6

According to Elephant Journal, Ayurvedic practice avoids mixing eating tomato and cucumber together as

they can disturb the agni (digestive fire) and imbalance the doshas (energy principles); leading to gas, fermentation, putrefaction, toxins, and indigestion.

NewsBugMedia similarly reported:

[Tomatoes and cucumbers] require different digestive environments and thus, they should be eaten separately. The bad food combination can trigger digestive un-ease, gas, bloating, stomach ache, nausea, fatigue, and problems with elimination. (...) When they reach the stomach and the process of fermentation starts, the acid released in the abdominal cavity for digestion can cause numerous digestive problems.

Another explanation is given by LittleThings:

The tomato/cucumber pairing work against each other in our stomachs. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, according to the USDA — in fact, they actually have more of it than an orange. However, cucumber contains an enzyme that interferes with the absorption of vitamin C, making your digestive tract a little angry, and canceling out some of the benefits.

There are other sites with similar claims.

UseYourBrainForScience ridicules the claim:

This is an utterly ridiculous internet rumor. You know you’ve eaten a salad with tomatoes and cucumber in it before and you’ve been just fine. Cucumber/tomato salads are very common. People EAT THESE FOODS TOGETHER ALL THE TIME! How does it make sense that we’ve been poisoning ourselves since the domestication of tomatoes and cucumbers and it took the internet to finally save us? This just doesn’t pass the smell test.

However, it reads more like a rant and does not reference any research data to back up its claims, either.

So, are there any quality sources on whether the cucumber and tomato together in a salad can cause indigestion (or worse)?

  • 3
    Tomato salad is a very recent invention, and ayurvedics were surely not eating that more than 500 years ago. The claim I read on your sources says not "salad" (which can be made very unhealty in a number of ways) but just "combining tomato and cucumber" interferes with digestion. – Have you seen this claim with a little bit more explanation of a supposed mechanism of action (that might perhaps be phrased a bit more in terms compatible with Western science of the last 200 years)? – LangLangC Oct 25 '18 at 17:35
  • 3
    Welcome to Skeptics! I focussed this question on indigestion - a common theme across the three web sites - and away from a general "unhealthy", because those questions have problems. – Oddthinking Oct 25 '18 at 17:46
  • 2
    @LangLangC: Ayurvedics are still around. I edited the question away from the salad, towards merely mixing cucumber and tomato. The claim is now in terms modern science understands - eating tomato and cucumber in one sitting causes indigestion. No need to address in terms of doshas and agni. – Oddthinking Oct 25 '18 at 17:50
  • 2
    I don't want to get much into the meat here, but to expand on @LangLangC's statement, tomatoes themselves are new world fruits, the earliest they made it to Europe was in the 1500s, not certain about India but it's quite unlikely anything Indian an older than 500 years is not the best dietary information on the tomato. – Bryan Krause Oct 25 '18 at 19:50
  • 3
    One note however: "the acid released in the abdominal cavity for digestion"... If digestion results in acid being released in your abdominal cavity, you already have some much more serious problems: there's a hole in your stomach. – Nate Eldredge Oct 26 '18 at 2:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .