Walnuts are delicious as a snack, baked into cakes or cookies, and as a topping for salads and cheeses. Like other nuts, they're highly nutritious and an excellent source of healthy fats.
However, many people suffer from acid reflux, GERD, and associated symptoms like heartburn. Those with these conditions often follow a low-acid diet to avoid triggering or worsening their symptoms, which can be debilitating for some.
Can followers of such a diet safely add walnuts to their meal plans?.
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Are Walnuts Acidic?
With a pH of 5.4, walnuts are acidic, so they may trigger acid reflux symptoms in some people. A pH of 7 is neutral, and anything below is acidic. The lower the number, the more acidic something is; lemons, for example, have a pH of 2.
Are Walnuts Healthy?
Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fats and contain more antioxidants than any other nut.
An ounce of walnuts contains around 185 calories, with 18.5 grams of fat, 4.3 grams of protein, 3.9 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.7 grams of sugar.
The Health Benefits of Walnuts
Walnuts contain polyphenols that can reduce inflammation, a cause of many diseases.
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They can also improve your digestive health, as they support a healthy gut biome.
Studies show that eating walnuts regularly could reduce your risk of developing breast or prostate cancer.
The fiber and healthy fats in walnuts keep you feeling full longer after eating, aiding healthy weight loss.
Do Walnuts Cause Acid Reflux and Heartburn?
Everyone's symptom triggers are different, and some may be able to tolerate the mild acidity of walnuts better than others. It's also important to note that most walnuts are acid-forming, so they may increase your acid load.
Moreover, they're also high in fat, which takes longer to digest, stimulating gastric acid production.
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What Happens if Your Diet Is Too Acidic or Alkaline?
It's important to eat a balanced diet comprising acidic and alkaline foods.
Eating acidic foods regularly can lead to bone and muscle deterioration, especially when it's acid from too much processing, such as deep-fried food.
Our bones have calcium, which your body uses to balance its pH when you consume acidic foods.
Generally, alkaline foods are healthier, and an alkaline diet won't harm your body.