Are blueberries acidic? Blueberries for acid reflux(good or bad)

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Lindsay Ewan, MD
Lindsay Ewan, MD
Dr. Lindsay Ann Ewan, MD is Chief Medical Officer at Ethics Advisors, LLC. She worked previously as a Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Section of Adolescent Medicine, University of Oklahoma. She have done Masters in Public Health, University of South Florida and Doctor of Medicine from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Blueberries are sweet and rich with nutrients. They are quite popular among people because of their wonderful taste. One cannot ignore blueberries’ numerous benefits that contribute to maintaining good health. Despite having all these good qualities, blueberries also have some downsides.

At this point, many people will ask, “Are blueberries acidic?”

Blueberries have a pH in the range of 4.0 to 5.0 which makes them slightly acidic. However, being an acidic fruit does not mean they are less healthy. It is important to note that acidic fruits can be an issue for those with acid reflux. However, when eaten in moderation, blueberries are unlikely to cause a problem, and they have significant health benefits that make them worth eating.

In this article, will learn some interesting facts about blueberries and also gather information about whether blueberries are bad for acid reflux or not. So, let’s get started.

Are blueberries acidic or alkaline? An analysis by the experts!

Blueberries are acidic by nature but that doesn’t mean you can’t include them in your diet. Blueberries have a pH ranging from 4.0 to 5.0. By definition, anything with a pH under 7 is considered acidic, so blueberries are definitely acidic.

blueberries
blueberries

However, being acidic doesn’t make blueberries any less healthy. There are a wide range of health benefits from eating blueberries. Let’s get into the details!

Let’s have a look at an analysis of the contents of blueberries, so you can see for yourself. Here is a table showing below the total percentage or acidic amount of content in blueberries.

Table 1 shows the breakdown of the different types of acids within blueberries. As you can see, the primary acid is citric acid.

Acidic Content in BlueberriesAmount
Citric Acid77 to 87%
Quinic & Malic Acids4 to 11 %
Succinic, tartaric and shikimic AcidsVery minimal to mention

The above analysis of acids within blueberries demonstrates that the primary acid in blueberries is citric acid, and this is the primary reason that blueberries are an acidic food.

Table 2 below shows the breakdown of nutritional components found in blueberries, including protein, vitamins, and other nutrients.

Nutrition Amount per cup
Energy 80 calories
Protein1.1 grams
Carbs21.5 grams
Sugar14.7 grams
Fiber3.6 grams
Fat0.49 grams
Manganese25% of RDI
Vitamin K36% of RDI
Vitamin C24 % of RDI

Blueberries are a low calorie food that is rich in vitamins E, A, and K. They also have a significant amount of water, which helps with hydration. They have a significant amount of fiber, and also a small amount of protein and fat.

Fun fact: Blueberries are also called “Star Fruits” by North Americans because of the five pointed shape which forms at the blossom end of the berry.

Are blueberries good for acid reflux?

This is a frequently asked question! Eating an excessive amount of acidic foods can definitely exacerbate acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If you suffer from either of these conditions, it is wise to limit your consumption of acidic foods.

However, one should not completely eliminate a food like blueberries simply on the basis of its acidity. Obviously, blueberries, like any food, can be harmful to one’s health if consumed in excessive amounts.

However, as discussed above, they are great sources of fiber and several vitamins, which can contribute to a healthy digestive system and overall good health.

The best approach is to observe how your body reacts when you consume something, and proceed accordingly. The amount of blueberries one can consume without triggering reflux varies from person to person. It depends on how prone you are to reflux.

Is blueberry juice bad for acid reflux or not?

Blueberry juice lacks the fruit’s fiber, but otherwise has the same nutritional content as whole blueberries. That is, blueberry juice is also somewhat acidic. Since fiber is beneficial for health, and can actually decrease reflux.  Thus, from an acid reflux standpoint, blueberry juice is worse than whole blueberries.

As mentioned above, blueberries contain sugar, which can be difficult to digest. If not digested fully, sugar can be a cause of increased stomach acid, which can exacerbate acid reflux. This is clearly a negative consequence since this causes heartburn and can cause other conditions.

Is it bad to consume blueberry jam if I have acid reflux?

Blueberry jam is less acidic than whole blueberries, but that does not mean that blueberry jam is a healthy food!

It is not recommended to consume large quantities of commercially prepared jam because of the amount of sugar in it. Naturally prepared jams are better, because they are less processed, and some people feel this is easier on their stomach.

Related Article: Are Strawberries Acidic? Do They Cause Acid Reflux?

5 Reasons that you should add Blueberries in your diet

From a health perspective, blueberries are a blessing because they are considered a low-calorie food since they contain just 84 calories per cup. They are almost fat-free. Since fat can exacerbate GERD, this is a benefit also.

Additionally, from a vitamin perspective, they are rich in vitamin K which is essential for good health. These are some of the amazing benefits of blueberries.

Blueberries promote healthy bones

Blueberries contain a good amount of iron, calcium, phosphorus and other nutrients, all of which help in building, maintaining, and strengthening bones. They also promote calcium absorption.

Blueberries promote skin health

Collagen is one of the most important elements in skin health. Collagen helps prevent skin damage by maintaining skin’s elasticity. Blueberries contain vitamin C which is essential in collagen formation. Antioxidants in blueberries also prevent skin damage from smoke, pollution, and UV rays.

Lower the blood pressure

Since blueberries are free of sodium, they are relatively good for the blood pressure. They contain potassium, magnesium and calcium, which are elements that help reduce blood pressure.

Good for heart

Blueberries are rich in fiber, potassium and Vitamin C, which are good for the health of the heart. Additionally, fiber helps decrease the cholesterol level in the blood, which reduces the risk of heart disease.

Prevents cancer

Blueberries are considered a “superfood.” Part of the reason for this is that they have very high levels of powerful antioxidants. Blueberries therefore help in reducing the inflammation, and help rid the body of free radicals, which can prevent conditions like sun damage and cancer.

Health benefits of blueberries
Health benefits of blueberries

Blueberries Vs Blackberries: which one should I go for?

Usually, all types of berries are considered a good source of fiber and micronutrients.

However, these two berries have more value if you make them a part of your diet because they are particularly good at preventing  various kinds of diseases such as inflammation and cancer.

If you want to compare the benefits of each, here is a detailed comparison.  Let’s have a look at it.

A nutritional comparison of blueberries and blackberries
A nutritional comparison of blueberries and blackberries

This analysis demonstrates that both fruits contain significant levels of nutrients. The choice of the healthiest berry may seem difficult. I personally suggest blueberries for the people who have blood pressure problems.

Since blueberries are higher in sugar, they may not be the optimal choice for people suffering from diabetes. Blackberries would be a better choice since they are lower in sugar.

Related Article: Are Cherries Acidic? Cherries and GERD [Good or Bad]

FAQs

Do blueberries exacerbate acid reflux?

Blueberries can cause acid reflux. However, they will not cause acid reflux in all people. Different people are more or less susceptible to acid reflux. Some people can consume blueberries, and not suffer any acid reflux.

But others may have symptoms from eating just a small amount of blueberries. It is important to consult your own physician before making significant changes to your diet.

How much acids in blueberries?

They contain about 1-2% acid, and have an average pH of 4.0 to 5.0. These berries aren’t very acidic because of their antioxidant nature. However, this does not mean that one should eat an excessive amount of them.

Which fruit contains the low acidic content?

There is a wide range of fruits that are low in acid, including:

  • Olives
  • Black
  • Honeydew melon
  • Dates
  • Ripe mangoes
  • Avocados

These fruits are very low in acid content, and can be readily consumed by people who are prone to acid reflux.

Are blueberries too acidic for babies?

As we have discussed, blueberries are acidic. Some babies may be sensitive to this.

Of note, since whole blueberries are round, they are considered a choking hazard for babies and young children, so one should take caution when feeding them to those individuals.

In general, blueberries are not too acidic for babies, but if you notice that the baby becomes irritable, it may be wise to decrease his or her intake of acidic foods.

Are wild blueberries acidic?

Wild blueberries are the lowest of all blueberries in acidic content. They have a pH ranging from 4.2 to 5.0. Wild blueberries are the preferred choice of dietitians because of their high quality, vitamin C content, mineral content, and antioxidants.

Conclusion

Blueberries contain a huge amount of nutrients such as vitamins, protein, fiber and many others. They are acidic by nature, which means that some people may be sensitive to them when eaten in large amounts.

However, eating blueberries in moderation has significant health benefits. You should consider consuming them as long as your body seems to tolerate them well.

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