You certainly heard the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” at least once in your life, and it is not a surprising saying, given how many essential nutrients this fruit delivers to your plate. But are apples acidic? We did some digging and came up with information that you will certainly find interesting.
As with most fruits, apples are indeed an acidic fruit, but they can be a good choice of fruit for people that have issues with acid reflux. However, that is only one side of this popular and delicious fruit since they offer a wide variety of health benefits and a high nutritional value. With that said, we are going to go in-depth about this subject, and since there is a lot to talk about, let us start without any delay.
The Acidity of Apples and Their pH
Apples have a pH between 3 and 4 which makes them highly acidic fruits. There are various types of apples, and all of them have different pH, but they are universally considered acidic foods. As you probably know, acidity is measured on a pH scale, and everything below the value of 7 is considered acidic, while everything above is alkaline.
In the section below, we have listed different types of apples and the acidity levels that come with them.
|Type of Apple||pH Level|
What Makes Apples Acidic Fruit?
Apples are fruits that contain malic acid, which makes them sour, and ascorbic acid, which is widely known as vitamin C. These two acids interact with one another; the more malic acid there is, the higher the vitamin C levels are.
Both of these acids are more common when the fruit is unripe, and you will notice that acidity drops the more the fruit ripens. What makes the apples interesting is that they have a low PRAL score, making them alkaline once consumed.
Can Apples Cause Acid Reflux and GERD?
You might be surprised to hear that apples, in fact, do not cause GERD or acid reflux. Moreover, they are rich in potassium, which is an alkalizing mineral, so they can actually lessen the symptoms of acid reflux. This is, of course, because alkalinity counteracts acidity.
Acid reflux is brought on by the food that travels up the esophagus instead of down. This is a condition that causes heartburn. If you experience acid reflux two times a week or more, it is likely that you are suffering from GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Doctors and nutrition experts recommend eating one apple after a meal to neutralize acidity in your stomach. You should opt for sweeter types with lower pH if you are worried about acid reflux symptoms.
On the other hand, apple juice and sauce lack fiber, so they are not that effective in treating acid reflux and GERD; in fact, a lack of fiber can actually aggravate these symptoms, so eating raw apples is the best way to go.
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Acid Reflux?
Although there is little research to back this up, many people claim that apple cider vinegar can actually aid in preventing acid reflux. One of the main symptoms of acid reflux is the low production of hydrochloric acid, and allegedly, apple cider vinegar helps with that.
This vinegar has a pH value of 2.5, so it is definitely acidic. Although common sense suggests that the consumption of acidic foods and drinks should be avoided if you are dealing with acid reflux, proponents of apple cider vinegar claim otherwise.
It is also important to know that consuming this vinegar in large amounts can aggravate the symptoms of acid reflux. It is also acidic to teeth and can damage your teeth’ enamel.
In case you want to test the theory about the benefits of apple cider vinegar, we recommend you avoid consuming it when you are feeling heartburn. Mix a teaspoon in a glass of water five minutes before eating. Note that more research is required to support this theory.
Are Cooked Apples Acidic Food?
Cooked apples are also acidic, and in some cases, they can be even more acidic than raw ones. There is plenty of malic acid in cooked apples, and when the apple is cooked, this acid breaks down into other acids, including lactic acid, which makes this food even lower on the pH scale.
Risks and Warnings of Eating Apples
Even though apples are generally safe to eat, certain types can trigger symptoms of acid reflux. Red apples generally do not cause an increase in symptoms, but green types are more acidic, which can have a negative impact on some people.
There also may be pesticide residue on apple skins. Eating apple skin with minimal residue should not cause any harmful effects, and if you are looking to reduce your exposure to pesticides, it would be wise to purchase organic apples.
Fresh apples are typically better than processed forms, such as juice, wine, applesauce, and other apple products. This is due to the fact that fresh apples have higher fiber content, more antioxidants, and generally have less of an impact on your blood sugar levels.
Benefits of Eating Apples
Being a great source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins, apples are highly nutritive and offer a wide variety of health benefits for people who consume them regularly but in moderate amounts. Here are some of the advantages that apples offer.
Apples can be an exceptional booster for your immune system. Studies have shown that a high-soluble fiber diet promotes the differentiation of pro-inflammatory immune cells into anti-inflammatory ones. Moreover, there is plenty of vitamin C in apples, which is known for aiding the immune system.
Good for Heart Health
Some studies have shown that eating an apple on a daily basis can reduce the risk of heart disease. Apples contain soluble fiber, which can also reduce the level of cholesterol in your blood.
In addition, apples also contain Epicatechin, a flavonoid type with a hypotensive effect. This is good since some studies have shown that flavonoids are connected to reduced stroke risk.
Lowers the Risk of Diabetes
Apples have been shown to decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Eating fruits like apples and pears has been linked with an 18% lower risk of developing this disease. It has been suggested that consuming even a single serving of these fruits weekly can reduce the risk by 3 percent.
Apples Aid in Weight Loss
When you are actively trying to lose some weight, it is essential to consume foods that will make you feel full for longer periods. Fiber and water content in apples contribute to their filling nature, thus, are excellent for weight loss.
Even though apples are an acidic fruit, they can actually aid you in dealing with symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals necessary for a normal-functioning body and offer a wide variety of health benefits.
However, it is important to note that you should not consume apples excessively, as they can trigger heartburn. Too much of a good thing can turn into bad, so make sure to consume apples moderately, and you will be able to enjoy all the benefits this delicious food brings to the table.
Steve is a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience and he holds a Master’s in Sports Science. Prior to Boston Rock Gym, Steve worked for two years as a personal trainer.