Following a low-acid diet can be very hard since most food products these days are acidic. These foods tend to worsen acid reflux and GERD symptoms and can even lead to more severe conditions. Because of that, it's a good idea to consume a more alkaline diet filled with fresh vegetables and fruits.
But, as you may know, we all have cravings, so sometimes we want something deemed unhealthy. For example, some people really enjoy an occasional bowl of ramen. So, is ramen acidic?
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Is Ramen Acidic?
Ramen has a pH level leaning towards neutral, but it has acidifying properties. This means that once it's digested in your stomach, it becomes acidic and causes an increased production of stomach acid. It also doesn't contain many essential nutrients and minerals.
That's unfortunate as they help you stay healthy and prevent the development of many diseases and medical conditions. Because of that, it might be a good idea to limit ramen on a low-acid diet.
What is the pH level of ramen?
Ramen noodles have a pH level ranging between 6.00 to 7.00. This, however, only applies to ramen noodles and not the finished product, which has a way lower pH level and acid-forming properties.
That's because ramen is often served with soy sauce, spice mixes, and added vegetable fat, which decreases its pH level and increases its acidity. All of this makes ramen a rather bad food for people struggling with acid reflux or GERD symptoms.
You can also lower ramen's acidity by including high-protein and low-sugar foods, such as eggs and other fresh veggies. That way, you'll be able to control how many acidic foods you consume, thus lowering your risk of unpleasant symptoms.
As a result, even though ramen is acidic, it may bring some health benefits in the form of other added ingredients. To d0 that, it's best to pick low-acid food products, such as leafy greens, which are easy to add to any diet.
Can ramen be healthy?
Ramen is a highly processed food, so its health benefits aren't too high. First of all, a single serving (half a package) contains around 195 calories. This is a lot since people often consume more than the recommended standard serving in one sitting.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most of these calories come from processed carbohydrates and fats, which are hard to digest. This prompts your stomach to produce more gastric acid, which can then reflux up your esophagus and cause acid reflux and GERD symptoms.
It's also worth noting that the calories don't account for other spice mixes that often come with ramen. These are very high in sodium as well, which ramen on its own already contains a lot of. Consuming a diet high in sodium raises your blood pressure and increases the risk of stroke and other serious conditions.
Because of that, it's important to limit your consumption of this mineral as much as possible, and limiting your consumption of ramen and other highly processed foods is a great way to start.
In addition, unlike fresh, unpackaged foods, ramen doesn't contain essential antioxidants and phytochemicals that have wonderful health benefits, including flushing out free radicals out of your body and preventing oxidative stress to your cells and tissues.
The fact that ramen noodles are a relatively processed food also means that it lacks other essential nutrients, such as protein, which helps you feel full after a meal and fuels your muscles to keep your healthy. Because of that, ramen is not a particularly healthy addition to a balanced diet.
There's also one more controversial ingredient in instant ramen noodles called monosodium glutamate (MSG). This substance is considered safe in small amounts, but some people are sensitive to MSG.
It can potentially cause unpleasant symptoms, including headaches, nausea, high blood pressure, flushing of the skin, and weakness. What's more, MSG is also present in many highly processed foods, so you may want to steer clear of such products and consume a diet mainly based on fresh and natural foods.
Can you eat ramen on acid reflux?
Since ramen has acid-forming properties, a lot of research shows that consuming ramen increases the frequency and severity of acid reflux and GERD symptoms. Ramen is also very high in sodium, which irritates your stomach and causes unpleasant symptoms that can lead to ulcers and even certain forms of cancer.
Consuming ramen too frequently can lead to health problems as it's not a type of food appropriate for a low-acid diet. While there are ways to increase ramen's pH level and reduce acidity, it's still not very good for people with severe acid reflux or GERD.
Additionally, research shows that people who consume a lot of noodles also consume fewer vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, and nuts.
Because of that, they also intake less essential nutrients, including protein and healthy fats. This, in turn, means that people who consume too much ramen may lack essential nutrients that protect them from various diseases and conditions.
How can you make ramen better for acid reflux?
On its own, ramen isn't particularly healthy. But if you enjoy an occasional bowl of these noodles, there are some ways to make them healthier and easier on your stomach. Firstly, ditch the pre-packed spice mixes as these are loaded with additives, simple sugars, and sodium.
Instead, try replacing them with some healthy herbs and a pinch of salt. It's also a good idea to add some protein, such as eggs, meat, or beans, to improve the nutritional value of your meal.
Ramen is a relatively acidic food, especially when served with other additives, such as soy sauce, spice mixes, and other irritating ingredients. These can inflame your stomach and cause indigestion along with heartburn and other symptoms.
That's why it might be best to limit your consumption of ramen, particularly if you're very susceptible to acidic foods. There are ways to make ramen healthier, but it will still be acidic, so replacing it with healthy vegetable soups might be the way to go.