Potatoes are the most popular vegetable in the world. They're the basis for many national dishes around the world as their easily accessible and filling.
They're also widely versatile: You can eat them baked, cooked, fried, stuffed, and in so many other forms.
However, as we all know, not everything that's popular and seemingly healthy is good for us. So, are potatoes acidic? What are their health benefits?
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Are Potatoes Acidic?
Potatoes are mildly acidic, leaning towards alkaline. In fact, their net effect on your body chemistry after consumption is also alkalizing, making this veggie a great food for lowering gastric acid production and soaking up excess acid.
Potatoes are also a good source of essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, but they're heavy on calories, filling you up quickly. As a result, you should enjoy them in moderation.
What is the pH level of potatoes?
Generally, the pH level of potatoes ranges between 5.4-5.9, making them slightly acidic, mostly alkaline produce.
Since foods with a pH level of 4.6 or below are classified as acidic, potatoes aren't in that category. However, this veggie can still irritate the stomach if consumed in high quantities.
As a result, potatoes can be a good part of an alkaline diet, but you should control how much of them you eat.
How healthy are potatoes?
Potatoes are loaded with nutrients. They are rich in fiber, which helps you lose weight by making you feel full after eating. Fiber also helps control cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which, if left uncontrolled, can lead to heart disease.
This carb also aids digestion, contributing to regular bowel movements and proper digestion. As a result, this veggie can help control the symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and constipation.
Furthermore, potatoes contain loads of antioxidants, which help remove free radicals from your body.
These free radicals cause cell damage, so consuming foods that are right in this substance is essential. Antioxidants also lower your risk of developing serious heart disease and cancer by preventing cell damage.
In addition, unpeeled potatoes provide you with over 40% of your recommended daily value of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps keep your gums healthy, boosts immunity, and prevents iron deficiency as it's an essential vitamin in iron absorption.
On top of that, one unpeeled potato provides you with about half the vitamin B6 needed for one day.
This vitamin helps reduce depression and anxiety as well as boosts your mood. So, it's essential to consume your required amount each day.
Potatoes are also a wonderful source of nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, and folate.
These nutrients contribute to maintaining proper bone density, a strong immune system, and healthy teeth, while folate contributes to the production of red blood cells.
Folate is also extremely essential during pregnancy for the healthy development of the fetus.
Are potatoes bad for acid reflux?
Since potatoes are considered alkaline, they can be safely consumed by people struggling with acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD. In fact, research has proven that consuming potatoes lowers the risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) by 42%.
It's most likely because potatoes are loaded with starch, which absorbs excess stomach acid, easing GERD symptoms or preventing it from developing altogether.
Nevertheless, some people might experience heartburn after consuming potatoes. This veggie is rich in carbohydrates (including sugars), which can worsen GERD symptoms. As a result, it's important to take note of when your symptoms subside and when they get worse and adjust your diet accordingly.
Are sweet potatoes acidic?
Sweet potatoes have a pH level of 5.3-5.6. This makes them alkaline and a perfect addition to an alkaline diet. Sweet potatoes are also incredibly healthy.
They provide you with nearly eight times your daily need for vitamin A and contain a lot more fiber than regular potatoes. As a result, they're more nutritious and healthier, contributing to alkalizing your body.
Sweet potatoes can be baked or boiled, both as a whole or as fries. However, once you fry sweet potato, you have to remember that it's no longer alkaline.
Hence, to make sure that the pH level of your sweet potato remains the same, stick to boiling or over baking it.
Are baked potatoes acidic?
Baked potatoes have the same pH level as raw potatoes. However, make sure to stick to only baking or boiling them.
Once you douse them in oil, their pH levels change, and they become acidic. All foods that are deep-fried and fried in oil are acidic and bad for your health in general.
As a result, it's best to avoid them or only consume them in moderation, every once in a while.
So, when you make baked potatoes, make sure not to coat them in any cooking oil. They will cook perfectly well in the oven without it, and you'll be sure to eat a healthy meal.
In addition, you can use all the spices you want!
Are mashed potatoes acidic?
Mashed potatoes aren't particularly good for people struggling with GERD or acid reflux and heartburn.
This is because to prepare mashed potatoes, you need to include a lot of salt and butter (often also milk, depending on the recipe).
This means that they'll be filled with butter and sodium, which all make the potatoes react with your stomach acid, becoming acidic.
It doesn't mean you have to give up all your favorite foods when you find out they're acidic, though. It's all about moderation and portion control.
For example, you can safely consume a small portion of mashed potatoes as long as you balance your meal with some alkaline foods, such as cauliflower or broccoli.
Try to aim for a diet consisting of 80% of alkaline foods and 20% acidic foods.
Baked potatoes are categorized as an alkaline food, only slightly acidic. As a result, they are perfect for an alkaline diet as well as for people struggling with heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD.
However, it's always important to check if the products you're consuming don't aggravate your symptoms. After all, it all depends on the individual.
Don't know which alkaline foods to include in your diet? We've got you covered. Read our guide to the 15 Alkaline Foods You Should Include In Your Diet.