Are Tomatoes Acidic? Heartburn and Tomatoes [Good or Bad]

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

Tomatoes are some amazing fruits, are they not? Or are they vegetables? I can never tell! Jokes aside, you will find these fruits on most dishes, sandwiches, and salads.

Tomatoes are that versatile. These juicy, delicious fruits can add just the taste you might miss in summer. But, what are the health benefits of tomatoes? Are tomatoes acidic?

Are Tomatoes Acidic or Alkaline?

The pH level of tomatoes is usually between 4.3 and 4.9, so they are acidic. But according to the low PRAL (-5.88, Potential Renal Acid Load), tomatoes are considered alkaline.

Usually, acidic foods with can tick off GERD symptoms, heartburn, and acid reflux.

People who have sensitivities to certain types of food should avoid eating a lot of tomatoes because of tomatoes’ acidity levels, which can result in indigestion.

Does Cooking Tomatoes Make Them Acidic?

A lot of people do not eat tomatoes as is, whereas some do. Otherwise, most people eat tomatoes cooked, roasted, or even baked. 

Does cooking tomatoes reduce acidity? As with most cooked acidic foods, the acidity level increases when you cook them, that is what happens to tomatoes as well. 

Is tomato soup acidic or alkaline? Tomato soup is acidic. Not only are they acidic if you cook them, but the longer you cook them, the more acidic they become. 

Are All Kinds of Tomatoes Acidic?

Now, are cherry tomatoes acidic? And, are grape tomatoes acidic? Both of these kinds of tomatoes s, well as all kinds of tomatoes, are acidic.

The number may vary from tomato to tomato, but as I’ve said before, all tomatoes have a pH level between 4.3 and 4.9.

What Acids Make Tomatoes So Acidic?

Tomatoes can be good for the body in many ways, such as releasing energy as well as reducing the risks of certain diseases. But, their acidic content can be harmful to the body as well.

The acids that tomatoes contain are malic acid, citric acid, and ascorbic acid. Let us explore what these acids in tomatoes do.

Malic Acid

When combined with citric acid, malic acid can have an antimicrobial effect on the body. 

People use malic acid in treating wounds and ulcers as well as in some intravenous treatments of liver disorders. 

There have also been some drug trials with malic acid to treat hypertension and depression.

Malic acid is most prominent in the earlier stages of a ripe tomato. That is exactly why you would find unripened tomatoes sourer than ripe tomatoes because malic acid tastes bitter and sour. 

Additionally, when tomatoes ripen, the malic acid content decreases from the tomatoes, making them less sour. However, even after a tomato has ripened, you will still find malic acid in it.

Are tomatoes acidic enough to can? Yes, indeed they are. Canned tomatoes are the most acidic, with a pH of 3.5. This type of tomato has the most amount of malic acid in them. 

Citric Acid

You can find citric acid very easily in tomatoes as they are the most common form of acids in tomatoes. We use this acid as a preservative as it kills bacteria easily. 

It is essential to have citric acid in your body because how this acid provides energy in the body of a human being. Overall, citric acid is really beneficial to your health. 

In the December 2014 edition of the Korean Journal of Urology, it was found that increased levels of intake of citric acid and a decreased chance of getting kidney stones were linked.

This happens because citric acid starts to bind to the calcium of the urinary, which can reduce urine’s supersaturation which leads to diseases like kidney stones.

Gout Treatment

Apart from that, citric acid can also reduce the risk of gout if you consume a lot of it. Mayo Clinic says that gout happens when uric acid somehow stays undissolved in the blood. Eventually, it builds up and forms crystals that are painful, resulting in gout attacks. 

A study from 2010, which was published in Endocrine Research, shows that an increased intake of this acid increases urine’s acidity and decreases uric acid excretion, which results in less to zero uric acids building up and leading to gout.

Ascorbic Acid

You can call this acid vitamin C as well, which you can find in significant amounts in tomatoes. 

Ascorbic acid is really beneficial for the human body because of its work in cell repair and maintenance. 

This acid is essential for making certain proteins in the body to make up blood vessels, skin, tendons, and ligaments. 

Ascorbic acid heals different wounds and injuries as well as maintains and repairs cartilage, teeth, and bones.

Furthermore, this acid helps the body to absorb healthy iron. 

Are Tomatoes Good For Acid Reflux or GERD?

First, what is acid reflux? When your esophageal sphincter starts to relax at the wrong time, which allows for stomach acid to come back up is known as acid reflux. So, try eating food safely.

Now, this can happen when there is too much acid in your stomach for some reason, such as eating tomatoes. 

Tomatoes contain acids like malic acid and critic acid. Both of these kinds of acids may set off acid reflux, specifically in those people who are vulnerable to it. 

If you eat tomatoes or any produced that is tomato-based, then it may result in elevated production of gastric acids for breaking the food down in your stomach. But, if you produce too much acid, then you may start struggling with GERD symptoms. 

So, no, tomatoes are not good for acid reflux or GERD.

How to Reduce Acid in Tomatoes

You can try to cook tomatoes in a way that reduces the acids in them instead of increasing their amounts.

Baking soda is the key. It can neutralize the acidity in tomatoes. So, add a bit of baking soda in order to reduce the acid in tomatoes when you are cooking with them. Be careful not to add too much, or you might ruin your food. You can use this trick on your tomato sauce as well.


Are tomatoes acidic? Yes, there indeed are very acidic. The acids in tomatoes can cause you a lot of trouble, including a visit from your healthcare practitioner if you are already sensitive to acid reflux.

However, you can get a lot of nutrition from tomatoes

So, if you love tomatoes, do not stop yourself from eating them altogether, just tread lightly, and you should be fine.

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