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Are Lentils Acidic or Alkaline? (Good for GERD?)

Lentils are edible seeds rich in various nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. They’re a staple in Asian and North African cuisines, but many more people use them for cooking these days, increasing their popularity.

Lentils make for a wonderful addition to most diets, but if you’re following a diet with special requirements, there are more things to consider.

For example, if you suffer from acid reflux or GERD, you have to know whether lentils are acidic or alkaline. And are they bad for acid reflux?

Are Lentils Acidic Or Alkaline?

Lentils have acid-forming properties, just like most other seeds and legumes. Because of that, eating them too often can worsen your acid reflux and GERD symptoms. On the bright side, they are high in essential vitamins and minerals, so if your digestive system can tolerate lentils in small amounts, it might be beneficial to include them in your diet and reap all of their health benefits.

What is the pH level of lentils?

Lentils have a pH level ranging between 6.30-6.83. This isn’t very low and even leans towards neutral, but lentils leave an acidic ash in your digestive system once absorbed and metabolized.

Because of that, eating lentils can make some symptoms of acid reflux more severe, especially if you’re very sensitive to acidic foods.

On the other hand, legumes like lentils can be good for acid reflux as long as you consume them as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

All types of lentils have acid-forming properties. So, it doesn’t matter if you choose sprouted, pink, or mature lentils, as they all might make your acid reflux worse.

What’s more, if you do decide to add lentils to your diet, make sure to boil them instead of frying with lots of oil since all pan-fried food is very acidic and may cause inflammation of your digestive system.

Are lentils healthy?

Lentils Spilling From Glass Jars
Lentils Spilling From Glass Jars

Lentils are incredibly nutritious and especially high in protein and fiber. Protein helps you stay full and prevents overeating, which can lead to more severe acid reflux and GERD symptoms.

On the other hand, fiber helps soak up excess stomach acid and reduce the likelihood that it will rise up your esophagus and cause heartburn.

Lentils contain a good dose of these two nutrients – a single one-cup serving provides you with 63% of your daily need for fiber and 36% for protein.

Lentils are also very rich in folate, also called vitamin B9. This micronutrient is vital in red blood cell formation and in the health and function of your cells and tissues.

It’s also incredibly essential during early pregnancy as it reduces the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine.

A single serving of lentils contains nearly all your daily requirements for this vitamin, so it’s a good idea to add them to your diet, especially if you’re expecting.

All types of lentils are very high in unique antioxidants. These compounds help flush out free radicals out of your body, preventing oxidative stress and damage to your cells and tissues.

Each type of lentil contains different antioxidants with different abilities, so including various kinds of lentils in your diet can improve your health and prevent free radicals from accumulating in your body.

Eating lentils is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. For example, one study showed that people with type 2 diabetes or those overweight had increased levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol after consuming lentils for eight weeks.

This type of cholesterol may lead to a lower risk of heart attack and stroke, so it’s important to consume foods that improve their levels.

One downside to lentils is that they contain antinutrients. These compounds may negatively affect the absorption of other nutrients.

Some of them also have the ability to block the production of certain enzymes that help break down protein.

Luckily, lentils generally contain low amounts of these compounds, so if you consume an otherwise healthy, balanced diet, you shouldn’t have issues with the antinutrients that lentils d contain.

Are lentils bad for acid reflux?

Since lentils have acid-forming properties, they may aggravate the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD in some people.

But it’s important to remember that it might not be the case for all people. For example, lentils are very rich in fiber, which helps soak up excess stomach acid and feed the ‘good’ gut bacteria in your stomach.

This helps control the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD and protects your digestive system from inflammation and irritation. As a result, eating lentils may help some people stay healthy and reduce the frequency of their symptoms.

Another good thing about lentils is that they contain a decent amount of B vitamins. One study found that an increased intake of several B vitamins may lower the risk of reflux esophagitis, which is a condition when your esophagus is inflamed as a result of persistent acid reflux.

Because of that, consuming lentils and getting essential B vitamins from them can help you prevent severe complications caused by acid reflux and GERD.

Is lentil soup bad for acid reflux?

Red Lentil Soup
Red Lentil Soup

Lentil soup has a slightly lower pH level of around 5.80. It’s still acidic as on top of lentils; it also contains rather acidic veggies.

What’s more, most recipes call for canned diced tomatoes, which are very acidic and contain a lot of salt that’s bad for your health and blood pressure levels.

A diet high in sodium can also increase your risk of stroke, so it’s best to avoid such foods. On the bright side, lentil soup is rich in nutrients as it’s made with healthy veggies, so it can be consumed in small quantities as long as your stomach tolerates it.

Lentils are acid-forming seeds, which means they may worsen the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD in some people. For others, though, they may help due to the high fiber content and other essential minerals and vitamins that keep your digestive system healthy.

So, at the end of the day, it all depends on how sensitive your stomach is too acidic foods and the severity of your acid reflux.

Don’t know what to drink? We made a list of more than 20 most and least acidic juices and 20+ alcoholic drinks ranked by acidity levels.