Cherries are certainly one of the most popular fruits out there. They are delicious, sweet, and refreshing and are one of those go-to fruits on warm days. But are cherries acidic? If you have acid reflux problems, you might be wondering whether you can eat them. We did some digging and found answers to this question, so read on if you want to find out more.
Research has proven that cherries have a pH in the range of 3.2 to 4.5, which means that they, indeed, are acidic and not a great choice for people with heartburn and acid reflux. Any type of food with a pH under 7.0 is considered acidic, so cherries definitely qualify. However, there is much more to this fruit than pH. We have a lot to cover with this subject, so let us start.
Are Cherries Acidic, and What Is Their PH?
Cherries are very acidic fruit with a pH in the range of 3.2 to 4.5, which almost goes shoulder-to-shoulder with fruits such as lemon, lime, pineapple, and grapefruit. Although acidic, cherries are also relatively sweet and very popular fruit, so if you have a craving for them but have issues with acid reflux, it is best to avoid them altogether.
However, it is also important to know that these fruits also offer plenty of health benefits, and it is a delicious source of essential nutrients and antioxidants, but we will touch on that subject a bit later.
Do Cherries Cause Acid Reflux?
If you have acid reflux, it would be wise to reconsider adding cherries to your diet, as they might trigger both acid reflux and heartburn. Although they offer a wide variety of health benefits, it is best to avoid them.
However, some types are better than others when it comes to acid reflux. Sweet cherries are a better option than extremely acidic or tart cherries, but consuming either excessively can trigger the symptoms of this condition. If you cannot resist this fruit, it is best to consult your doctor, as there may be a certain amount you can eat.
Is Cherry Juice Acidic?
Cherry juice is definitely below neutral on the pH scale, sitting between 3.2 and 3.4. This is due to its tartaric and citric acid content, which is a big no-no for people that are experiencing issues with heartburn and acid reflux.
What Does Acidic Food Do to Your Body?
Foods that have a low pH score are known for aggravating conditions like acid reflux and heartburn. In addition, a diet that consists of highly acidic foods can lead to other issues, such as tooth decay.
Some medical experts argue that acidic foods can have a negative impact on your body. However, contrary to popular belief, the pH of food does not change the pH level of someone’s blood. On the other hand, it can affect the pH of someone’s urine, but this is something that varies from person to person.
Type of Cherries
Cherries are divided into two main groups that separate them in flavor. You have tart cherries and sweet cherries, and although both are very tasty, there are some differences between them, so let us check them out.
Tart (Sour) Cherries
Due to the fact that tart cherries have a naturally low sugar level and are juicy when eaten fresh, they might be a bit unappetizing. There are around 300 varieties of these fruits across the globe, among which some of the most famous ones include Early Richmond, English Morello, Meteor, North Star, and many more.
There are around 900 varieties of sweet cherries available, and all of them are high in natural sugars. As far as their appearance goes, they can range from deep reds that are nearly black to light yellow pinks. Sweet cherries are typically big and sturdy, and some of the famous varieties include Bing, Chelan, Rainier, Tulare, Lambert, and many more.
Can Cherries Help People With Diabetes?
Cherries are fruits that can help people with diabetes, given the fact they have antioxidants like polyphenols and carotenoids. They also contain a lot of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, which can all be beneficial.
These fruits are also rich in tryptophan and serotonin, and these chemicals can also make a person with diabetes feel better. It is also important to mention that cherries are mainly beneficial for people that have type 2 diabetes.
Now, when it comes to benefits, not all cherries can help in equal measure. For instance, sweet varieties have a glycemic index of 60 to 65, while tart or sour cherries have a glycemic index of 20 to 25. That being said, foods with a glycemic index below 55 are considered safe for people with diabetes.
Are Cherries Safe for People With GERD?
Cherries are generally considered safe for people with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), meaning that they are unlikely to cause or worsen the symptoms of this disease. However, as is the case with all foods, some people with GERD may experience some sort of discomfort after eating this fruit.
If you have this disease, it would be wise to eat cherries in moderation and monitor your body in case you feel any type of symptoms because everyone is different, and everyone reacts differently to different foods.
Several researchers state that tart or sour cherries can worsen GERD symptoms, while sweet variations can be beneficial. The safest course of action would be to test your body by consuming smaller amounts of sweet cherries to see how it will react.
In addition, there is a difference between raw and processed fruit. For instance, some people can only consume cherries if they are cooked, boiled as jam, or canned, but never raw. In case you have GERD, it is always wisest to consult your medical healthcare provider and nutritionist just to make sure you can or cannot consume different foods.
The bottom line is that cherries are indeed acidic fruit and that people who have previously experienced issues with acid reflux or heartburn should avoid them. However, that does not mean they are bad, as they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and various nutrients that can be highly beneficial.
If you have issues with acid reflux, it is best to consult your doctor before consuming cherries. There are some sweet variations of this fruit that might be safe to consume in moderation for you but always check with your doctor just to be sure.
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.