Why Do Bananas Give Me Heartburn?

Do you experience acid reflux after consuming bananas? Then you are not alone. The majority of people wonder why do bananas give me heartburn.

Due to their high acid content, bananas can cause the stomach to produce more acid and irritate the esophagus in some individuals.

Other risk factors for heartburn include overeating, eating too quickly, and eating bananas on an empty stomach. Try eating bananas in moderation, along with other low-acid foods, and avoid eating them on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of heartburn.

In this article, we will examine the scientific explanation for why bananas can cause heartburn in some individuals and offer suggestions for reducing the likelihood of experiencing this unpleasant symptom. Therefore, let’s investigate why bananas give some people heartburn.

What is Heartburn?

First, let’s define heartburn. Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, is a common digestive issue characterized by a burning sensation in the chest, often after eating. This sensation is caused by the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.

Heartburn is a common problem, with over 60 million Americans experiencing it at least once a month. It’s usually not a serious issue and can be managed with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications.

What is Heartburn?

However, in some cases, heartburn can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Read Also: Why Do Bananas Cause Acid Reflux?

Why Do Bananas Cause Heartburn?

Now that we have a better understanding of heartburn, let’s explore the potential reasons why bananas might be causing it for some people.

  1. Acid Content

One theory is that bananas can cause heartburn due to their acid content. While bananas are generally considered a low-acid food, they do contain some acid. The pH of a banana ranges from about 4.5 to 6.5, with a pH of 7 being neutral. This means that bananas are slightly acidic to slightly alkaline.

However, it’s important to note that the acid content of banana alone is not likely to cause heartburn. The acidity of a food alone does not necessarily determine whether it will cause heartburn.

For example, some high-acid foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, are not commonly associated with heartburn. On the other hand, some low-acid foods, such as chocolate and processed meats, are known triggers for heartburn.

  1. Starch Content

Another theory is that the starch content of bananas may contribute to heartburn. Bananas are a good source of carbohydrates, with about 27 grams of carbs per medium banana. Most of these carbs come from starch, which is a type of carbohydrate that is not easily digested by the body.

When starch is not fully digested, it can ferment in the intestines and produce gas. This gas can put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach. If the LES is weakened or relaxed, stomach acid can more easily flow back into the esophagus, leading to heartburn.

  1. Other Factors

There may be other factors at play when it comes to bananas and heartburn. For example, some people may be sensitive to the natural compounds found in bananas, such as proteases and chitinases. These compounds may irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause heartburn.

Additionally, the way in which you eat a banana may contribute to heartburn. Eating a banana quickly or on an empty stomach may increase the chances of heartburn. This is because eating quickly or on an empty stomach can lead to faster digestion and absorption of the banana, which may cause more gas to be produced in the intestines.

How to Alleviate Heartburn Symptoms?

If you find that bananas trigger heartburn for you, there are several things you can try to alleviate the symptoms:

  1. Eat smaller, more frequent meals. This can help to reduce the amount of pressure on the LES and prevent acid reflux.
  2. Avoid eating within three hours of going to bed. This allows time for your food to digest before you lie down, reducing the chances of heartburn.
  3. Try eating bananas with other foods. Combining bananas with other foods may help to slow down the digestion process and reduce the chances of heartburn.
  4. Avoid trigger foods. In addition to bananas, certain foods and drinks can also trigger heartburn, such as coffee, alcohol, fatty or fried foods, and chocolate. Keeping a food diary can help you identify your personal triggers and avoid them.
  5. Elevate your head while sleeping. Keeping your head elevated while sleeping can help to prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus.
  6. Try over-the-counter medications. Antacids and other medications, such as H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors, can help to neutralize stomach acid and reduce heartburn symptoms.
  7. See a doctor. If heartburn is a persistent problem for you, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying conditions and determine the best course of treatment.

Read Also: What Is the Benefit of Hanging Bananas?


In conclusion, bananas may cause heartburn for some people due to their acid and starch content, as well as other factors such as sensitivity to natural compounds in bananas and eating habits.

If you find that bananas trigger heartburn for you, there are several steps you can take to alleviate the symptoms, such as eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding trigger foods. If heartburn persists, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.

FAQs | Bananas Give Me Heartburn

Here are some frequently asked questions by many people around the world related to heartburn due to bananas:

What Is Heartburn And How Is It Caused?

Heartburn is a common digestive problem characterized by a burning sensation in the chest, often after eating. It is caused by acid reflux, which occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus.

Are Bananas A Common Cause Of Heartburn?

Bananas are generally considered a low-acid food and are not a common cause of heartburn. However, some people may be more sensitive to the acid content in bananas and may experience heartburn after eating them.

What Factors Can Increase The Risk Of Heartburn From Bananas?

There are several factors that can increase the risk of heartburn from bananas, including eating too many bananas at once, eating them too quickly, and eating them on an empty stomach.

Can Heartburn Be Prevented?

There are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of heartburn, including eating smaller, more frequent meals, avoiding trigger foods (such as spicy or fatty foods), and not eating within three hours of going to bed.

How Can I Manage Heartburn If I Experience It After Eating Bananas?

If you experience heartburn after eating bananas, there are several things you can try to manage the symptom.
These include taking over-the-counter antacids, avoiding eating bananas on an empty stomach, and eating smaller portions of bananas along with other low-acid foods. If your heartburn persists or is severe, it’s important to speak with your doctor.