Are apples acidic? Can they give you heartburn? Find out!

Apples are a favorite fruit of many people around the world, not only because of their taste but for their vast health benefits. It is often said that the consumption of a single apple per day can help keep the doctor away. How about keeping acid reflux and heartburn away? Let’s find out.


Acid reflux occurs when the acidic content of the stomach backs up into the esophagus, which subsequently leads to a burning sensation in the chest or throat (heartburn). Heartburn is actually a symptom of acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). One of the main risk factors of this disease is the consumption of acidic foods, as it increases the acidic content of the stomach, thereby increasing the changes of acid reflux into the esophagus.

Are apples acidic?

Since acidic foods consumption is a risk factor in heartburn, finding out whether apples are acidic or not should go a long way in determining the relationship between these fruits and acid reflux patients. Apples do usually have a pH that ranges from 3.30 to 3.90. This makes them acidic. As a reminder, a pH scale runs from 0-14, with values from 0-6.9 indicating acidity and 7.1-14 indicating alkalinity. The intermediate value of 7 indicates a neutral position; neither acidic nor alkaline.

There are several acids present in apples, but ascorbic and malic acid are the major ones. As already known, ascorbic acid or vitamin C is actively involved in wound healing and in the protection of the immune system. Malic acid on the other hand is important in aiding normal muscle function.

Can apples cause acid reflux or give you heartburn?

Since apples are acidic in nature, it is normal for them to cause heartburn. But surprisingly, many people have reported success from the use of apples to cure their heartburn. Of course, all the claims are anecdotal, and lack any valid scientific research to back up the claim that apples can relieve heartburn.

However, for some time now, many nutritional therapists have been claiming that apples have an antacid effect, and often categorize them into alkaline forming foods. This assumption is quite baffling, considering the fact that apples are rich in strong acids such as malic.

Are these therapists wrong? Well, from a theoretical point of view, apples are acidic in nature, and of course cannot neutralize your stomach content. However, we cannot ignore the fact that many people have reported success in using apples to cure their heartburn. But the fact remains that, even if apples are effective in relieving heartburn, there is still no scientific evidence to prove that.

Nonetheless, many nutritionists believe there are some reasons why apples may relieve heartburn. They highlighted the idea of how eating a raw apple requires a lot of chewing; a process that stimulates the production of saliva. Saliva on the other hand, has the ability to neutralize stomach acid.


Apples are acidic. Many people have claimed that they relieved their heartburn. However, these claims are without valid scientific evidence. Also, many people have reported their tolerance to red apples, and have consumed them without encountering any negative reactions.

The best way to use apples to stop acid reflux or heartburn is by eating them between your meals, and not after. You can also choose to start your day with an apple following a glass of water. This is because, fruits on empty stomach digests easily, and hardly cause heartburn.

About the author


Abbati studied Biological sciences at Ahmadu Bello Univeristy, Zaria. He loves learning about the medicinal properties of foods, and the need to explore them!

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