Quinoa is one of the most popular health foods around the world. It’s incredibly nutritious and versatile, making it an easy grain to add to your diet. As it has all these special health benefits, quinoa is praised by many people.
But, if you’re following a low-acid diet for acid reflux, you may be worried about whether eating quinoa will worsen your acid reflux or GERD symptoms.
With all that in mind, it’s important to know the acid content of the foods you eat. So, is quinoa acidic or alkaline?
Is quinoa acidic or alkaline?
Quinoa is acidic, just like most other types of grains. Because of that, consuming it in large amounts may cause more severe symptoms of acid reflux and GERD. On the bright side, this grain is loaded with nutrients and is often referred to as a superfood. So if you can tolerate it in small quantities, it might be beneficial to indulge in it from time to time.
What is the pH level of quinoa?
Most varieties of quinoa have a pH level of 6.20-6.80. All of them have acid-forming properties, though, so it’s important to keep that in mind, especially if you struggle with severe acid reflux or GERD.
On the bright side, quinoa is one of the whole grains that are mild- and sometimes even low-acid, which means that they should be well tolerated by people with a moderate case of acid reflux.
Everybody’s acid reflux and GERD symptoms vary in frequency and severity. So, if you choose to add any new food to your diet, do so in small quantities to see how your digestive system reacts.
That way, you’ll be able to tell which food makes your symptoms worse and which helps control them, easing the discomfort.
Is quinoa healthy?
Quinoa is considered a superfood by many, and there’s a lot of truth to it. It’s incredibly nutritious and packs a good dose of protein in even just one serving. This can be good for people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet as they lack animal-derived protein.
What’s more, protein helps you stay full, which means you’re less likely to overeat and gain weight, which are two contributors to more severe acid reflux symptoms.
Quinoa is also a wonderful source of manganese. This mineral may help reduce inflammation in your body, thus reducing your acid reflux. Inflammation, especially when it becomes chronic, is also linked with various severe health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, and even several autoimmunological conditions.
Because of that, adding foods rich in anti-inflammatory properties can help you stay healthy and prevent these problems from developing.
Eating quinoa may also help you load up on magnesium. This mineral is essential to ensure that your muscles and nerves function properly, and it also contributes to a healthy and steady heartbeat. It’s also responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions, so you should make sure that the foods you consume are rich in magnesium.
Quinoa contains a good dose of this nutrient, which means that you can reach your dietary goals by including this whole grain in your diet.
Quinoa is also very high in fiber, higher than most other whole grains. Most of the fiber in quinoa is insoluble, but it still contains a rather impressive amount of soluble fiber.
Various studies show that soluble fiber helps lower blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, and increase fullness. Because of that, eating high-fiber foods may aid with weight loss by preventing overeating.
This type of whole grain also contains several plant compounds that have antioxidant properties. These substances help flush out harmful chemicals out of your body and prevent oxidative damage to your cells and tissues.
They also have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-viral, and anti-depressant effects. As a result, eating quinoa can increase your intake of these important compounds and nutrients, improving your overall health and well-being.
Is quinoa bad for acid reflux?
Just like other grains, quinoa is acidic. On the bright side, this type of whole grain is the least acidic out of all grains on the market. So, if you’re looking for a grain to add to your diet but you suffer from acid reflux, quinoa might be your best choice.
It’s also rich in essential nutrients that might help keep your digestive system healthy, reducing how frequent and severe your symptoms are.
As long as you follow a varied diet based on fresh, natural foods, eating quinoa shouldn’t be a problem even for people with acid reflux. It’s one of the least acidic grains, and most people don’t consume it in large quantities.
It’s also often eaten with a side of veggies or animal or plant protein, which helps you get more nutrients and decrease the acidity of quinoa. So, as you can see, it’s unlikely to negatively impact the health of your digestive system.
Can you make quinoa less acidic?
While it’s impossible to make quinoa less acidic as it is, you can make it more alkaline by adding certain ingredients. For example, cooking your quinoa with alkalizing vegetables, such as sauerkraut, cabbage, beets, mushrooms, or broccoli can help balance out the acidity of quinoa.
Adding fresh veggies to your meals also helps you reach your dietary needs for various nutrients and minerals.
It’s also a good idea not to fry quinoa with a lot of oil or butter. Frying adds harmful chemicals to your food and makes it harder for your stomach to digest it. It also increases the caloric content, which means you’re more likely to gain weight from the food you consume.
As a result, it’s best to stick to boiling quinoa with a pinch of salt or stir-frying it with healthy, alkalizing vegetables.
Quinoa is a wonderful whole grain, rich in many nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. It has many health benefits, and it’s easy to add to any diet, whichever dietary plan you follow. What’s more, while it might have some acid-forming properties, quinoa is one of the least acidic grains.
This means that your stomach should tolerate it as a part of a healthy, balanced 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.