Global Food Myths #12: Is water and cherries a painful combination?

Sebastian Huber, Global Food Myths #12, Water, Cherry

LSG Group experts clarify food myths from around the world – Episode 12 is about eating cherries and drinking water.

If you pick cherries from a tree in the summer and stow half the harvest in your mouth instead of in your basket, you might begin to thirst for a glass of water – but watch out! Don’t you remember grandmother’s warning about stomach pains that would result from eating cherries and drinking water at the same time? Sebastian Huber, Senior Executive Chef at LSG Sky Chefs in Frankfurt, remembers the popular wisdom – and explains if there is any validity to it.

“Today, the combination of stone fruits and water, at least in normal quantities, is no longer considered a problem,” says Huber, giving the all clear for peaches, apricots, nectarines and plums. “The theory behind grandma’s advice sounds plausible at first glance, and that’s probably why the belief still holds.”

In the past, people believed that water would dilute gastric acid, making it less efficient in the fight against bacteria and other pathogens. Therefore, residual yeast fungi on the skin of the cherries would be able to work almost unhindered, producing a lot of carbon dioxide, which would then cause flatulence and abdominal pain. This seemingly logical connection, however, has a catch.

A healthy person is able to consume liquids and digest them normally – as is the case with any other food that has an unavoidable natural germ load. It is not the consumption of both water and cherries that leads to abdominal pain caused by natural digestive gases, but rather the excessive consumption of cherries. However, this is true for all fruits and vegetables eaten raw.

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