Are Berries Good For Acid Reflux? The Surprising Answer

We all love berries because they are one of the most versatile fruits. These berries can be part of any snack as they are tasty, contain some essential nutrients, and have numerous health benefits. Whether you use them for breakfast on French toast, pancakes or waffles, or in a yogurt parfait, berries are enjoyable and can be part of your healthy diet.

You may wonder if these berries should be on the list of foods for your acid reflux diet if you suffer from GERD symptoms. This article provides the answers you need. 

What You Should Know About Acid Reflux 

You need to know about acid reflux disease to understand the effects of berries on acid reflux patients.

Acid reflux is also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and it occurs when stomach acid flows back to the esophagus. This situation is uncomfortable for acid reflux sufferers, as they experience a painful, burning sensation in the chest.

The lower esophageal sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus is a set of muscles designed to close up and prevent acid content from flowing to the food pipe. However, it becomes weak and relaxes on exposure to much acid from the stomach. With the lower esophageal sphincter out of the way, these acids can trigger heartburn, chest pain, and other symptoms of acid reflux.

You need to consider some lifestyle changes if you want to manage acid reflux symptoms. These include dietary changes like switching to a low-acid diet which involves avoiding spicy foods like tomato sauce and acidic fruits. Your daily diet should also not contain specific foods like fatty meats that are replaceable with healthy fats like lean meats. 

Indigestion also causes acid reflux symptoms; because more acid is produced in the stomach if digestion takes longer. A good idea to prevent indigestion is to consider a high-fiber diet. These high-fiber foods help the digestive system by speeding up food passage and increasing the weight and size of your stool while softening it. 

Read also: Is Grape Juice Good For Acid Reflux?

Are Berries Good For Acid Reflux?

a glass jar with berries

It may break your heart to know that berries are acidic.

Read also: Does Kefir Help With Acid Reflux? Complete Guide

Foods on the lower end of the pH scale are considered acidic, and common berries like blackberries and blueberries have an average pH level of around 3.3. It means berries can be triggered foods for acid reflux symptoms, especially when consumed in large quantities. 

Here’s the good news

Though berries are acidic, they do not worsen acid reflux symptoms if you take them in moderate amounts. Though the amount of berries required to trigger acid reflux symptoms depends on the severity of your condition, you should consume them in small quantities and observe how your body reacts. If the consumption of berries in small amounts has a similar effect to its consumption in large amounts, you should consult your healthcare provider. 

Another factor that leads to acid reflux symptoms is acid production in the stomach due to indigestion. Sugar is one of the things you take that could lead to indigestion, but berries do not have much sugar content. A good example is blueberries, which have 10 grams of sugar for every 100 grams.

Read also: Can Chiropractic Help Acid Reflux? 

What Makes Berries Acidic? 

picture of different berries

Berries have a low pH, meaning they have high acid content and may not be the right food for your low-acid diet. However, you may need to consume much of these berries to feel the adverse effects.

But what makes berries acidic? 

Berries are rich in citric, arginine, and ascorbic acid. Citric acid comprises around 77% to 84% of organic acid found in berries, while 55 mg of arginine amino acids are present in every 100 g of organic acid. Berries are also one of the fruits with high amounts of ascorbic acid, with 22.1 mg of vitamin C found in 100 g of organic acid. 

Read also: Can SIBO Cause Acid Reflux? (Explained)

Strawberries and some berries also contain high amounts of malic acid. 

The acid content found in berries can change depending on storage conditions. These storage conditions include temperature, oxygen levels, and light.

How To Eat Berries With Acid Reflux

girl eating berries

Berries are acidic, but you may be able to eat these healthy foods while managing acid reflux symptoms. Asides from eating them in moderate amounts, you can pair them with alkaline foods to form a less-acidic balanced diet. You can blend your berries with almonds, cashews, lettuce, and other ingredients to balance and neutralize the acidity. 

Read also: Does Cauliflower Cause Acid Reflux?

Are Berries Good For Acid Reflux Summary

Berries are tasty and nutritious but are acidic and could trigger acid reflux symptoms. However, you can enjoy these berries while avoiding GERD symptoms by taking them in moderate amounts and balancing the acidity with alkaline foods. You should also ask your healthcare provider for advice before deciding the number of berries you should consume.