Does cheese really close your stomach?

A phrase allegedly written by Pliny, a Roman writer, states that cheese closes the stomach. For two reasons, the cheese should have this function.

The rumor about the cheese

Cheese should, and therefore probably come from the phrase, buffers excess stomach acid. The protein in the cheese is responsible for this apparent buffer function. Too much stomach acid carries the risk of refluxing it into the esophagus. There it can cause great damage, since the mucous membrane of the esophagus is not armed against the acid attack.

People who suffer from heartburn or acid regurgitation know how to eat a meal "several times". For these, it would be helpful if cheese actually stopped the meal and served as a kind of temporary seal.

In earlier times, patients suffering from heartburn were fed on milk for days. The mistaken belief that protein in the milk would buff off stomach acid was to blame.

The truth

Today it is known that proteinaceous foods such as cheese are among the acid-forming foods and therefore counterproductive to the buffering process.

Further speculation

Perhaps this phrase was also the closure of the stomach outlet and not at the stomach entrance. Thus, cheese would occlude the portal from the stomach into the intestine and retard digestion commencing after a meal. The fat content in cheese would receive this "closure power". The stomach takes much more time to deliver fatty meals to the intestine than carbohydrate or protein-containing meals. This increases the feeling of satiety.

What the cheese really can

Enough of speculation. One thing scientists have discovered is that cheese has a protective effect on tooth decay. This is where calcium, which is abundant in cheese, and phosphate, play an important role. These two minerals harden the enamel and protect the tooth from aggressive influences. Therefore: Treat yourself to a piece of cheese for dessert, if you like it and get it!

Little lesson from our French neighbors: It is customary to enjoy a cheese snack at the end of a meal. The French know that in the cheese should not be saved with fat, as this is a flavor carrier. Thus, they do not run the risk with the "cheese afterwards", with the calorie-rich delicacy already eat well before. Tip: Take the cheese out of the fridge in time, because it only tastes really good at room temperature!

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