Chickpeas are a delicious type of legumes that can be added to almost any dish. Also known as garbanzo beans, they have a nutty taste and go well with grains and various leafy greens.
They’re also rich in essential nutrients, so they’re definitely one of the healthiest foods you could add to your diet. But if you suffer from acid reflux, it’s important not to consume too many acidic foods.
So, are chickpeas acidic or alkaline? Can they worsen your symptoms?
Are chickpeas acidic or alkaline?
Chickpeas are acid-forming legumes, which means they might not be too good for people struggling with severe acid reflux or GERD. Consuming too many chickpeas can also cause gastrointestinal issues, particularly in people susceptible to these problems.
As a result, it’s important to control how many chickpeas you consume, even though they contain a lot of minerals and vitamins.
What is the pH level of chickpeas?
Chickpeas have a pH level of around 6.48-6.80. But even though that’s not very low, chickpeas have acid-forming properties.
Because of this, it’s important not to consume too many chickpeas and other types of legumes if your digestive system is very sensitive to acidic foods.
It’s also important to remember that boiled and raw chickpeas are the least acidic. So, if you want to include them in your diet, it’s better not to fry them using too much oil as it adds acidity and unnecessary calories.
Are chickpeas healthy?
Just like other types of legumes, chickpeas are high in nutrients, including fiber and protein. These two macronutrients work together to slow down digestion and promote fullness.
Additionally, they are great for people trying to lose weight as they may increase levels of appetite-reducing hormones in your body.
Because of that, eating chickpeas might prevent weight gain, which worsens the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD.
Chickpeas are also very high in manganese, providing you with nearly 85% of your daily recommended need for this mineral in just one cup.
Manganese not only has strong antioxidant properties but may also improve bone health when working with other nutrients.
This mineral might also help you fight inflammation, which is very helpful for people with digestive system issues, including acid reflux.
Eating chickpeas may even support blood sugar levels regulation in various ways. First of all, they have a low glycemic index, which means that they don’t rapidly increase your blood sugar levels after you eat them, which is good for your health.
Including foods with a low glycemic index in your diet also helps you manage the symptoms of type 2 diabetes, as they’re usually made up of complex carbs.
Since chickpeas are full of fiber, they may also improve digestion and gut health. This type of legume is particularly rich in soluble fiber, which is the kind that blends with water, helping food travel through your digestive tract.
Soluble fiber also helps feed healthy gut bacteria in your stomach, preventing inflammation and irritation, which can lead to acid reflux and GERD.
As part of a healthy, balanced diet, all of these benefits may also help prevent colon and stomach cancer.
Due to their rich nutritional profile, some studies found that eating chickpeas may support brain function and mental health.
This research also required that people consume an overall healthy diet, so it’s important to keep in mind that simply eating chickpeas won’t improve your mental health on its own.
Are chickpeas bad for acid reflux?
Chickpeas are acidic, which means that those with a particularly severe form of acid reflux or GERD may need to eliminate them from their diets.
On the other hand, those with less severe symptoms might benefit from adding chickpeas to their diets due to their high mineral and vitamin content.
So, it all depends on how your body handles and reacts to acidic foods. Because of that, it’s best to start adding chickpeas to your diet in small quantities to avoid unnecessary and unpleasant digestive system issues.
Another thing that might be beneficial for people with acid reflux is the fact that chickpeas are rich in B vitamins. These are known to reduce the risk of complications caused by acid reflux and GERD in the future.
Chickpeas are high in folate, vitamin B6, and other B vitamins, which makes them a wonderful addition to a diet aimed at decreasing the frequency of acid reflux symptoms.
The best way to make chickpeas less acidic and better for acid reflux is to eat them with fresh, alkaline-forming vegetables, such as cabbage, beets, green beans, lettuce, or peppers.
For example, adding chickpeas to a salad containing these veggies can boost your nutrient intake and help make chickpeas easier for your stomach to digest.
Chickpeas can also be roasted and eaten as a snack in between meals as long as you don’t add too much salt and spicy ingredients to them.
Are canned chickpeas acidic?
Canned chickpeas have a pH level ranging between 5.70-6.20. While they may have a similar pH level as cooked chickpeas, the canned variety is actually much worse for your acid reflux and GERD.
This is because the process of canning requires certain ingredients, such as vinegar or lemon juice, to preserve the foods, and these ingredients make the final product very acid-forming.
As a result, if you experience severe and frequent symptoms of acid reflux and GERD, it’s best to avoid canned chickpeas and any other canned foods, for that matter.
Chickpeas are acid-forming, which makes them a food that should be limited on a low-acid, stomach-friendly diet. It’s also important to remember that some people may tolerate acidic foods better than others, so always listen to how your body reacts.
After all, chickpeas are rich in important vitamins and minerals. So it might be a good idea to have some from time to time as long as your digestive system can handle it.
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.