Is Pineapple Acidic and Can Pineapple Cause Acid Reflux?

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With all the talk of alkaline and acidic foods, many questions float around about which food fits into what category. Pineapple, for instance, is one of the more debated foods out there.

Maybe it’s time to take a closer look at this tropical fruit and answer some of those questions. Is pineapple acidic and is there a connection between pineapple and acid reflux? Are there any pineapple benefits? Depending on your diet and health status, all of these questions need answers.

We’ve looked into the research and come up with what we think will answer your most pressing questions about pineapple.

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Is Pineapple Acidic?

Does pineapple have acid? The quick answer is yes. Pineapple is acidic. What does that actually mean? It means that pineapple sits at a certain spot below seven on the pH scale, which measures how acidic or basic a substance is from a range of 0 to 14.

With 7 as the neutral point, a pH value below 7 is considered acidic and one above 7 is deemed basic or alkaline. In terms of the pH scale, pineapple is acidic, usually scoring between 3 and 4.

If you go further and look at pineapple’s Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL) score, which measures how the pH of food is processed inside the body, pineapple leans more toward alkaline. For the sake of generalization, we’ll just go with the pH scale and say that pineapple is acidic.


Can Pineapple Cause Acid Reflux?

Now that we know pineapple has acid, can pineapple cause acid reflux? Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, causing heartburn, vomiting, and sometimes tooth decay.

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The basic answer to this question is yes. Pineapple may cause acid reflux due to its acidic content. Many fruits and vegetables contain a level of acidity that can set off acid reflux, especially in those who are more sensitive to it. This has led some gastroenterologists to advise patients against consuming pineapple.

The interesting thing about pineapple is that while it can cause acid reflux, it can also help curb acid reflux and problems associated with it. Pineapple contains bromelain.

In fact, fresh pineapple is one of the best sources of bromelain. Bromelain may actually have an alkalizing effect with stomach acid. This is also why people with stomach ulcers find that they can eat pineapple with little or no ill effects.

As we stated, pineapple is a weird fruit that sits in an odd spot on the pH scale and PRAL scale so while in some people it may cause horrible acid reflux, for others it may actually help their acid reflux issues.

Now that we’ve covered the issues with pineapple and acid reflux, what about pineapple’s other properties? What is pineapple good for? What are pineapple’s nutritional benefits? We’re glad you asked.


The Nutritional Values of Pineapple

As far as fruits go, pineapple is one of the best for you. While its acid content may upset your stomach (or settle it depending on your body tendency), there are many nutritional benefits of pineapple, and it can be a great part of your diet. The following nutritional stats are for 1 cup of fresh pineapple chunks.

Pineapple, 1 cup, raw chunks
Calories 82
Calories from Fat 2
Nutrient, Mineral, Vitamin, etc % Daily Value
Total Carbohydrates 22g 7%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 131%
Calcium 2%
Iron 3%
Copper 9%
Zinc 1%
Magnesium 76%

*Source: SELF Nutrition Data

As you can see from the above nutritional chart, pineapple is packed full of vitamins and minerals that are good for you, especially when it comes to magnesium and vitamin C. With one cup of pineapple, you get your entire day’s worth of vitamin C .

The amount of magnesium is also very impressive and good for you. But how are these vitamins and minerals good for you? What can they be used for? We’ve got the answers to those questions too.


Health Benefits of Pineapple

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Despite the acidity level in pineapple, the fruit has many benefits for you. From packing a vitamin punch to large amounts of fiber, there are plenty of health benefits of pineapple.

1. Pineapple has a huge amount of vitamin C, which is great for healthy skin and has been shown to aid in keeping the immune system in fighting condition. It may also fight cell damage and be helpful against heart disease. ()

2. Pineapple also carries a great deal of magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral used by the body to help with bone strength and connective tissue (muscles, epithelial, and nervous tissue). This can also be very helpful for athletes when training.

3. Pineapple is also a source of copper, which is important for the production of red blood cells.

4. As we previously mentioned, pineapple contains a large amount of bromelain, which can be helpful in breaking down proteins for digestion.

5. If you are suffering from a cold, pineapple chunks might be one of the best fruits to help you out. You have the vitamin C to boost your immune system, as well as bromelain, which could help reduce mucus in the nose and throat.

6. Pineapple may also help reduce the risk of blood clots as studies have suggested bromelain may inhibit excessive coagulation of the blood.

7. Due to it being rich in a number of particular antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, pineapple may also help in the prevention of cancer.

There may be more benefits as scientists are still studying bromelain to see if it might be beneficial in fighting other diseases and health issues.


Side Effects of Pineapple

  • People who want to lose weight or are diabetic should eat it in moderation as pineapple has a high amount of sugar.
  • The high amount of vitamin C can sometimes cause nausea and vomiting.
  • Excessive amounts of bromelain may lead to skin irritation, diarrhea, or heavy menstrual bleeding.
  • If you are on medications such as blood thinners, antibiotics, antidepressants, or blood coagulants, eat the fruit with caution.
  • Avoid eating unripe pineapple as it may be toxic.

Pineapple: Good for You, Just Maybe Not Your Acid Reflux

As we’ve noted, pineapples are a tricky fruit when it comes to acid reflux. It may spur on an attack of acid reflux or it may actually ease symptoms of the condition.

Its effects on the ailment really can vary between different people. But for those unaffected by acid reflux, pineapple is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals to keep the body running smoothly.

A large amount of vitamin C, magnesium, and bromelain can go a long way in helping out various issues. If nothing else, it’s a great fruit to snack on if you’ve caught a cold. However, enjoy the fruit in moderation as it has reasonably high sugar content.

Also, avoid canned pineapple; a fresh one is best. You can add pineapple in salads, rice recipes, and smoothies.


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Sources:
Silver, N., “Can You Eat Pineapple If You Have Acid Reflux?” Healthline, May 25, 2016, http://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/pineapples-acid-reflux#Overview1
Pillsbury Hopf, K., “ Is Pineapple Good or Bad If You Have Acid Reflux?“ Livestrong, November 17, 2015, http://www.livestrong.com/article/445953-is-pineapple-good-or-bad-if-you-have-acid-reflux/
“Pineapple, raw, all varieties,” Self Nutrition Data, http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2019/2
Bjarnadottir, A., “Pineapples 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits,” Authority Nutrition, https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/pineapples/
Szalay, J., “Pineapple: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts,” Live Science, October 15, 2014, http://www.livescience.com/45487-pineapple-nutrition.html
“11 Amazing Benefits Of Pineapples,” Organic Facts; https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/pineapples.html