Are Plums Good For Acid Reflux? The Unexpected Answer!

Plums are a great summer snack you may find hard to resist. They have a sweet and sour taste, and eating fresh plums off their trees can make your day. These plums are also low-calorie superfoods and have many health benefits. 

You may suffer acid reflux-related symptoms and wonder if plums are among the trigger foods for these symptoms. This article gives answers to all the questions you may be asking. 

Are Plums Good For Acid Reflux?

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Plums are acid-forming foods and are a ‘must-avoid’ if you suffer from GERD symptoms. The acidity level of plums means the amount of acid produced in your stomach increases when eaten, and they can trigger the acid reflux symptoms you dread. 

The high sugar content in plums is also another reason they are not a good choice for acid reflux sufferers.

The body finds it hard to break down sugar, and the stomach produces more gastric acid to ensure these sugars get digested. Gastric acid is a combination of hydrochloric acid, lipase, and pepsin which activate digestive enzymes to speed up the process of digestion. The pH value of gastric acid is around 1.5 and 2.5, and the stomach’s pH level decreases with the increase in gastric acid production. 

There is some good news if plums are one of your best foods. Plums are acidic, but they have numerous health benefits that make them a nutritious food for your balanced diet. You can neutralize the acidity by eating them with alkaline foods.

Honeydew melons, watermelons, bananas, and cucumbers are typical foods to balance the acidity caused by plum consumption.

Read also: Does Cauliflower Cause Acid Reflux?

Are Plums Acidic? 

Plums have a pH value of around 2.8 to 4.3, and these different pH levels are due to the variety of plums available. Foods with low pH levels on the pH scale are considered acidic, and plums are no exception. This acidity level makes plums one of the most acidic fruits, alongside citrus fruits like lemons and limes. 

The acidity can be felt from the tart taste in the skin, though the high sugar content in many plum variants tends to hide this taste. 

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Are Dried Plums And Prune Juice Acidic?

Dried plums -also called prunes- are as acidic as fresh plums and have a pH of around 3.6 to 3.9. They also have high sugar content and cause more production of gastric acid. Therefore, you should avoid prunes as much as you avoid fresh plums. 

Prune juice has a pH level that ranges between 3.95 and 3.97. It is also acidic but not at the level of citrus fruits that are more likely to trigger acid reflux symptoms. They can still be as bad for your GERD symptoms if you consume them in large amounts. 

Read also: Does Drinking Hot Water Help Acid Reflux?

What Type Of Plums Are More Acidic?

Plums have no specific pH level because they have varieties, and each has its level of acidity. You should know the difference in acidity levels of various types of plums to understand how many acids they contain. 

Blue plums have a pH level of around 2.8 to 3.4 and are more acidic than other plum varieties because they are not as ripe. Red plums have a pH between 3.6 to 4.3, while yellow plums are sweeter and have a pH of around 4.8.

What You Need To Know About Acid Reflux 

Acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disease whose symptoms occur when stomach acid flows up the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter is a set of muscles that open up when you swallow food and close afterward. The lower esophageal sphincter closes to prevent stomach acid from flowing backward to the esophagus, thereby preventing acid reflux symptoms. 

However, the lower esophageal sphincter becomes weak after prolonged exposure to these acids, and it will not do enough to prevent them from going up the esophagus. With more gastric acid production in the stomach, more acids bypass the lower esophageal sphincter, and you may experience symptoms of acid reflux. 

Common acid reflux symptoms include a burning sensation in the chest, a bitter taste in the mouth, and belching.

These symptoms may signify the inflammation of your esophagus by stomach acid, and this can cause damage to the lining of your esophagus. Acid reflux symptoms are common and rarely fatal, but you should not ignore them. 

In the long term, stomach acid can affect cell growth in the lower esophageal sphincter and the top section of your stomach, increasing the risk of having cancerous cells. 

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What You Need To Do If You Experience Acid Reflux Symptoms

A great way to reduce the risk of acid reflux symptoms is to make good choices in your diet. This diet should not include acidic foods that add to the amount of acid produced in your stomach and replace fatty foods with lean protein. Tomato paste, tomato sauce, and other tomato products should also be off the menu, as these spicy foods are common acid reflux triggers. 

Indigestion is another cause of acid reflux symptoms, as the acid produced in your stomach increases when food takes more time to digest. Eating high-fiber foods is a good idea, as they speed up the digestive process and promote healthy digestion. You should also consider a weight loss program to improve digestion and avoid acid reflux symptoms. 

Read also: Can Acid Reflux Cause Acne?

Are Plums Good For Acid Reflux Summary

Plums are acidic foods, and you should avoid them if you intend to prevent acid reflux symptoms. However, you can eat them alongside alkaline foods that balance your stomach’s acidity level, and you should also eat these plums in moderate amounts. You should notice the reactions that occur when you eat plums and ask for advice from your healthcare provider if these symptoms persist. 

Though plums cause acid reflux symptoms, you should consider some lifestyle changes if you want to avoid GERD symptoms. These changes include creating a weight loss program, as your body finds it hard to digest foods if there is excess body weight. You should also avoid eating before you sleep or undergo rigorous activities.