Do you know that bananas are considered the very first fruit of this world? Well, that’s because it is believed to have been discovered more than ten thousand years ago. Although we don’t have any evidence to prove when exactly bananas originated, one thing we are sure about is that they are still loved similarly.
From soothing your untimely appetites as a mid-evening snack to making your oatmeal or cereal breakfast more nutritious, bananas are used in hundreds of different ways. However, we heard some people complaining about feeling heartburn after eating bananas. Why does this happen? Is there any relation between banana consumption and heartburn or acid reflux? If so, what’s the right way to eat bananas, without feeling severe burns in your chest? Let’s find out!
pH of bananas
The pH of any food item determines whether it’s acidic, alkaline, or neutral. If the pH range lies below 7, it means the food item is acidic whereas if the pH lies about 7, it means it’s alkaline. On the other hand, if the pH of a substance is 7, it means it’s neutral.
Speaking of the pH of bananas then it lies in a range of about 4.4-6.6, as per their state. Considering this pH range, bananas can be acidic and alkaline. For example, the greener bananas are more acidic whereas the ripe bananas are alkaline due to having a pH of about 6.5-6.6.
So, are bananas acidic?
As stated before, it depends upon the fruit ripeness whether it’s acidic or alkaline. Greener the banana, the more acidic it will be, and vice versa. When unripe, bananas may have a pH of 4.4-5.2 due to having a high concentration of oxalic acid, citric acid, and malic acid.
As the banana ripens, the concentration of oxalic acid (the strongest acid) decreases, and that of malic and citric acid increases which in turn shifts the overall pH from the acidic range to the alkaline range. The bananas we purchased from the store are ripened enough that their pH grows close to being neutral or higher than the neutral point. Due to this very same reason, bananas are mostly considered alkaline, not acidic!
So, do bananas help to reduce acid reflux?
Acid reflux is caused and worsened by consuming so much acidic food so the answer to this question, again, depends upon the fruit’s ripeness. The good thing is that bananas don’t cause acid reflux, if not eaten in their greenest form.
Speaking of helping or worsening acid reflux then bananas help to reduce acid reflux greatly. In fact, many health experts suggest drinking banana juice to cure severe acid reflux. In addition to being less acidic, the fibers and minerals in bananas help repair the mucous layer in the inner wall of the stomach. This, in turn, reduces acidity and reduces the extent of acid reflux and associated symptoms like heartburn and sourness in the esophagus.
Just don’t forget that green, unripened bananas can worsen your acid reflux so you better avoid them.