Bananas are one of the most popular fruits globally and are the most widely consumed fruit in the United States. If you are a banana superfan, you may be wondering if bananas are highly acidic, whether they are okay for you to eat if you deal with acid reflux, and if it is healthy to eat bananas every day.
Keep reading for more on these questions and more.
Are bananas acidic?
Bananas have a pH of about 5, which makes them mildly acidic, but they are close to neutral. Bananas actually have alkaline-forming properties, which means that they can help decrease the frequency and severity of acid reflux symptoms, such as heartburn.
When scientists identify acidity, they use a number scale, ranging from 0 to 14. If something has an acidity of 0, that means it has a very high level of acidity.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if something has an acidity of 14, that means that it is more alkaline or basic. Something that falls right in the middle at a pH of 7 is neutral and is neither acidic nor alkaline.
Are cooked bananas acidic?
Cooking bananas will not majorly change the level of acidity and are just as healthy to eat.
Are bananas bad for acid reflux?
In a study conducted by Indian researchers in 1990, it was found that banana powder is actually helpful for relieving indigestion symptoms. A more recent study (from 2013) found that banana extract can even help heal ulcers.
If you have trouble with acid reflux, then eating small amounts of bananas a day will likely not impact your acid reflux, and it may even help to improve it.
For people who have bad acid reflux, some foods are good to eat. These foods do not have high amounts of acid and may help to improve your symptoms. Doctors recommend eating leafy greens, potatoes, cucumbers, ginger, oatmeal, lean meats (such as turkey, chicken, and fish), egg whites, walnuts, and avocados.
What will happen if I eat bananas every day?
Bananas are full of important nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and vitamins B6 and C. But like any food, eating too much of one thing is not great for your health.
Eating about one to two bananas a day is considered healthy and a moderate intake of fruit. But don’t forget to eat other foods that are also high in nutrients to keep a balanced diet.
If you eat more than two bananas a day, it is simply too much of a good thing. Unripe bananas are high in carbs that come from starch. And as the fruit ripens, the starch converts to sugar, which leads to you receiving a high caloric intake from sugar.
Additionally, if you are someone who has diabetes or prediabetes, eating a lot of carbs without balancing it with healthy fats and proteins can make it difficult to manage the blood sugar levels in your body.
Is it healthier to eat bananas raw or cooked?
Raw bananas and cooked bananas are about the same when it comes to supplying health benefits. The potassium becomes more concentrated when you dry bananas (which is done by exposing raw bananas to low heat for several hours).
These dried bananas supply about four times more potassium per once. But calorie-wise, raw bananas, and cooked bananas are equal.
The exception to cooking bananas is if you boil the bananas in hot water. The boiling water will remove a large amount of potassium from the bananas- a 2014 study in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition discovered that boiling a banana to cook it will cause the banana to lose about 40% of its potassium level.
What fruits are low in acidity?
If you want to eat fruits that are low in acidity and that will be okay for acid reflux, try to avoid citrus fruits. Fruits like bananas, apples, pears, and melons are good to eat. Apples and pears have a pH of about 4, bananas have a pH of 5, and melons are the closest to neutral with a pH of 6.5. Grapefruit and coconut are also good fruits to eat because they are mildly alkaline.
What fruits are high in acidity?
For example, the juice from lemons has a pH of 2, making it one of the most acidic fruits. Some berries, like blueberries and cranberries, are also high in acidity, so it is best to avoid them as well.
Baking soda can neutralize stomach acid and provide immediate relief. Baking soda relieves indigestion, bloating, and gas after eating.
Sodium bicarbonate is generally safe and non-toxic, and it has alkaline PH. It would be best if you were careful and not overuse it as it can cause the rapid formation of gas in the stomach, which can cause stomach especially after alcohol binging or a large meal. Baking soda is a good treatment for immediate relief from acid reflux.
The best time to eat bananas would be before workouts to get some energy before or during breakfast. Eating bananas for dinner or after dinner may lead to mucus formation and indigestion.
Their sugar content can get stuck on your teeth more readily, increasing the risk of cavities, and that’s why eating bananas in the evening is not recommended.
The difference between edible and inedible bananas is in seeds. Edible bananas produce fruit without any seeds, whereas inedible bananas produce a fruit with pea-sized seeds, which means that eating a banana with loads of seeds is almost physically impossible, so not all bananas are edible.
All modern edible bananas are hybrids of two different mutations, Musa acuminata, and Musa balbisiana. This created a hybrid without seeds but with a lot of pulp.
Hybrids derived from Musa acuminata are more likely to be used as dessert bananas, while those derived from Musa balbisiana and hybrids of the two are usually plantains or cooking bananas.
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Campbell, M. (2018, November 27). Does Cooking a Banana Eliminate Potassium? Retrieved December 17, 2020, from https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/cooking-banana-eliminate-potassium-12477.html
Hill, A. (2019, July 01). How Many Bananas Should You Eat per Day? Retrieved December 17, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-many-bananas-a-day
Madell, R. (2020, January 29). 7 Foods to Add to Your Diet for Acid Reflux. Retrieved December 17, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/diet-nutrition
Thirteen Acidic Fruits And How They Affect Your Teeth. (2020, May 18). Retrieved December 17, 2020, from https://smilesunlimited.com.au/thirteen-acidic-fruits-and-how-they-affect-your-teeth/
Alicia is the senior content editor and writer here at Food FAQ. She has extensive experience with acid reflux, heartburn, GERD, and various supplements. When not eating food for “research”, she’s watching “Friends” for the 100th time.