Despite being tagged as one of the few alkaline fruits, dragon fruit has a pH level ranging from 6 to 7, making it slightly acidic to neutral and not essentially alkaline. But it's important to remember that most fruits, even those that are thought to be alkaline, have a pH of around 6.
Even though its pH level is between slightly acidic and neutral, dragon fruit is a great source of vitamins, antioxidants, and alkalizing effects when eaten. Dragon fruit is safe for people with stomach problems or acid reflux because it calms the stomach.
Not only that, but one serving of dragon fruit has no fat, 2 grams of protein, and a whopping 7 grams of fiber, making it a healthy snack for people with constipation or who are on a low-fat diet. Read on to learn everything about the topic.
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Is Dragon Fruit Alkaline, Acidic, or Neutral?
Fresh dragon fruit has a pH of 6 to 7, making it slightly acidic to neutral. About 83% of a dragon fruit's content is water, which dilutes its acid content and makes it only slightly acidic or neutral. Citramalic acid, a beneficial acid, is the most abundant acid in dragon fruits, making up 71% of the total acids in the fruit.
What Does "pH" Mean?
Technically, pH represents the number of hydrogen ions in a solution, but for this article, we will be learning all about pH in food. Hydrogen ions come from acids and are responsible for the sour taste you get when eating acidic foods. In chemistry, the pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic, 14 being the most alkaline, and 7 being the neutral state.
Although hydrogen ions seem small, a high acidity diet affects your gut's function and may trigger conditions like acid reflux and hyperacidity. However, not all acidic foods are dangerous. For instance, you can eat lots of acidic fruits and still gain tons of health benefits rather than drinking only alkaline drinks that do not contain any nutrients.
Why Does pH Matter in Human Health?
When people use the term pH in human health, it often refers to the pH level of our blood. The normal pH level of our blood is between 7.3 and 7.45, and the body makes sure to keep it in that range because many of its functions depend on it. A pH level lower than 7.35 indicates acidosis, and a pH level greater than 7.45 means alkalosis.
While the food we eat affects the pH of our urine, it does not alter the pH of our blood, as the kidneys and lungs are the major organs involved in maintaining our pH levels. Consequently, the blood pH levels change once one of these organs malfunctions. Despite the “acid ash” controversy, the food we eat only immediately affects our gut’s pH levels and does not directly affect the whole body, especially the blood’s pH level.
Does Dragon Fruit Have Alkalizing Effects?
Since dragon fruit has a pH of 7 and is mostly water, it helps to neutralize the acid in the gut by diluting it. It also has a lot of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which act as buffers to raise the pH level of the gut and make it less acidic.
Is Dragon Fruit Good for Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux happens when the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes, allowing stomach acid to travel back up into the esophagus, giving that burning and tight sensation around the chest, often called heartburn. Acid reflux disease, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is most often caused by a hiatal hernia, but your diet has a big impact on whether or not you get it.
Eating dragon fruit helps ease the symptoms and lessen the attacks if you have acid reflux or GERD. Dragon fruit contains a high amount of water, which dilutes the stomach’s acidity. Fat loosens the lower esophageal sphincter, and dragon fruit has no fat content, making it a perfect snack for people with GERD. Lastly, dragon fruit contains high amounts of fiber that keep you full for longer, preventing overeating, another major triggering factor for acid reflux.
Dragon Fruit Benefits
Dragon fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients. It contains vitamins A and C, iron, copper, zinc, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and tons of antioxidants that bring in a handful of health benefits. Red dragon fruit especially contains lycopene, hydroxycinnamates, and even betalain, which help prevent oxidative stress, aging, and cancer.
Dragon fruit is also a great friend if you're trying to lose weight because it's high in fiber and has only 60 calories and no fat. Dragon fruit also contains vitamin C, betacyanins, and betaxanthins, which help to fight free radicals and maintain a healthy immune system.
Lastly, dragon fruit is an excellent source of minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc that promote blood health, prevent anemia, and maintain blood pressure.
Alkaline Fruits and Vegetables
Aside from dragon fruit, some fruits with a pH value of 6 and above include coconut, banana, avocados, melons, cantaloupe, and dates. However, some fruits with a low pH have alkalizing effects when ingested. These fruits include grapes, apples, pineapples, kiwi, pears, mango, and papaya, as well as lemons and other citrus fruits like lime.
Unlike fruits, almost all vegetables are alkaline. However, I recommend juicing leafy greens and other vegetables with your favorite fruits to get the complete package. This way, you balance the fruit’s acidity with the vegetables’ high pH and add nutrients to your fruit juice.
Acidic Fruits and Vegetables
As mentioned, almost all fruits are acidic, and nearly all vegetables are alkaline foods. To keep your teeth from getting hurt, don't eat plums, pomegranates, grapefruits, blueberries, other berries, oranges, apricots, or tomatoes.
Dragon fruit is a slightly acidic to neutral fruit, so anyone on an alkaline diet can eat it.
Although most fruits are acidic, melons, cantaloupes, coconuts, and dragon fruits have a pH level of 7 or above, making them neutral to slightly alkaline.
Dragon fruits, especially red dragon fruit, or red pitaya, and yellow dragon fruit, or yellow pitaya, are a sweet treat and are not acidic.
Dragon fruit has a pH value of 6-7, making it slightly acidic to neutral. However, it’s important to note that fresh fruit has a higher pH than stocked fruits.