You may be wondering why low acid foods? Well first, highly acidic foods can cause heartburn in some people. And while some of us experience that every now and then, there are those who suffer from acid reflux regularly. There are even those who experience a severe and chronic form of acid reflux called GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). One of the keys to controlling this condition is eating the right kinds of low acid foods.
Acid reflux and its more severe form, GERD, happens when stomach contents come back up into your esophagus. Its symptoms include heartburn and regurgitation. These symptoms can be managed by making lifestyle changes, including changes in diet, or by taking over-the-counter medicines. Doctors may also recommend surgery or a combination of the mentioned treatments.
Acid-base balance is what we refer to as our body’s balance between acidity and alkalinity. And there are different mechanisms that our body use, that involve the lungs and kidneys, to control this balance. A disorder called acidosis happens when blood has too much acid that results in a decrease in blood pH, alkalosis on the other hand happens when blood has too much base that results in an increase in blood pH.
Now, although there are no concrete studies that show a particular diet helps with the two previously mentioned acid-base balance disorders, people can still opt to prefer low acid foods to reduce the amount of acid that our body produces from the foods we eat. Tweaking a diet to include low acid foods also seemed more advantageous because avoiding certain foods does help in managing acid reflux symptoms.
Here are 20 low acid foods that you can start incorporating into your diet. See if adding these into your meal plans can offer you relief or improved health. See also some tips at the end of the article on how to decrease acidity in your body in order to get back into a more balanced body pH.
Types of Low Acid Foods
Known for their potassium contents, bananas are actually low acid as well. The ripe ones are slightly less acidic compared to when it’s unripe but still, they’re generally low acid.
Bananas aside from potassium also contain soluble fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, and potassium. Bananas can help lower the risk of coronary heart and cardiovascular disease, ease digestion, protect against cell and tissue damage, and maintain healthy blood pressure.
Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods ever. No wonder it’s such a favorite among the members of the cabbage family.
It’s packed with vitamins K, A, C, and B6. It also contains manganese, copper, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, thiamin, and riboflavin. Kale helps in lowering blood cholesterol, boosting immunity, and reducing the risk of heart disease, macular degeneration, and cataracts.
Chicken, preferably skinless, are also low acid foods that are a good source of protein. It’s best to boil or roast chicken rather than frying it which can also trigger heartburn.
Chicken’s lean protein content is an excellent source of amino acids. It also contains vitamin B12, tryptophan, choline, zinc, iron, and copper. It can help maintain bone mineral density, manage weight and heart health, and even boost mood.
Melons including watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew are low acid fruits. So, you can enjoy these melons to your heart’s delight. You can simply snack on them to ease hunger or to rehydrate healthily.
They all contain vitamins A and C, and potassium. Honeydew also contains fiber, folate, and vitamin B6, while watermelon is packed with the antioxidant lycopene. They’re all good for maintaining healthy blood pressure.
This little-cabbage-looking veggie can easily become anyone’s favorite. If you can nail down even the simplest of dishes and present it well on the dinner table, you’re all good! No tricks, it simply boils down to knowing what spices for Brussels sprouts to use.
It contains, fiber, folate, potassium, manganese, copper, and vitamins A, B6, C, and K. Brussels sprouts can help in boosting the immune, supporting pregnancy, improving digesting, healing wounds, preventing common cancers, and increasing metabolism.
You can surely keep the doctor away by eating an apple a day – note though that the red ones are less acidic than green apples. This fruit has an alkalizing effect and would make for a great snack or ingredient in your fresh salad.
Apples contain fiber and decent amounts of vitamin C and potassium. It’s also a good source of antioxidants like quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acid. It may complement healthy weight loss and protect against diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
You might ask, why yogurt when it has quite a low pH level of between 4.4 and 4.8 – well, simply because yogurt is an alkaline-forming food.
Yogurt is particularly rich in vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorus, and riboflavin. And of course, it’s known for its probiotics that help improve digestive health.
Fish like salmon, sardines, trout, and tuna are all packed with omega3 fatty acids which are of course the good fats, we love omega3s! Go for recipes though that will likely soothe your heartburn, keep it clean and simple. You can get some ideas from fish cookbooks and simply tweak them to your liking.
Fish also contains vitamin D, riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, potassium, and magnesium. It may help lower the risk of strokes and heart attacks, boost brain health, improve sleep quality, and reduce the risk of autoimmune diseases like diabetes.
Spinach is also one of the green veggies that are particularly alkalizing. So, keep adding them to your salads, smoothies, or even in your juices.
Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K1, folic acid, iron, and calcium. It also contains plant compounds such as lutein, kaempferol, nitrates, quercetin, and zeaxanthin. It may help in reducing oxidative stress, promoting, eye health, regulating blood pressure, and fighting cancer.
Oatmeal can be your go-to breakfast option if you want to stick to a low-acid diet. Just like brown rice, oatmeal may also help in absorbing stomach acid. It’s also known for stabilizing blood sugar.
Aside from carbs and fiber, oats also contain manganese, phosphorus, thiamin, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, and pantothenic acid. Oats may help in reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, improving blood sugar control, aiding weight loss, and relieving constipation.
Yes, mangoes, the ripe ones! They are lower-acid fruit that is more likely to ease digestive comfort rather than cause heartburn. It's great for snacks or desserts. You can also use it in salads or salsas.
Mangoes are rich in vitamin A, C, and #. It also contains fiber and amylase that help promote good digestion.
Unlike other nuts like cashews, walnuts, and pecans, almonds are generally alkaline which can help in neutralizing stomach acidity. So, eat away because almonds are in the clear.
Aside from its healthy fats content, it also has vitamin E, magnesium, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, and iron. Almonds help support heart health, aid in weight management, promote gut health, and boost the immune system.
Asparagus is another light vegetable that will be gentle to your stomach if you’re battling acid reflux. If you’re running out of recipe ideas for asparagus, see here the different spices and recipes you can try to switch things up.
Asparagus contains vitamins A, C, E, K, and B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, magnesium, selenium, potassium, and zinc. It’s good for aiding digestion, reducing blood pressure, relieving hangovers, maintaining cholesterol levels, supporting weight loss, and treating urinary tract infections.
Whole grain brown rice is of course healthy, but it’s especially true when you want a low acid diet. Brown rice’s fiber content can help regulate the digestive tract.
Aside from its dietary fiber content, brown rice also contains manganese, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, niacin, pyridoxine, thiamin, copper, zinc, pantothenic acid, and iron. It’s good for supporting heart health, controlling blood sugar, and helping weight loss.
Figs aside from their unique flavor and texture are also one of the few fruits with a borderline pH. It has the ability to change the stomach’s pH from acid to alkali. You can peel figs and remove their seeds but it’s best to eat it with skin and seeds intact.
Figs are packed with antioxidants and a good source of fiber. It also contains calcium, potassium, iron, copper, and vitamins B6 and K. Aside from promoting digestive health, it may also improve vascular and heart health, manage blood sugar, promote healthy skin, and may even contain potential anticancer properties.
Papaya is another fruit that is low in acid. It contains papain enzyme which aids in improving digestion. Its fiber content also helps in clearing the stomach of toxins.
Papaya is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and E. It also contains folate, fiber, copper, magnesium, potassium, and pantothenic acid. It’s good for lowering the risk of heart disease, aiding digestion, reducing inflammation, and boosting the immune system.
Quinoa, as well as amaranth and millet, are the only few grains with natural alkalizing properties. These grain-like seeds are called a superfood because it’s packed with antioxidants, protein, and nutrients.
Aside from being high in protein, quinoa also contains fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E, and B vitamins. It helps in improving metabolic health, boosting the immune system, and aiding weight loss.
Wheatgrass helps in restoring alkalinity in the blood by reducing acidity levels. If you’re not a big fan of its taste then simply remedy it by finding a good smoothie recipe that can mask or soften its taste.
Wheatgrass is rich in free radical-fighting antioxidants. It’s an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and E. It also contains iron, calcium, magnesium, and amino acids.
Not only does tofu a good source of protein, but it’s also low acid. This alkaline-forming food is a great met replacement that can be gentle to your gut and heart as well.
Tofu also contains all nine essential amino acids. It’s a good source of iron, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, and vitamin B1. It may help improve heart health, reduce the risk of diabetes, boost bone health and brain function, aid in weight loss, and lowering the risk of certain types of cancer.
Known for its soothing properties, chamomile is also less acidic than green tea with no caffeine content. So, if you’re worrisome about caffeine in your drinks, then go with chamomile.
It’s rich in powerful antioxidants that may help in improving sleep quality, promoting digestive health, protecting against certain types of cancer, lowering blood sugar levels, improving heart health, and boosting immune health.
How to Decrease Acidity in Your Body to Get Back into pH Balance
Reduce, eliminate, choose
Try at the very least to reduce harmful acidic foods from your diet. Then perhaps as you experience relief from discomfort or as your health improved, you’ll eventually be able to eliminate them altogether. Make sure that you choose healthier acidic foods over harmful acidic foods – remember that it’s all about balance, an all-alkaline diet is not beneficial as well. Say oats and brown rice instead of wheat and refined flours.
Increase alkaline foods in your diet
Now that you have seen our list above of low acid foods, it’s now time to start working to incorporate them into your diet. Keep in mind that meal planning is a must to succeed in any kind of diet. Make a concrete plan on how you’re going to put the changes in your eating habits in effect. Dedicate time and effort to properly plan meals. Aim for a 70%-alkaline food in your diet.
Start a more alkalizing lifestyle
It simply means you have to move. Start exercising, yoga, meditating, or any activity that will help you relieve stress load or take you away from further exposure to toxins. Basically, any activity that will get you to breathe deeper which in turn reduces acidity in the body. Even a simple deep breathing exercise can actually make a lot of difference!