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Are Bell Peppers Acidic? And Bad For Acid Reflux?

Bell peppers are slightly acidic: as a fruit (yes! bell peppers are fruits – not vegetables), bell peppers are not as acidic as some other fruits, like limes, but are more acidic than vegetables like cauliflower or broccoli.

Acidity is measured according to the Ph scale from 1-10.1 is extremely acidic, and a 10 is extremely basic, or alkaline.

We think of water as being neutral, but water is actually (on average) a 7 on the Ph scale, making it a little more alkaline than it is acidic. 

Bell pepper is usually between 4.8 and 5.2 on the Ph scale, which puts it right in the middle.

Are Bell Peppers Acidic?

Are Bell Peppers Acidic

No, not really. Bell peppers are more alkaline than acidic. They are part of a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and can reduce stomach acidity.

Averaging 5 on the Ph scale, they are neutral, but alkaline compared to similar fruits.

There are many types of bell pepper: green, yellow, orange, and red. 

There are also different methods of preparing peppers, like pickling them, smoking them, and preserving them in oil. 

Are all Bell peppers safe and alkaline – or are some Bell peppers acidic?

What is the best way to prepare Bell peppers to reduce their acidity?

Let’s look at Bell Peppers and how we can use them in an acid-reduced diet so that you can enjoy the delicious flavor of Bell peppers without worrying about heartburn or acid reflux.

Bell Peppers: Varieties And Acidities

Did you know that all of the different colors of Bell pepper you can buy at the grocery store are exactly the same?

Red Bell peppers taste different than orange or green peppers, but they grow on the same plant. The difference between these bell peppers is when they are harvested.

Green bell peppers are green because they are picked the earliest.

Bell peppers naturally grow from green to yellow, to orange, to red.

The final stage, the red Bell pepper, is the sweetest and least starchy of all.

We think of them as being different, but these are all the same Bell pepper at different stages in its life.

Although there are some changes over time that make the peppers different (in sweetness, for example), they have a pH in the same range of 4.8 – 5.2

Bell peppers don’t get more or less acidic during their life cycle. A green and a red Bell pepper have a similar pH.

There are lots of ways of preparing Bell peppers, too. They can be pickled, for example. Pickling involves submerging something in a bath of acid. Does it make Bell peppers more acidic?

Not really.

Pickled foods might have some of the “juice” on them when they are consumed, and that might be acidic, but the pickling process doesn’t make Bell peppers more acidic.

You can expect your pickled peppers to be in that same range of 4.8 – 5.2.

Bell peppers are often roasted and pureed as well. Roasting a fruit or vegetable tends to intensify the flavor, and pureeing concentrates that even further.

A red Bell pepper might not be acidic – but what about a red pepper puree? 

Again, the answer is no. 

Roasting and reducing peppers does wonders for intensifying the flavor, but it doesn’t concentrate the acidity the same way.

A red pepper puree might be slightly more acidic than a Bell pepper that you pick off the plant, but not dramatically so.

Pureeing increases the surface area and mixes everything, but it doesn’t change the pH level which, again, will be somewhere in the 4.8 – 6 range.

Are Chile Peppers More Acidic Than Bell Peppers?

Are Bell Peppers Acidic

Not necessarily.

All of the members of the pepper family fall in a similar range on the pH scale and are relatively alkaline compared to other foods, including some other fruits and vegetables.

They are not very acidic at all.  When it comes to the differences between Bell peppers and chile peppers, they are pretty similar in pH.

This is true across methods of preparation, from fresh cut to fried. 

Consider the example of the cayenne pepper. You’ve probably had it as a dried spice, but before it is dried and ground it is a small chile pepper that is also very hot. 

Cayenne is actually less acidic than the average Bell pepper – Cayenne peppers average 8.5 on the pH scale, compared to 5 for Bell peppers.

However, Cayenne peppers are full of capsaicin – the natural chemical that causes spiciness – and that spice can be irritating to the stomach in ways that are similar to acidity.

Chile peppers and Bell peppers are similar in pH overall, but chile peppers span a larger range of pH values than Bell peppers do.

Most people associate chile peppers with acidity because they are affected by the spicy capsaicin, rather than acidity.

Do Bell Peppers Cause Acid Reflux?

No, unless your body has a very specific reaction to them. Bell peppers are on a list of recommended foods for acid reflux.

They are green veggies that your stomach has an easy time digesting, that won’t upset your pH levels, and that could even restore them depending on what else you have eaten.

They are (obviously) not fatty or caffeinated, and even the little bit of sweetness they have is the result of complex carbohydrates that your body craves.

Acid reflux is caused by the sphincter at the base of the esophagus not working properly and allowing stomach fluid to enter the esophagus. This can be aggravated by dietary choices.

If you experience acid reflux you know how unpleasant it can be, and making the right food choices is essential to avoid that discomfort. 

Bell peppers are a part of a healthy, acid-reduced diet for people who suffer from acid reflux. 

If you suspect that Bell peppers are giving you acid reflux, remember to look at how they are being served and what they are being served with.

There may be another ingredient that is causing the acid reflux, being served alongside the Bell peppers. 

Do Bell Peppers Cause Heartburn?

For most people, Bell peppers do not cause heartburn. Scientifically, Bell peppers are almost perfect food for preventing heartburn.

However, we know anecdotally that at least some people experience heartburn after eating Bell peppers.

We can’t necessarily explain this connection yet, and it seems to be extremely personal and individual. 

If you are worried about heartburn, it is worth integrating Bell pepper into your diet to see how it affects you.

For most people it is positive and makes up a delicious and healthy part of their diet, however for some people it can cause heartburn. 

One thing is for certain – Bell pepper’s troublesome cousins – the jalapenos, the habaneros, and ghost peppers – do cause heartburn.

Bell peppers are just part of the Chile pepper family, and they stand out a little bit because they are much larger and sweeter than their very hot relatives. It is this heat, this spiciness, that causes heartburn.

Hot chile peppers are hot because their seeds (and to a lesser extent, their skins and flesh) are full of capsaicin, a chemical compound that produces spiciness in food.

If your face turns red and your eyes start to water – that’s the capsaicin, doing its job!

Hot chile peppers that have capsaicin can cause heartburn. Foods and condiments that include hot chile peppers are notorious for provoking gastrointestinal issues of all kinds.

Capsaicin might stimulate your taste buds and make food delicious, but it is also an inflammatory irritant. 

Thankfully, the Bell pepper is the most innocent of all peppers and doesn’t cause heartburn at all for most people. Bell peppers are not spicy, and their seeds do not contain capsaicin.

There is no medical evidence that Bell peppers cause heartburn. The University of Maryland Medical Center advises that patients who have heartburn integrate Bell peppers into their diet.

Bell peppers are rich in antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and prevent heartburn.

Although they are part of the same family, eating a Bell pepper is more like biting into celery or lettuce than it is munching on a hot Thai finger pepper, at least when it comes to heartburn!

Are Bell Peppers Good For GERD?

Nightshades, which include Bell peppers, can be a problem for some people who suffer from Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – which 20% of Americans claim symptoms of weekly.

If you have GERD, are Bell peppers a good choice for you?

Bell peppers are alkaline rather than acidic, and full of nutrients and antioxidants, which should make them a nearly perfect food for GERD dieters.

However, we know from individual anecdotes that Bell peppers are not universally accepted, and that some people do experience Bell peppers as a trigger for symptoms.

It might be worth experimenting, to see whether or not you develop symptoms from eating Bell peppers. If you start with just a small amount, you can reduce the risk of major distress.

If your body will tolerate Bell peppers, they can be a great ally to you.

They can complement other nutrient-rich vegetables as a part of a healthy diet that stabilizes the pH in your stomach rather than disrupts it.

However, if you discover that Bell peppers make your GERD worse, don’t hesitate to stop cooking with them and eating them.

Which Bell Pepper Is The Least Acidic?

The different varieties of Bell pepper – green, yellow, orange, and red – are all the same plant.

Green pepper is slightly different from red pepper because they were picked at different stages of ripeness.

A green pepper was picked much earlier than a red pepper and therefore has converted much less of its natural starch into sugar. It isn’t as sweet.

When it comes to acidity – pH levels – there is no meaningful difference between green peppers and red peppers, or any of the other Bell pepper color varieties.

They are roughly the same and remain in the range of 4.8 – 5.2

RELATED: Are Avocados Acidic, And Bad For Acid Reflux?

Which Color Bell Pepper Is The Healthiest?

Are Bell Peppers Acidic

Bell peppers are a very healthy part of any diet. Not only are they delicious, but they are also filled with nutrients and antioxidants.

The difference between a green pepper and red pepper is minimal when it comes to nutrition. Although technically there are differences, and red pepper is sweeter than green pepper, these are very subtle and matter much less than the rest of your diet.

Can You Reduce The Acid In Bell Peppers?

Bell peppers are naturally alkaline foods that are low in acid, but if you are looking for the best way to prepare peppers so that they don’t take on any additional acidity in the cooking process, you can steam them rather than bake or fry them.

All fried foods can be irritating to people who are sensitive to acidic foods, so frying bell peppers (including pan-frying them) can cause a slightly more acidic result. 

To be safe, you can steam your bell peppers. This can actually subtly reduce the acidity of bell peppers, even compared to fresh ones.

However, you can still basically expect that the pH will fall somewhere in the range of  4.8 and 5.2.

3 Delicious And Easy To Make Bell Pepper Recipes

Everyone loves bell peppers, but not everyone can have them. Besides being acidic, its high pH level can also cause stomach pain.

A pH between 4.8 and 5.2 is considered good because it is not overly acidic. Bell Peppers are considered more alkaline than acidic.

However, if bell peppers make you acidic, you should limit their quantity in your food to avoid unhealthy effects.

Keeping the acidic condition in mind, we have tried to pick some recipes that are low in calories, and you can make a slight change in them according to your requirement.

Quick Table: Delicious Bell Pepper Recipes

RecipeCaloriesPreparation Time
No-Mayo Mediterranean Tuna Salad14720 Minutes
Ratatouille2751 Hour 30 Minutes
Taco Stuffed Peppers42045 Minutes

1. No-Mayo Mediterranean Tuna Salad

If you are looking for a light but filling lunch to keep yourself full for a long time, then you should consider making No-mayo Mediterranean Tuna Salad.

It is healthy and easy to make, and gets ready in less than half an hour. 

Instead of your classic and routine Tuna salad, one can make this salad simple according to your taste or go for a filling lunch with a tangy lemon taste to make it according to your preference.

You may consider adding a side like a cucumber or crackers as a side to enhance its flavor. If you try this salad once, you will not remember the mayos.

Calories Per Serving: 147

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

2. Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a summer recipe and works exceptionally well as a main dish. However, it takes a little more time to make all the efforts worth this delicious Recipe to try once in a while.

It will make an excellent choice for a child or an adult. 

You can try slicing your vegetables narrow and long because that works well, and you may serve this Recipe with bread, pasta, brown rice, or whatever you want according to your choice.

However, it’s a great recipe, but if you wish, you can make changes according to your taste and use alternatives to the ingredient according to your choice.

Calories Per Serving: 275

Preparation Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

RELATED: Does Drinking Hot Water Help Acid Reflux?

3. Taco Stuffed Peppers

If you are a taco lover, you will surely love the delicious Taco stuffed peppers for a family dinner. These are turkey tacos stuffed instead of ground beef, but if you like beef, you can use that instead.

Other than ground turkey, you can load them with Mexican spice, green chilies, salsa, corn, and black beans.

The topping of tomato, guacamole, and lettuce makes this Recipe stand out from other recipes. It is like a classic recipe to combine two foods and would be soothing and mouthwatering.

Calories Per Serving: 420

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Possible To Freeze Stuffed Peppers?

Yes, you can freeze stuffed peppers, which can last for months if wrapped properly.

If you have made the Recipe according to the dish mentioned above, just wait for the peppers to cool completely, then wrap individual peppers in the plastic wrap.

You may store these wrapped peppers in a casserole to make them last longer.

Should I Cook My Bell Peppers Before Stuffing Them?

If you are making stuffed peppers, then pre-booking will be a better option instead of pre-cooking. It will make the peppers tender, and after the filling, the peppers will merely take 20 minutes to cook properly.

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Bell Peppers?

Bell peppers are a nutritious and delicious addition to any diet. They are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber and antioxidants. Eating bell peppers can help boost your immune system, protect your vision, and keep your skin healthy. They can also help improve digestion and regulate blood sugar levels.

3 Delicious And Easy Bell Pepper Recipes

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This article explores the answer to this question and also looks into whether bell peppers are bad for acid reflux.

Directions

  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith