Fresh fruit can help fight fatigue as hot muggy weather continues across Korea.
◆ Watermelons and Oriental Melons
Watermelons are the quintessential summer fruit, and true to their name they are 90 percent water and good for quenching thirst. They are rich in arnigine and citrulline, which stimulate the body to discharge metabolic waste, boost metabolism and relieve fatigue.
"Those who have a lot of heat in their bodies and sweltering a lot during the hot summer months will benefit a lot from eating lots of watermelon," said Kim So-hyung, an oriental medicine doctor.
Oriental melons also contain more than 90 percent water. They cool the body, facilitate diuresis and relieve edema. But too much intake at one time may cause stomachaches. They also have pectin, which helps prevent constipation.
◆ Plums, Grapes and Peaches
The fiber in plums helps with digestion and prevents constipation. Vitamins A and C and minerals fight listlessness caused by heat.
"Plums have two to four times more calcium than any other fruit, so they help children's growth and prevent osteoporosis in women," said Jo Hyang-ran, a food therapist.
Grapes are rich in vitamins, minerals and organic acids that boost immunity. They are beneficial to those with anemia and children who often break out in cold sweat.
Peaches relieve stress and fatigue as they have abundant vitamins, minerals and organic acid. They are rich in asparagine with detoxifying properties which are especially good for heavy smokers and drinkers.
◆ Match Fruit with Your Body
Though fruit is generally considered to be good for health, it is always recommended to carefully choose the right fruit for an individual's body conditions.
Patients with diabetes should refrain from eating sugary fruit like grapes and pineapple. Apples, tomatoes and kiwis can be more suitable.
Those on diets should choose fruit that is low in calories and sugar. A fruit-only diet regime may be harmful to general health, so balanced meals are important.
"These summer fruits contain a lot of water, so eating them before bed may disturb sleep and actually cause edema," Kim said. "Moderate intake of suitable fruit is the sensible choice."