The Truth About Caprese Salad
Caprese salad is one of those things that I just fell in love with, especially during the summer. It’s cool and savory, combined with the sweet burst of juice from the tomatoes. But, then I started to notice that it did not settle as well as it tasted. The effects were subtle—a little bit of indigestion, just a touch of cramping. These were slight enough that I barely took note of it.
It turns out that tomatoes and dairy, in general, are not the best combination. When it comes to their energetics in terms of taste, they are actually quite similar. They both are heating energetically, and both have sourness as part of their taste. But the two digest completely differently.
Tomatoes are an acidic fruit, and as we know with other fruits, they digest fairly quickly. Cheese, on the other hand, is a protein, requiring time and more processing for digestion. The end result is tomatoes stagnating in the GI tract, waiting for the cheese to digest before it moves on.
The fact that tomatoes are acidic (and this goes for any acidic fruit, such as oranges, pineapples, or lemons) furthers the dysfunction, since the acid inhibits the flow of gastric juice, which is desperately needed for the proper digestion of proteins.
Consider this the next time you encounter this tantalizing appetizer. If you must, try to eat just a bite or two to satisfy your taste buds, without creating a mess in your intestines.