Tomatoes are part of almost every kitchen and are also part of almost every cuisine. If you are not adding them during cooking, you are consuming them in the form of tomato ketchup or tomato sauce. Now, people are talking about their acidity levels. More than 60 million Americans have been diagnosed with acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD. The reason is the high acid foods.
So, are tomatoes acidic, basic, or neutral?
Tomatoes are acidic, with a pH level ranging from 4.3 to 4.9 depending upon some factors. This acidity level means that tomatoes are not good for those who have stomach acidity problems.
If you want to know which factors decide the acidity level of tomatoes and how you can reduce the acidity, then stay till the end.
Table of Content
Why Are Tomatoes Acidic?
Raw tomatoes or any other tomato form is acidic due to the presence of malic, citric, and citric acid.
There are many factors that impact the acidity levels of raw tomatoes. The variety of tomatoes, how much sunlight the tomato fruit got, and ripeness are some of the factors that decide the acidity.
Variety: The hybrid tomatoes are generally less acidic than the non-hybrid tomatoes.
Sunlight: Tomatoes that are grown with proper sunlight of more than 12 hours are more acidic, while Tomatoes that are grown in less sunny areas or shade have high pH (low acidity).
Ripeness: Tomatoes that are not mature are more acidic than the ripped ones. The ripe tomatoes have pH levels between 4.5 to 4.9, while unripe ones have 4.2 to 4.5 pH.
But these are the numbers of Raw tomatoes; what about other tomato forms?
Are Cooked Tomatoes Acidic?
Yes, cooked tomatoes are also acidic. They have a pH that ranges between 4.1 to 4.5 when cooked. The more you cook the tomatoes, the more acidic they will become. The reason is that the water and fiber levels decrease if they are cooked longer.
Are Cherry Tomatoes Acidic?
Cherry tomatoes have almost equal levels of acidity as any regular tomatoes. However, they are sweeter than regular ones, so you can’t taste any citric or malic acid.
Is Tomato Soup Acidic?
Yes, tomato soup is moderately acidic with pH levels between 4.5 to 5.5, depending upon what other ingredients are there. More sugary and alkaline ingredients decrease the acidity of tomato soup. Still, we recommend that those who have stomach acidity should not consume this soup.
Is Tomato Juice Acidic?
Tomato juice is more acidic than raw tomatoes, with a pH level of 4.1 to 4.3. The reason is that the fiber content is low in tomato juice when compared to raw tomatoes. But why? Most fiber in the tomatoes is present just under the skin of the tomatoes. Since the skin is peeled to make the juice, most fibers are also removed with it. Thus, the acidity levels go up.
Moreover, ordering tomato juice from restaurants or stores has spices and peppers, which further increases the acidity value.
Are Canned Tomatoes Acidic?
Canned tomatoes are more acidic than raw tomatoes, with a pH of 3.50. The reason is that citric acid is added to the canned tomatoes as a preservative and for flavoring, which increases the acidity. Hence, stay away from canned tomatoes.
How To Make Tomatoes Less Acidic?
We suggest you do some things instead of just leaving tomatoes. Let us now tell you how you can reduce the acidity levels of the tomatoes to only enjoy their health benefits instead of getting acid reflux or heartburn.
Add Baking Soda
You can add baking soda during the cooking with tomatoes to reduce the acidity. Baking soda is alkaline in nature, so it sort of balances it out.
Cook Tomatoes Quickly
Cooking tomatoes longer increases the acidity of the tomatoes. The fiber and water content gets low, so the acidity goes up. To avoid this, you can add tomatoes in the last minutes of cooking.
Go For Raw Tomatoes
Some people prefer to add canned tomatoes to cooking. Canned ones are high in acidity levels, so we suggest you go for raw tomatoes only. Similarly, make sure you are adding mature tomatoes, as they are less acidic than the unripe ones.
Moreover, chop the tomatoes and then add them instead of adding tomato juice. Tomato juice is more acidic than raw ones, so don’t add it during cooking.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. The fiber content helps in smooth digestion and low levels of bad cholesterol in the body.
Vitamin C is perhaps the most important vitamin for us. A study was conducted, and it was concluded that those who eat foods rich in vitamin C have fewer chances of having kidney stones or any other problems. In addition to this, Vitamin C also plays a vital role in strengthening immunity.
In addition, The vitamin K in the tomatoes is responsible for blood clotting.
Potassium in tomatoes improves the performance of the brain, heart, and communication in the central nervous system. Potassium acts like an electrolyte that takes the messages or signals from and towards the brain in the nervous system. Hence, effective communication in the nervous system cannot be possible without potassium. This mineral also makes the heart muscle stronger.
Moreover, potassium and sodium are responsible for maintaining the fluid level in the body.
Similarly, the antioxidants in the tomatoes are responsible for killing free radicals and stopping the cancer cells from spreading. Furthermore, these antioxidants also increase the metabolic rate and then remove undesirable substances from the body.
Do Raw Tomatoes Cause Acid Reflux and Heartburn?
Yes, tomatoes can cause acid reflux and heartburn in those people who are prone to it. Foods that are high in citric and malic acid can generally cause acid reflux to occur.
The reason is not only the acidic nature of tomatoes, but they also promote acid release in the stomach. Our body releases gastric acid in the stomach to break down the stomach, which worsens acid reflux.
Similarly, another question we get is- Do tomatoes cause heartburn?
Yes, the burning sensation of the acid in the stomach can “goes up” towards the heart and can cause heartburn.
- Are yellow tomatoes less acidic?
No, yellow tomatoes are not less acidic. They have a pH value of 4.2, so they are considered low pH. However, the sugar content is more in the yellow tomatoes, so they don’t taste acidic.
- Are Roma tomatoes acidic?
Roma tomatoes are less acidic than most tomato varieties, with the pH being above 4.6. So, those who have problems with the acidity in tomatoes but also can’t leave it, then go for Roma tomatoes.
- Are tomatoes bad for GERD?
The acidic nature of the tomatoes makes them bad for GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). If you still want to eat them, then follow the suggestions we described to reduce the acidity and go for low acidic varieties like Roma.
All in all, tomatoes are added or used in almost every food. If you are not adding it to make a meal, you are using it in some other form like tomato ketchup or tomato sauce. The one question that people ask about them is, are tomatoes acidic?
Yes, tomatoes are acidic with a pH value ranging from 4..3 to 4.9. Thus, eating tomatoes can cause acid reflux and heartburn. But Don’t just abandon the use of tomatoes. Do some things to reduce the acidity like adding baking soda, cooking less, and using ripe tomatoes only. Tomatoes are an excellent source of antioxidants, Potassium, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. So, keep eating them and enjoy the health benefits of these nutrients!