Salad is one of the healthiest foods ever. Although it consists of up to 95 percent water, it has a good nutrient density – beta-carotene, vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, but few calories. Most types of lettuce also have a relatively low sodium and high potassium content, which has a positive effect on metabolism. Because salads are also filling, they would actually be a light alternative to cheese pätzle and roast in the evening. Unfortunately, lettuce has a reputation for fermenting in the stomach overnight and causing digestive problems. Is it true that you should avoid salads in the evening?

Not in principle. Salad is digested no differently in the evening than during the day. But salads actually contain a lot of fiber, which can make them harder to digest. Fiber is an indigestible substance that enters the large intestine unchanged and swells there. Every person tolerates raw food differently. A salad combined with a sour dressing can cause you to burp. Flatulence is also possible – as with raw onions, among other things. Both can be stressful, especially at night, and disrupt sleep.

If you don’t tolerate raw vegetables as well as cooked vegetables, you don’t have to go without a salad in the evening. If you eat the salad with enough fat and protein, for example a dressing, nuts or sheep’s cheese, this will be balanced out. Stiftung Warentest points this out in the guide “Eat better while you’re at it.”

By combining fat and protein, the stomach prepares the food well for digestion and gradually releases the salad into the intestines. This means the body can absorb nutrients better at the same time. It is also helpful if you chew properly and drink enough water with your meal, i.e. at least one glass.

If you have digestive problems in the evening, you should eat your last meal a few hours before going to bed to give your body enough time to digest. This doesn’t just apply to raw food meals. The cheese spaetzle and roast mentioned above can also be hard on the stomach. The following applies: the more fat there is in the dishes, the slower the digestion.

Source: Federal Center for Nutrition, AOK, dpa