Pears are a great fruit to eat. Their taste range from tangy to sweet to spicy and have a crisp or buttery texture. There are many types of pears in the United States, each having its distinct shape, color, flavor, and season.
However, many Americans experience heartburn symptoms due to acid reflux, and you may wonder if pears could be one of the trigger foods for these acid reflux symptoms. Read on to learn if pears are good choices for GERD sufferers.
What is Acid Reflux?
You need to know about acid reflux and its symptoms to understand how the consumption of pear affects the condition.
Acid reflux -also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)- is a medical condition in which stomach acid irritates the esophagus. When the stomach produces excess acid, this acid flows back to the esophagus, resulting in chest pain or a burning sensation in the chest area.
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The lower esophageal sphincter is a set of muscles located at the bottom of the esophagus that closes after swallowing to prevent acid from flowing from the stomach to the esophagus. With more exposure to these acids, the lower esophageal sphincter does not close tightly enough and will not do enough to prevent stomach acid reflux.
You need to make some diet changes by eating the right kinds of food if you want to avoid symptoms of acid reflux. Your acid reflux diet must contain less acidic foods like non-citrus fruits, and spicy foods like tomato sauce should be off the table. You should also avoid fatty foods and replace them with healthy fats like lean meats and fat-free soup.
Symptoms of GERD can also occur due to indigestion, as foods that take longer to break down cause increased acid production in the stomach. To avoid the adverse effects of acid reflux, you should eat more dietary fiber because fiber intake helps speed up the digestive process. High-fiber foods like whole grains, lentils, and vegetables are good options for your acid reflux diet.
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Are Pears Acidic?
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Pear has a pH level of around 3.6 to 4.0, making it an acidic fruit. People who suffer acid reflux symptoms should be concerned about the amount of acid that is in what they consume, and foods with a value below seven on the pH scale are acidic. Pear’s sour taste is generally due to its acidity, which depends on genetics and environmental factors.
So, what makes pears acidic?
Pears are acidic because of the citric, malic, and oxalic acids present in them. Citric acid is a naturally occurring organic acid in plants. Apart from serving as a natural preservative in pears, it also helps to prevent heart disease and aids digestion.
Malic acid keeps the shape of pears after being cooked or canned. It also prevents its color from changing to brown after you peel them.
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Are Pears Good For Acid Reflux?
Pears are acidic, and consumption can be a risk factor for GERD symptoms. However, they do not contain as much acid as citrus fruits and are less likely to trigger acid reflux symptoms.
These pears contain some essential nutrients, and you would be missing out on these nutrients if you avoid sating the fruit. They are also a good source of fiber, which helps your digestive health. These fibers speed up food passage and maintain bowel regularity by softening and increasing the weight of your stool.
You can eat pears in moderate amounts to reduce the amount of acid it produces in your stomach, and also notice symptoms that occur due to pear consumption. You should contact your healthcare provider if you notice these symptoms despite eating pears in moderation.
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How To Eat Pears With Acid Reflux
The best way to stop pears from producing excess acid in your stomach is by eating them with alkaline foods like leafy greens, egg whites, and green beans. These alkaline foods help neutralize acidity and balance the pH to form a healthy diet.
Though symptoms and their degrees vary in people, eating pears in moderate amounts should not worsen your acid reflux symptoms. You should also avoid eating pears 2 to 3 hours before sleeping because acids settle closer to the esophagus when your body is in a horizontal position.
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Are Pears Good For Acid Reflux Summary
Pears are good for acid reflux, but their effects depend on the amount you consume and the severity of your acid reflux symptoms. Since pears and other acidic foods may increase the risk of acid reflux symptoms, you should eat them moderately.
You should consider a few lifestyle changes if you want to avoid these symptoms of acid reflux. These changes include avoiding being overweight, eating more than three hours before you sleep, and eating smaller meals. You should also chew your food well to ensure it digests faster.