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Why Do Bananas Give Me Heartburn? (Safe to Eat?)

Bananas are a very nutrient-dense and delicious fruit. It’s inexpensive and can be eaten as a snack at any time of day.

They’re also nutritious and rich in various plant compounds that help you stay healthy.

But, with all these health benefits, some people experience heartburn and other acid reflux-like symptoms after eating bananas.

So, does that mean bananas are acidic? Do they really cause heartburn?

Why do bananas cause heartburn?

In most cases, bananas don’t cause heartburn. They’re only a trigger food for people particularly sensitive to acidic foods and if the banana isn’t ripe yet. To put it simply, bananas can give you heartburn if you’re easily prone to acid reflux and GERD symptoms.

When that happens, you should carefully monitor what you eat and follow a low-acid, alkaline-forming diet.

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.

Are bananas acidic?

On their own, bananas aren’t acidic. They have a pH level of around 4.50-5.29. This isn’t a lot, but bananas actually have alkaline-forming properties, which means that they can help decrease the frequency and severity of acid reflux symptoms, such as heartburn.

The most alkaline bananas are ripe, so make sure to go for these if your stomach is very sensitive to acidic foods.

Yellow Banana On Plate

In fact, some people find that eating bananas can help treat heartburn due to their high potassium content.

Potassium is a mineral that makes food alkaline, so it only works when it comes from a dietary source.

Because of that, taking potassium supplements won’t alleviate your heartburn and may even make it worse.

Have you already tried the 14-day alkaline smoothie diet? It can help you lose weight and keep your acid reflux under control.

How do bananas cause heartburn?

As a general rule, bananas don’t cause acid reflux. But if your stomach is especially sensitive to acidic and trigger foods, eating bananas can lead to heartburn.

In these cases, it’s not exactly bananas that cause heartburn, but your overall diet that’s rich in acidic foods.

If eating foods that aren’t known to be triggering gives you heartburn, it’s a good idea to switch to a low-acid diet and consume a lot of alkalizing vegetables and fruit.

It might also be beneficial to talk to your doctor, who can prescribe some medication if most foods trigger your acid reflux.

In people with sensitive digestive systems, bananas that aren’t ripe yet might be the most triggering. This is because they’re lower in potassium and more challenging for your stomach to digest.

Because of that, your stomach is forced to produce more gastric acid that can lead to heartburn and other symptoms later on.

It’s also best to eat ripe yellow bananas as opposed to those that aren’t ripe or the green variety.

They contain nutrients and substances that increase stomach acid production and require more time to be digested.

Green bananas are also slightly bitter, which can irritate your esophagus and worsen your heartburn.

So, if you’re prone to acid reflux symptoms, it’s a good idea to avoid green bananas and maybe even consume ripe ones in small quantities.

Are bananas healthy?

Banana Smoothie

Bananas are nutritious and contain a variety of minerals and vitamins. They’re especially rich in vitamin C, providing you with around 17% of your daily recommended need for this micronutrient.

Vitamin C is crucial for the growth, development, and repair of your tissues and cells.

It also improves your immune system, contributes to wound healing, and even helps keep your skin healthy.

Have you already tried the 14-day alkaline smoothie diet? It can help you lose weight and keep your acid reflux under control.

One medium banana also provides you with a good dose of vitamin B6.

Along with a healthy lifestyle, it has numerous benefits for your wellbeing, such as improving your mood and reducing the symptoms of depression. Vitamin B6 might even help treat anemia as it helps in hemoglobin production.

This micronutrient is also especially important during pregnancy, so eating bananas while pregnant can bring many health benefits.

Eating bananas may also improve your blood sugar levels as they contain soluble fiber and starch.

These two carbohydrates control your blood sugar levels after eating and can even regulate your appetite, preventing overeating.

So, even though bananas are high in carbohydrates, they don’t negatively affect your health. Because of that, even people dealing with diabetes can consume bananas in moderation.

Because of the presence of fiber and certain prebiotics, bananas may also improve your digestion.

This can be beneficial for people struggling with acid reflux symptoms, such as heartburn.

Fiber and prebiotics feed the ‘good’ gut bacteria that keep your digestive tract healthy and support efficient digestion. Some studies even indicate that one of these fiber types may protect you against colon cancer.

So, adding bananas to your diet is incredibly beneficial.

Do banana chips cause heartburn?

Banana Chips

Banana chips are made from dried bananas. They’re much higher in calories and lower in essential nutrients than fresh bananas.

If you tend to experience acid reflux symptoms, such as heartburn, it might be a good idea to avoid banana chips, especially in large quantities.

On the other hand, if you enjoy having a snack in between meals, going for banana chips is definitely healthier than choosing potato chips.

They still contain several essential vitamins and minerals from bananas, so you can get some health benefits from eating them.

The same goes for other products made with bananas, such as pies or smoothies. These products are high in sugar and often also fat, which increases your risk of heartburn.

On the bright side, drinking banana juice might help you alleviate some symptoms of acid reflux like heartburn as long as you make the juice yourself.

One Banana

This is because the kinds you buy in stores are loaded with preservatives and added sugars that contribute to excess stomach acid production. Make sure to read the ingredient list carefully before purchasing any new product.

In general, bananas don’t cause heartburn, even if you suffer from acid reflux or GERD. But, if your stomach is especially sensitive to acidic foods, eating any type of mildly acidic fruit might cause heartburn.

If that happens, try switching to a primarily alkaline diet to avoid heartburn and other symptoms. It might also be a good idea to talk to your doctor since you may need some prescription medication.

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.