Choosing drinks, juices, and other liquids to consume on a low-acid diet can be challenging as most fruit juices are acidic. It can also be hard for coffee lovers to find a type of milk that doesn’t aggravate their acid reflux and GERD symptoms but still tastes great.
These days, there are many milk types available in stores, so you’re bound to find one that works for you and isn’t acidic. Let’s take a look at coconut milk; is it acidic?
Is coconut milk acidic?
Coconut milk can be both acidic and alkaline, depending on the preparation method. When coconut milk is made with fresh coconuts, it’s alkaline-forming, but the versions made with dried coconuts are acid-forming. Because of that, if you suffer from acid reflux or GERD, it’s important to check the ingredient list before buying coconut milk.
On the bright side, coconut milk is rich in many nutrients and minerals, so it helps you maintain a healthy, balanced diet. Some of these nutrients also help protect your stomach lining from inflammation, which reduces the risk of severe acid reflux and GERD symptoms.
What is the pH level of coconut milk?
Coconut milk has a pH level ranging between 6.10-7.00. If the milk is pasteurized, it has a slightly lower pH level and may be more acidic. Most coconut milk brands these days are made with fresh coconuts, though.
Because of that, they have alkaline-forming properties, so they can help you with soothing your acid reflux or GERD symptoms. In addition, coconut milk is rich in vitamins and minerals that help protect your digestive system from damage and inflammation, so it’s a great addition to any diet.
Another crucial thing to remember when buying coconut milk is that certain additives can lower its pH level and increase acidity.
Because of that, the best choice might be canned coconut milk, as the additives used don’t acidify the milk. You can also choose to make your own coconut milk, which will ensure it’s not pasteurized, consequently retaining all of its alkaline-forming properties.
By making your own coconut milk, you’ll also be able to control the ingredients, which is beneficial for tracking how many nutrients you’re taking in.
Is coconut milk healthy?
Coconut milk is not only very rich in ingredients but also calories. In fact, a half-cup serving of coconut milk contains around 222 calories, most of which come from fat.
While this might seem unhealthy, coconuts contain good fats that don’t clog up your arteries, so they don’t pose a threat to your cardiovascular system. It still does contain fats, so make sure not to consume too much as it may lead to weight gain, which has been proven to worsen acid reflux and GERD symptoms.
Coconut milk is also a wonderful source of iron. It contains nearly half your daily recommended need, and it’s also rich in compounds that help you absorb this mineral.
Iron is essential for growth and development, and it’s also used to make hemoglobin, which is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen around your body.
It’s also necessary for the production of hormones that help regulate all bodily processes. A lack of this mineral may also lead to anemia, so it’s essential to take in enough iron, and drinking coconut milk is a good way to do it.
Another mineral that this type of milk is high in is magnesium. In fact, just half a cup provides you with around 26% of your daily recommended need for this mineral.
Regularly consuming too little magnesium can lead to the development of various health conditions, including heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis. It’s also a mineral that’s easily flushed out of your body, so you should include magnesium-rich foods in every meal you consume.
Drinking coconut milk can also help reduce inflammation, which is beneficial for people struggling with acid reflux. A recent study indicates that even just half a cup of coconut milk (or coconut extract) can prevent inflammation and irritation in your digestive system.
Decreased inflammation, in turn, helps prevent more severe symptoms of acid reflux by soothing your esophagus and protecting your stomach lining. This makes coconut milk a good drink choice for people with acid reflux or GERD.
Can you drink coconut milk on acid reflux?
Most coconut milk brands use fresh coconut to make the finished product, which means that it’s alkaline-forming. Such products help neutralize stomach acids, thus preventing acid reflux and GERD symptoms.
What’s more, drinking coconut milk may even help soothe the symptoms when they appear, so it’s a good idea to have some ready in case of an emergency.
Nevertheless, it’s important to check the ingredient list to ensure that the coconut milk you’re purchasing is, in fact, made with fresh coconuts and not dried ones.
It’s also beneficial to check for any other added ingredients that can make the milk acid-forming, therefore bad for people with acid reflux.
While some preservatives are OK and ensure that the product doesn’t spoil, try choosing coconut milk with an ingredient list that’s rather short. That way, you can be sure that you’re consuming a product that’s as healthy as possible.
Is coconut milk better for acid reflux than other kinds of milk?
Coconut milk, including other kinds of milk from nuts, is great for acid reflux as most of them are alkaline-forming. On the other hand, cow milk and soy milk are acid-forming, so they should be avoided or infrequently drank if you struggle with acid reflux and GERD.
As always, some people might tolerate milk better than others, but it’s best to introduce potential trigger foods to your diet slowly to avoid heartburn and other issues.
Coconut milk is a great drink choice for people with acid reflux as it has alkaline-forming properties. While there are some coconut milk brands that use dried coconut (which is acid-forming), most brands use fresh coconut, which neutralizes your stomach acids.
Coconut milk also contains an abundance of minerals and micronutrients that help you stay healthy, making it a great addition to any diet.
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.