Are Bananas Acidic? Do They Help in Reducing Gerd?

You come after a hectic gym day and a banana shake is the first thing you consume! Well, bananas are the most versatile fruits which can be used in making numerous desserts and other food items. The sweet, creamy, and soft texture of banana makes it the favorite fruit of everyone!

Being a banana fan, you must’ve wondered, are bananas acidic or alkaline?  

The acidity or alkalinity of bananas is never the same for all. It varies from unripe bananas to over-ripe bananas with unripe bananas being the most acidic ones and over-ripe ones being the most alkaline. The pH of bananas changes over time and becomes alkaline thereby it is advised for the people with GERD to eat yellow or ripe bananas to ameliorate the symptoms of heartburn

In this write-up, you’ll get an in-depth detail about the acidity and alkalinity of bananas. So, read on. 

Are Bananas Acidic or Neutral?

Most of you might’ve reached the answer to this question just by considering the sweet and sour taste of bananas. But what is the actual answer? Are bananas included among the foods that reduce stomach acid? Well, the sour and tangy flavor of bananas makes it quite acceptable that they are acidic, let’s have a look at their pH.  

are-bananas-acidic

Bananas on the spectrum are near to but not exactly neutral, in fact, they lie towards the acidic side with a pH of 5. For your information, pH is a scale to determine the acidity or alkalinity of a substance, and upon this scale 7 is the neutral state, below which everything is acidic, and above is alkaline. 

The pH value of bananas differs according to the time they are harvested or the till the time they are kept at home. For over-ripe bananas, they have the lowest pH of all bananas because, over time, the composition and pH of bananas change drastically and they become more and more alkaline.

As per the pH values, you might be thinking that all bananas are acidic. However, in reality, the tables are turned as bananas show alkaline properties instead of acidic. Hence, bananas usually lie on the lower level of the spectrum but they exhibit alkaline properties such as preventing acidic reflux

Every fruit goes through some phases of transition over time which involves changes in composition, color, and pH, which in the case of bananas is explained below. 

Are Green Bananas Acidic?

Bananas are harvested as soon as they turn green because they over-ripe very quickly and everyone prefers ripe yellow bananas. Unripe and ripe bananas exhibit a huge difference and the most prominent features include: 

  • Less sweet 
  • Higher in starch

Unripe bananas are rich in carbohydrates, especially starch which makes them a good source of dietary fiber whereas the ripe ones have a very high sugar content and surprisingly only 1% starch. So, are unripe bananas acidic? Yes! Green bananas have a pH in the range of 4.5 to 5.2 which lies in the mildly acidic range but a little close to neutral.

are-green-bananas-acidic

People often ask, are cooked green bananas acidic? Green bananas are actually acidic and can become alkaline over time due to some changes in their composition like other fruits. Cooking bananas like other fruits usually alter their composition but the pH remains the same which can be changed in rare cases only. 

Are Ripe Bananas Acidic?

The bananas you see and purchase from the fruit shop are the ripe ones. These bananas are yellow-colored and high in sugar with a neutral to alkaline pH that is in the range of 6.7 to 7.4. Hence, ripe bananas are way less acidic than the unripe ones because of the level of oxalic drops to half of that in the unripe ones.  

So, if you’re still unsure and asking, are ripe bananas acidic or alkaline? Then, rest assured because yellow bananas lie on the alkaline side of the pH scale which means that ripe bananas can help in curbing the symptoms of acid reflux. 

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Are Over Ripe Bananas Acidic?

The pH value of bananas differs according to the time they are harvested or the till the time they are kept at home. For over-ripe bananas, they have the lowest pH of all bananas because, over time, the composition and pH of bananas change drastically and they become more and more alkaline. The starch and acidic content of bananas reduce as time passes, hence, over-ripe bananas are less acidic than the raw ones.  

Are Cooked Bananas Acidic?

Cooking any fruit or vegetable doesn’t change its pH, it is only possible if the entire moisture is removed from the food. Hence, heating won’t affect the pH of bananas and all it does is, concentrates the quantity of potassium. 

cooked-bananas

Are boiled bananas acidic? Well, boiling bananas comes with a load of benefits including lowering blood pressure and maintaining cholesterol levels but boiling fruits often changes their acidity, bananas become less alkaline than raw ones if boiled. Bananas are rich sources of potassium which helps in improving the symptoms of acid reflux, however, boiling them can leave it to 40% of the original percentage.  

Are Bananas Good for Acidic Stomach?

This might sound a little strange to you but let me you a fact which is hard to digest that banana is a cherry! Yes, it wasn’t a joke, it’s true! Bananas will always amaze you, be it their classification, benefits, or uses. 

So, are bananas acidic foods? Well, ripe bananas are more likely to provide you relief against the symptoms of GERD because of their low acid levels. Bananas work well against acid reflux by making a coat against the mucous lining of the stomach thereby reducing acidity. 

Bananas provide the patients with GERD double favor in a single item as the presence of pectin and potassium aids in delaying gastric emptying and also is well-known to facilitate the flow of contents through GIT. 

But make sure if you’re having bananas to combat the symptoms of GERD, try using a ripe banana because it exhibits alkaline-like properties, unlike the unripe one which lies lower on the pH scale. 

Non-acidic fruits other than bananas include melons, avocados, mangoes, olives, and cantaloupes which can help in curbing the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding highly acidic foods can help you alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux and a healthy lifestyle can eventually help you get rid of it! 

Foods to Avoid With Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a gastric disorder in which either the acid-secreting pumps become hyperactive or a sedentary lifestyle makes eating very difficult for you. The permanent acidity disorder called gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) is mostly triggered by several food items which must be avoided to prevent acidity.    

acid-reflux-diet

Foods to avoid are:

  • Spicy food 
  • Fast food 
  • Processed snacks 
  • Fatty meals 
  • Citrus fruits 
  • Tomato ketchup 
  • Chocolates 
  • Caffeinated drinks 
  • Pineapple 
  • Garlic 
  • Onion 
  • Carbonated drinks

The aforementioned items are the most common GERD-causing foods which if taken regularly can aggravate the symptoms. So, try to avoid them if you want a healthy life free from heartburn, nausea, and acidity. 

FAQs

  1. Do bananas cause acid reflux?

Generally no! It entirely depends upon the type of bananas, for example, ripe bananas are very less acidic as compared to the unripe ones, so, they are more likely to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. On the contrary, unripe bananas which are green in color are acidic and thereby are more likely to cause acid reflux and heartburn-related symptoms. 

  1. What fruit is low in acid?

Fruits that have a lesser proton concentration include bananas which are recommended to be used by patients with GERD. The symptoms of heartburn are mostly regulated by your diet and lifestyle, any negligence in the latter can make the symptoms worse, so, low-acid fruits such as melons, avocados, mangoes, black olives, and cantaloupes should be preferred. 

  1. What is the pH of a banana?

The pH of bananas varies in the range of 4.5 to 7.4 which makes them slightly acidic to alkaline food. The acidity of a banana depends upon the time it is harvested because unripe bananas are mildly acidic whereas over-ripe bananas are more alkaline. Hence, if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, then green ones aren’t a good option for you but yellow ones can help alleviate the symptoms. 

  1. Is ripe banana good for acid reflux?

Yes! Ripe bananas are sweet with a less sour flavor which explains why they have alkaline-like properties. Like all other fruits, when bananas are left over time, they change their composition including carbs, and the pH also increases. So, the ripe ones are good for reflux. On the contrary, unripe bananas are acidic and can worsen heartburn symptoms. 

Final Verdict 

So, you must have figured out are bananas acidic or not. Well, bananas on average show a pH of 5 on the spectrum which makes them acidic, however, in reality, they show alkaline-like properties which makes them a good fit in the diet for acid reflux. 

When it comes to acidity, bananas are never the same and it entirely depends upon when they are harvested because as time passes by they become more and more alkaline. Usually, bananas are harvested when they are unripe and such bananas are slightly acidic whereas the ripe, yellow ones are alkaline which makes them a great addition to the acid reflux diet. 

Cooking bananas won’t affect the pH, it only changes the composition slightly. So, with acid reflux, your diet must have some yellow bananas which will help in neutralizing the proton content other than unripe ones which increase it.

Mehrosh Ahmer

Mehrosh Ahmer

My name is Mehrosh Ahmer and I’m currently a student of MBBS at Jinnah Sindh Medical University. My passion for studying the wonder that is the human body and the desire to give back to my society has led me to pursue a career in medicine. As I research, I learn more about my field, and it improves my understanding. This is why I enjoy writing the articles so that more people might get to read about subjects that they otherwise might never encounter.

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