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Are Tomatoes Acidic? And Bad For Acid Reflux?

While tomatoes are as nutritious as they are delicious, they do contain high levels of acid.  This acid can trigger both heartburn and acid reflux when tomatoes are eaten, even in small amounts.

Does That Mean That I Have To Quit Eating Tomatoes?

Are Tomatoes Acidic

No, you might not have to give up tomatoes to avoid heartburn or acid reflux. 

Instead, learn a few simple tricks that can make your sauces or salads less acidic.

Remember that, while tomatoes are acidic, they are also a rich source of vitamins and other valuable nutrients. You don’t want to miss out on the health benefits that this juicy, savory fruit offers. 

Here, we’ll explore ways to lower the acidity of tomatoes so that you can enjoy this delicious fruit and reap the benefits that healthy eating brings.

Why Are Tomatoes Acidic?

While we tend to think of tomatoes as vegetables, they’re actually fruits. 

That’s because the part that develops from a pollinated flower, which is called the “fruit,” is what’s considered edible, while we eat the leaves, stems, or roots of vegetables.

Tomatoes, like many other fruits, have high levels of acid. The amount of acid in a food is calculated by measuring its pH value. 

Generally, the pH value in foods ranges from two to seven, with two being highly acidic and seven being alkaline.

While many plants have a pH level of 7.0 or higher,tomatoes have a much lower pH.

A tomato’s  pH value ranges from 4.3 to 4.9, and this low value means that tomatoes are acidic. 

Tomatoes also have both malic and citric acid, which are the two types of acid that cause discomfort in people who are prone to it.

Are Some Tomatoes More Acidic Than Others?

While tomatoes are generally acidic, there are over 10,000 varieties of tomatoes, and some contain more acid content than others.

The tomatoes that are found to have the most acid include:

  • Celebrity
  • Row Pack
  • Rutgers

What Varieties Of Tomatoes Have Less Acid? 

Are Tomatoes Acidic

Generally, the sweeter and more yellow the tomato, the less likely it is to trigger heartburn or acid reflux.

Tomatoes that have a high sugar content tend to be less acidic, and this is particularly true of tomatoes that are yellow or have a yellowish hue.  This includes the Golden Boy or Lemon Boy. 

Other low-acid tomatoes include:

  • Sun Gold
  • Golden Jubilee
  • Yellow Pear

Are There Ways To Make Tomatoes Less Acidic?

While all tomatoes contain high levels of acid, there are methods of preparing and serving them that can reduce the acidity.  

This is good news for those who suffer from heartburn or acid reflux but love tomatoes, so there are some techniques for reducing the acidity in both raw and cooked tomatoes.

How Can You Reduce The Acidity In Raw Tomatoes?

If you prefer your tomatoes raw but you experience discomfort with high acid foods, try peeling and de-seeding the tomatoes before you eat them. 

The seeds and peelings contain the most acid, so removing them will reduce the level of acid in the tomatoes.

These sliced, peeled tomatoes will also make an attractive addition to salads or platters of vegetables, and they’re tempting when arranged alone in a circular pattern on a tray or plate.

If peeling sounds like too much trouble, remember that thick-skinned tomatoes, such as Roma Tomatoes, are generally easier to peel than thinner-skinned varieties.

It also helps to learn a few tricks about peeling raw tomatoes.

To peel the tomatoes without too much fuss and bother, follow these tips:

1. Use a very sharp knife and very ripe tomatoes.  

2. Carefully make four slits around the perimeter of the stem end of the tomato.

3. Slice the tomato into four sections.

4. Gently insert the knife under the peeling of each section, tug slightly to loosen it, and carefully remove the peeling by pulling the knife toward you.

Are Cooked Tomatoes Acidic?

Cooking tomatoes doesn’t necessarily reduce the acidity, so if you’re prone to acid reflux, you’re just as likely to suffer discomfort from pasta or pizza sauce as from fresh tomatoes.

There are, however, some ways of reducing the acidity in your tomato sauces with common items that you have in your kitchen, including sugar, baking soda, or a small amount of grated carrots.

RELATED: Are Apples Acidic?

How Do You Cook Tomatoes To Reduce Acidity?

One common kitchen item can work wonders in reducing the acidity in your tomato sauces, and that is simple baking soda.

You could also add sugar to make the sauce taste sweeter and less acidic. 

But, while some people prefer that their sauces have a slightly sweet taste, the sugar will compromise that sharp, savory tomato taste that others crave. 

If you do add sugar, do so cautiously.  Start by sprinkling a tiny amount, then taste the sauce.  If it’s still too acidic, add a little more until you’re satisfied with the taste.

Of course, some people may prefer a sweet tomato sauce.  If you or your family members like sweet sauces, feel free to add more sugar to your taste.

Ordinary Baking Soda Also Reduces The Acid

Are Tomatoes Acidic

If you prefer to use baking soda, begin by adding tiny amounts of baking soda.  Make sure that you add no more than one-quarter teaspoon per cup of sauce. 

If you’re making a crowd-sized pot of sauce, you might need to add one teaspoon or more, depending on the amount you’re making.

Just add the baking soda cautiously, a sprinkle at a time, and taste after each addition.

Don’t have time to make your own sauce from scratch? 

That’s fine. You can add baking soda to canned or jar sauces as well.  Just remember to taste the sauce before and after you add the baking soda. Some pre-made sauces may already contain sugar.

Instead of baking soda or sugar, some cooks prefer to add a small amount of grated carrots to their sauces. If this works for you, that’s fine.

But if you don’t think that you’d enjoy the change in taste and texture that you’ll get from carrots, try baking soda instead. 

What Are The Health Benefits Of Tomatoes?

Despite their high level of acidity, tomatoes have a number of health benefits.

Tomatoes are very, very high in nutrition and low in calories and fat.

Like some other fruits, including oranges, tomatoes are a good source of Vitamin C.  They also provide other vitamins, including Vitamin B and Vitamin E. 

Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, which promotes heart health. 

In addition, tomatoes contain lycopene, which gives them their red color.

Lycopene helps to boost your immune system and may make you less likely to have certain forms of cancer, including lung, stomach, and prostate cancer.

Remember, too, that tomatoes are extremely low in calories and fat.  An average-sized tomato has only 22 calories, very little fat, and no cholesterol.  It’s also high in water content and in fiber. 

So, if you’re inclined to suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, you might not have to give up on tomatoes entirely. You don’t want to miss out on those important nutrients.

Instead, look for sweet, yellow tomatoes that are less likely to be bothersome. Peeling raw tomatoes and removing the skin will also make tomatoes less acidic.

In addition, try enjoying your tomatoes cooked in a sauce with a little baking soda or sugar added.

3 Tomato Recipes That Everyone Will Love

Do you like the tangy and citrus flavor of tomato? If yes, you must have thought of acquiring the dishes made with tomatoes, but the acidic level must have worried you too.

Did you know that adding baking soda or sugar to tomatoes can help to lessen their acidity?

Whether you prepare sauce, salad, or anything else, you can have it without thinking of adverse effects. These recipes are easy to make and are a perfect side dish along with your main course, or you can have them as starters too.

Out of many options, we have picked three recipes for you that take less time and have fewer calories.

Quick Table: Best Tomato Recipes

RecipeCaloriesPreparation Time
Fennel, Roast Lemon & Tomato Salad9340 Minutes
Poached Eggs With Tomatoes , Broccoli, And Wholemeal Flatbread38315 Minutes
Tomato & Harissa Stew With Cheddar Dumplings44455 Minutes

1. Fennel, Roast Lemon & Tomato Salad

Do you love salad? If yes, you must have been bored eating your daily salad with the typical taste. Therefore we have picked delicious fennel, roast lemon, and tomato salad for you.

It is not only easy to make but is delicious and has a low-calorie count, making it one of the most healthy recipes to opt for if you are on a diet.

The salad works exceptionally well in summers with the cherry tomatoes, pomegranate, and herbs, making it a colorful dish.

The advantage of this salad is that you can make the changes according to your choice of flavors, and it will not disappoint you.

Calories: 93

Preparation Time: 40 Minutes

2. Poached Eggs With Tomatoes, Broccoli, And Wholemeal Flatbread

Almost everyone enjoys eggs for breakfast, and there is no harm in trying something new. For example, wholemeal flatbread with poached eggs, tomatoes, and broccoli help you feel full for a more extended period.

With protein-packed eggs and broccoli provide antioxidants making this a filling breakfast choice. In addition, it is considered a fantastic lunch and dinner choice due to its healthy and fulfilling qualities. 

Serve the dish while it is hot while seasoning it with chili flakes and black pepper.

Calories: 383

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

RELATED: Is Mango an Acidic Food? The Truth About Mangoes and Health

3. Tomato & Harissa Stew With Cheddar Dumplings

If you love North African dishes’ flavors, you would love these tomato and harissa stew with cheddar dumplings. With a spicy but a little tangy flavor of tomatoes, these dumplings are famous worldwide.

Are you a dumpling lover too? These dumplings work well with the citrus-flavored tomato and with harissa stew. You can make these budget-friendly cheesy dumplings with twist toppings.

Not only are these super delicious, but they feature in so many different healthy cuisines.

Calories: 444

Preparation Time: 55 Minutes

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Tomatoes Acidic?

Yes, tomatoes have a pH of 4.3 to 4.9, which means that they’re extremely high in acid.  Both cooked and raw tomatoes are very acidic.

Can Tomatoes Trigger Heartburn Or Acid Reflux?

Tomatoes have both malic and citric acid, and both of these can make the stomach produce too much acid.  This triggers heartburn and acid reflux in those who are susceptible to them. 

What Varieties Of Tomatoes Have Less Acid?

If you’re prone to heartburn or acid reflux, or if you just prefer a sweeter, less acidic tomato,try shopping for or growing the yellow varieties. 

Tomatoes with less acidity include:

  • Golden Boy or Lemon Boy
  • Golden Jubilee
  • Sun Gold

How Can You Reduce The Acidity In Tomato Sauces?

While you’re cooking the sauce, add one of these ingredients:

  • Baking Soda
  • Sugar
  • Finely grated carrots

If you prefer to use baking soda, add a sprinkle to one-quarter teaspoon for a small or moderate batch of sauce.  If you’re cooking for a crowd or making a large amount to freeze, you can use up to one-quarter teaspoon.

A sprinkle of sugar may be all that you will need as well, but if you prefer a sweeter sauce, add sugar according to your taste.

The important thing is to taste test the sauce after each addition of baking soda or sugar, and prepare the sauce according to your own taste.

Are Tomatoes Good For You?

Tomatoes are a high source of Vitamin C, and they also contain other vitamins and important nutrients, including Lycopene, which boosts your immunity and may decrease your risk of developing cancer. 

Tomatoes are also low in calories and fat and high in fiber and water.

So if you love tomatoes but don’t like the discomfort that you sometimes feel after eating them, learn a few simple tricks for reducing the acidity in tomatoes

3 Tomato Recipes That Everyone Will Love

Tomatoes are a fruit that is acidic in nature and not generally recommended for those with acid reflux. However, some people find that they can tolerate them in small amounts.


  • 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