Avocados are incredibly nutritious and rich in various vitamins and minerals. They also contain heart-healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to good health.
But have you ever eaten too many avocados and felt that burning sensation in your esophagus?
It might seem strange, especially since avocados don’t taste acidic or sour. So, why do avocados cause heartburn?
Why do avocados cause heartburn?
Avocados may give you heartburn in several ways. Firstly, they’re very high in fat, which makes up most of their calories. High-fat foods tend to stick around in your stomach longer, causing an overproduction of gastric acid, which can then reflux up your esophagus.
Still, avocados are very healthy and nutritious, so including them in your diet even in small amounts is a very good idea.
Is avocado acidic?
But avocados actually have some good alkaline-forming properties, depending on how often and how much of them you eat. They also have a mild taste, which makes them easier for your digestive tract.
Whether avocado is bad for acid reflux is very individual, as some people claim it makes no difference for them.
On the other hand, some people experience severe heartburn after indulging in avocados. It’s also important to remember that everyone can experience occasional heartburn, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that you suffer from acid reflux or GERD.
The problem only happens when most foods give your heartburn and other issues. In those cases, make sure to consult your doctor to find some treatment options.
How does avocado cause heartburn?
Most of the calories in an avocado come from fat. While the fat found in avocados is healthy and generally good for your heart, it’s still fat.
Foods with a high-fat content tend to be harder for your stomach to digest, increasing gastric acid production in your stomach.
This can cause acid reflux and GERD symptoms, especially in people particularly prone to these issues.
What’s more, avocados contain substances and compounds that stimulate the muscles between your esophagus and stomach to relax.
This makes it much easier for gastric acid to rise up your esophagus and cause unpleasant symptoms, including heartburn, burping, and chest pain.
In most people, eating small amounts of avocado shouldn’t lead to this problem, but if you tend to have more severe acid reflux symptoms, you may way to limit your consumption of avocados.
Avocados are also rather high in vitamin C. While it’s an important nutrient that you definitely need in your diet, consuming foods with high amounts of this vitamin may irritate your stomach and esophagus.
Because of that, eating too much avocado too often can worsen your acid reflux symptoms and make them more severe over time.
While this shouldn’t be an issue for most healthy individuals, those prone to acid reflux might need to limit their consumption of avocados.
Is avocado healthy?
Avocados are very nutritionally balanced. One avocado contains all three macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
It also contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and copper, among others.
As you can see, just a single serving of avocado (even if you consume just half) provides you with a lot of crucial micronutrients.
Avocados are also a great source of fiber and other important compounds that helps keep your gut healthy.
Fiber promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria that reduce inflammation in your digestive tracts.
Other plant compounds found in avocados reduce your risk of stomach and colon cancer by preventing the growth of cancerous cells and cell mutation.
Eating avocados can also lower your risk of cardiovascular problems like heart disease, heart attacks, high blood pressure, and strokes.
Compounds found in avocados, as well as heart-healthy fats, help lower the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol while increasing the ‘good’ cholesterol levels.
This prevents plaque buildup in your arteries and reduces your blood pressure.
Avocados are also loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. They help flush out harmful free radicals from your body, reducing your risk of various chronic conditions like diabetes and even cancer.
Avocados also contain a powerful plant compound called lutein, which improves your eyes’ health and prevents age-related macular degeneration.
Because of that, eating a lot of foods high in antioxidants and substances with anti-inflammatory properties is very important.
Even though avocados are high in calories and fats, eating them may actually help you lose weight.
This is because avocados contain healthy fat and fiber, which are two nutrients that help you feel full and satisfied after eating.
This prevents overeating, which is closely linked with weight gain.
What’s more, if you maintain a healthy weight, you’re also less likely to experience severe acid reflux symptoms. So, eating avocados can help prevent GERD as well.
Can you make avocado easier for your digestive system?
One of the best ways to prevent avocados from giving you heartburn is to consume them in small amounts and along with some high-fiber foods.
Fiber helps soak up excess stomach acid, preventing it from rising up your esophagus. This can prevent heartburn and improve digestion.
But if you get heartburn every time you eat avocados, it might be best to eliminate it from your diet completely.
On the bright side, you can use avocados in smaller quantities to make green smoothies with spinach, kale, cucumber, and other alkaline-forming vegetables.
A diet rich in alkaline-forming foods can help you manage your acid reflux and GERD and avoid severe and painful heartburn.
Avocados are only mildly acidic but can cause some symptoms of acid reflux in people especially sensitive to acid and acidic foods.
They’re high in fat and calories, which may both worsen digestion, leading to heartburn. So, if you’re prone to acid reflux symptoms, it might be a good idea to limit your consumption of avocados.
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.