Is Broccoli Acidic? Is Broccoli Good for Acid Reflux?

Known for its nutrient-rich nature and many health benefits, broccoli is considered an all-time great cruciferous vegetable to add to your diet.

Despite their nutrient density, when we suffer from the disease, specifically acid reflux, we must carefully review all the foods we consume.

Taking broccoli with acid reflux prompts a question: is broccoli acidic?

Broccoli is a low acidic vegetable. Its pH ranges from 6.30 to 6.85 due to the presence of sulfur. Broccoli’s slightly acidic pH may lead you to believe that it is safe to consume with acid reflux. But, it is not true. In fact, it can exacerbate acid reflux symptoms.

Despite low acidity, how can broccoli aggravate acidity? To find it out, let’s take a closer look at each of the following.

Broccoli: Acidic, Alkaline, or Neutral?

Is broccoli acidic or alkaline? Broccoli is acidic in nature with its pH ranging from 6.30-6.85. This pH shows that broccoli is just slightly acidic. On the pH scale, a pH of 7 signifies complete neutrality. Generally, pH values closer to 7 are neutral, while those closer to 1 to 2 are highly acidic. Broccoli’s pH indicates that it is slightly acidic.

is-broccoli-acidic

This acidity of broccoli is due to the presence of sulfur in it. It gives off a slightly acidic flavor. Further, the acidity of broccoli is far less than other vegetables and is not enough to make it unhealthy.

Broccoli TypepH value
Broccoli-raw6.30-6.85
Rabe broccoli6.00-7.00
Broccoli-steamed6.30-6.70
Broccoli-cooked6.30-6.5
Broccoli-cooked and frozen6.30-6.85
Broccoli-cheese soup5.6

Does Broccoli Cause Acid Reflux?

Despite broccoli’s slightly acidic nature, it cannot always be consumed with acid reflux. Considering the pH of broccoli is close to neutral, why can’t it be taken with acid reflux? There are two reasons for this. 

First is its high content of carbohydrates in it. One cup of broccoli contains approximately 6 grams of carbohydrates. It may not seem like much, but broccoli has 71 percent more carbs than fats or protein. High carbohydrate content can cause indigestion due to more fibers that are hard to digest.

Secondly, broccoli should be avoided with acid reflux because of the bloating or gas it causes due to indigestion. It can also result in nausea and abdominal cramps. The combination of all these symptoms of broccoli, along with its slightly acidic nature, can worsen acid reflux.

does-broccoli-cause-acid-reflux

Does broccoli also cause heartburn? Broccoli contains acid that can aggravate stomach acid, which then moves to the lower esophageal sphincter. It activates the lower esophageal sphincter, causing it to remain open and allowing acid to enter the esophagus. Consequently, this results in a burning sensation in the chest and heartburn.

If you have acid reflux, you can take broccoli in smaller amounts, but avoid it completely if you suffer from indigestion.

Is Cooked Broccoli Acidic or Alkaline?

Yes, cooked broccoli is also acidic. In fact, cooked broccoli has a pH between 6.30 and 6.52, which is slightly more acidic than raw broccoli. This is because when food is cooked there is an increase in the sugar content due to the breakdown of starch. This sugar is always associated with an increase in the acidity of food, including broccoli. 

Further, there is the removal of minerals from broccoli during washing or boiling, which increases its acid-forming capabilities.

Although, cooked and frozen broccoli can be less acidic than raw one with its pH ranging from 6.30 to 6.85.

Is Broccoli Rabe Acidic?

Broccoli rabe also known as bitter broccoli is also acidic in nature. The pH value of Broccoli rabe varies from 6.0 to 7, making it slightly acidic in nature. However, when cooked, this acidity reduces and becomes alkaline.

broccoli-rabe

Does broccoli rabe good for you? Broccoli rabe is a good source of vitamin A, C, and K. It is also rich in fibers, folate, and other anti-oxidants making it a suitable diet for perfect health.

Is Steamed Broccoli Acidic?

Yes, steamed broccoli is also acidic in nature. Its pH ranges almost the same as that of raw broccoli. It is because a cooking method like steaming allows the food to cook at low heat. This maintains nearly all the nutrient content of a vegetable without losing any minerals due to evaporation. 

However, there can be some chemical changes that slightly alter acidity even at low heat and make it slightly more acidic.

Is Broccoli Cheese Soup Acidic?

Yes, broccoli cheese soup is also acidic with a pH of 5.6. This pH shows that broccoli cheese soup is more acidic than cooked or raw broccoli. It is because of the presence of cheese, which itself is acidic due to the presence of lactic acid.

broccoli-cheese-soup

Due to its acidity, this soup is not good to take with acid reflux. This can aggravate the symptoms of GERD, and make acid reflux worse.

Is Broccoli Good For You?

Broccoli is a healthy vegetable offering a number of health benefits. Here are listed some main broccoli health benefits:

broccoli-health-benefits

Rich In Nutrients

Broccoli contains a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other bioactive compounds. In both raw and cooked forms, it provides a good amount of nutrition. 

In spite of the fact that different cooking methods can alter the nutritional content of broccoli, it still contains a high level of vitamin C.

Here is the broccoli’s nutritional value.

Vitamin A3.1% of DV %
Vitamin C11% of DV %
Calcium0.3% of DV %
Iron0.4% of DV %

Rich In Anti-Oxidants

Anti-oxidants prevent the damage to the cells caused by free radicals. Free radicals usually result in the oxidation of the components of the cells, which further results in inflammation and even death in severe conditions. 

Broccoli has high levels of glucoraphanin, a compound that is converted into a potent antioxidant called sulforaphane during digestion. 

Further, antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are also present in broccoli, which may prevent oxidative stress and cellular damage in your eyes.

Prevent Cancer

Broccoli contains essential bioactive compounds such as kaemferol, which prevent cell damage. These substances also prevent the inflammation and oxidation of the cells, which can otherwise lead to chronic diseases including cancer.

Studies have shown that breast cancer, renal cancer, colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, and prostate cancer can be prevented by taking a sufficient amount of these bioactive compounds.

Rich In Fibers

The fiber content of broccoli is 2.4 grams per cup. This high amount of fibers in broccoli controls sugar levels, promotes digestion, prevents constipation, and aids weight loss.

Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases

Most heart diseases are always associated with an elevated level of bad LDL cholesterol. Broccoli has been studied to cause a reduction in the level of bad LDL levels and increase good HDL cholesterol. Thus, it promotes heart health.

Enhance Immunity

The considerable amount of vitamin C present in broccoli aid in enhancing the functioning of the immune system. This in turn prevents the occurrence of many diseases.

FAQs

Question: Is broccoli high in acidity?

Answer: Broccoli is not very high in acidity. Its pH ranges from 6.30 to 6.85. This value shows that broccoli is just slightly acidic.  This acidity is increased slightly during cooking due to water and heat used for different cooking methods.

Question: Is broccoli acidic or alkaline?

Answer: Broccoli is acidic in nature. The pH of broccoli is closer to 7 on the pH scale, showing its slightly acidic nature. This acidity is due to the presence of sulfur in broccoli, which gives it an acidic taste.

Question: What vegetables are not acidic?

Answer: Raw vegetables are mostly alkaline-forming in the body. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, green cabbage, peppers, zucchini, and squash are all vegetables that are alkaline in nature.

Question: Is broccoli an antacid?

Answer: No, broccoli is not an antacid. Rather, it can aggravate acid reflux and heartburn due to indigestion and bloating caused by its high carbohydrate content in it.

Question: Is it OK to eat broccoli every day?

Answer: No, you should not take broccoli daily. Only one or three servings of broccoli per week are enough for a healthy diet. More than this limit, broccoli can result in digestive issues and bloating.

Question: Why is broccoli not good for you?

Answer: Excess broccoli can interfere with the thyroid functioning in the production of its hormone. Further, it can also lead to bloating, indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux. So, you should limit the intake of broccoli.

Bottom Line

In stir-fries, soups, salads, and casseroles, broccoli is the star ingredient with its appealing greenish texture. But when it comes to acid reflux, you must have thought, is broccoli acidic?

With a pH between 6.30 and 6.85, broccoli is slightly acidic. Because of its relatively high carbohydrate content, it can aggravate acid reflux symptoms by causing indigestion and bloating.

However, broccoli is a nutrient-rich vegetable. It offers a number of health benefits. So, you can prepare tasty and appealing recipes to enjoy it.

Dr. Rimita Farid

Dr. Rimita Farid

Hi this is Dr. Rimita Farid. I have completed my MBBS from MAHSA University in Kuala Lampur , Malaysia and currently a registered doctor in Bangladesh. I am training in Dermatology and Venerology and writing for me has been a hobby, even before i decided to be a doctor. I believe our lives are getting stressful with every moment and i believe writing is the solution to all our problems. The power of pen and paper is highly underestimated by many, and i am blessed that i realized how stimulating writing can be for my well being. Hope my articles are relatable and can reach as many readers as possible.

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