Bananas are one of the most popular forms of food available worldwide. People from all walks of life consume the fruit, making it a staple in daily life. Bananas contain several essential nutrients, such as potassium, calcium, and zinc, and are also a good source of dietary fiber and energy. Their high fiber content eases digestion and improves cardiac health. Aside from the nutrient content and health benefits, are bananas alkaline? Let’s answer that below.
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The alkalinity or acidity of a substance is measured on a pH scale. The pH value ranges from 1 to 14, and any value less than 7 classifies the substance as acidic. Consequently, any pH value from 8 to 14 classifies the substance as alkaline or basic. A pH value of 7 indicates neutral nature. The pH scale can be applied to foods to classify them as acidic or basic (alkaline).
Where bananas fall on the pH scale solely depends on the ripeness of the fruit and the variety in question. Unripe Cavendish bananas, most commonly found in supermarkets, are slightly acidic with a pH value of 5.5. Other banana varieties in the US, such as the Plantain and Red Dacca, are also slightly acidic.
Unripe bananas contain a mix of oxalic, malic, tartaric, and citric acids. Oxalic acid contents reduce when bananas ripen, leading to a drop in overall acidity. In other words, bananas become alkaline as they ripen. Ripe bananas reach pH levels of 7.2-7.8, which is well within the alkaline range. Therefore, bananas, like many other fruits, reach alkaline pH levels when they are ripe and ready to consume. Alkaline bananas contain potassium that helps reduce stomach acidity and ease digestion. Unripe bananas, however, can trigger acid reflux and trigger gut fermentation.
All in all, bananas are considered alkaline when they’re ripe and ready to consume.