a natural exfoliant that decreases skin pigmentation and other brown spots.

Throat Conditions
Raw papaya juice mixed with honey has been known to reduce the inflammation and infection of throat disorders such as tonsillitis by dissolving the mucus membrane.

Unripened/Green/Raw Mango

Green mangoes are a rich source of starch and offer many medicinal qualities derived from the astringent, acidic qualities of the fruit. It's sour taste is due to the presence of oxalic, citric, malic and succinic acids, and its also rich in other antioxidant nutrients such as Pectin, Vitamin C, Niacin, B1 and B2

Unripened, green mangoes may be used to treat:

Heat Stroke
Drinks prepared with unripened mangoes have been anecdotally reported o relieve heat exhaustion and stroke. Preparing the beverage with salt relieves dehydration and replaces sodium chloride and iron otherwise lost due through sweating.

Digestive Disorders
Diarrhea, dysentery, piles, morning sickness, dyspepsia, indigestion and constipation may also be relieved after eating an unripened mango. Make sure to chose one in which the seed is not fully formed and add honey to taste.

Bilious Disorders
Green mangoes contain acids that stimulate the secretion of bile and act as intestinal antiseptic. This prevents bacteria from decomposing, toning the liver, keeping the system healthy.

Blood Disorders
The high vitamin C content of green mangoes increases the elasticity of blood vessels, helps form new blood cells, allows for greater iro absorption from food and increases the body's resistance to diseases such as anemia, cholera, dysentery and TB.

NB: Excessive consumption (more than 1-2/day) of green mangoes may lead throat irritation, indigestion, dysentery and abdominal colic. Water should also be avoided after eating a green mango because it coagulates the sap and makes it more irritant.

Green Tomatoes

Many people don't even know about unripened green tomatoes, and the different taste they offer to their red counterparts. They are calorie poor, high in vitamin C, vitamin A, Lycopene and beta-carotene.
  • Before eating an unripened green tomatoe please consider the following:
  • Not all green tomatoes are unripened. Some are bred specifically green and may be confused to be so. Make sure to check with your groceror before purchasing the fruit.
  • Avoid smaller green tomatoes that carry an overly bitter taste that can ruin your green tomato recipe.
  • Before cooking your green tomatoes, make sure to extract the woodier stem and core piece.
It is recommended green tomatoes be cooked before consumption and limited to 1-2 per day. Excess consumption of Green tomatoes may cause diarrea and vomiting as they contain the natural toxins glycoalkaloids that can irritate the gastrointestinal tract. These toxins are generally not present in ripened, red tomatoes and give the green tomatoes their bitter taste.


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