If you have acid reflux you might be wondering if onions are a good choice and if you should be eating them at all.
Typically speaking onions are not a good choice if you have acid reflux. They are known for triggering acid reflux symptoms and tend to be worse when eaten raw.
There are a few important things to consider before eating onions which we will cover in more detail below.
Are Onions Good or Bad for Acid Reflux?
As we briefly mentioned above onions are usually not a good choice if you have acid reflux. While onions have a good mixture of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium to name a few. They also have other compounds such as quercetin and sulfur. Quercetin has a lot of benefits such as being a great natural antihistamine.
Sulfur is a compound that is particularly bad when it comes to acid reflux. Sulfur can irritate the stomach lining and the digestive tract in general which in turn can irritate and cause acid reflux symptoms.
When onions are cooked this at least partially lowers the levels of sulfur which in turn should decrease the chances of onions irritating the stomach and digestive system. It can also stimulate more acid production which can cause or make acid reflux worse.
However, keep in mind that cooking onions does not completely remove sulfur but instead lowers it. Therefore, if you have acid reflux and really want to eat onions it would be better to cook them before eating them instead of eating them raw. Also eating them in moderation would be the best way to go about things firstly as to lower the chances of acid reflux if it may cause or irritate your symptoms.
Another thing that onions have included is something known as oligofructose which is a kind of fermentable fiber. This fiber can help promote the growth of good gut bacteria which in turn can help digestive health and acid reflux too. Though keep in mind that it’s not a guarantee that it will help everyone. In fact, some people with gut health issues like SIBO and IBS may notice that too much of this bacteria can and often will make their digestive and acid reflux symptoms even worse in addition to the negative effects of sulfur.
In terms of the acidity of onions you can expect them to be around a 5.4-5.8 pH. This makes them acidic on the pH scale though they are not very acidic. Both the different varieties of white and purple onions are around a similar pH level.
When comparing red/purple onions with white onions they are more sweet and mild in flavor. This makes purple onions easier on the stomach and the digestive tract in general. Therefore, if you have more severe acid reflux like GERD or LPR, opting for purple onions is a safer choice that is less likely to cause acid reflux problems.
Also cooking purple onions would be the best bet and the least likely to cause acid reflux problems.
Overall onions are generally considered a common trigger food for acid reflux. Therefore, if you want to have onions it’s best to opt for them in moderation before eating a lot of them to make sure they don’t bother your acid reflux. Cooking onions will make them easier on your digestion and lower the chances of acid reflux too. Also red/purple onions are less likely to cause or trigger acid reflux, making them the best choice to start with especially if you have more severe or sensitive acid reflux.
Important Related Questions
Is Onion Powder OK for Acid Reflux?
Just like regular onions, onion powder can also be problematic if you have acid reflux. In fact, it’s arguable that it’s worse than fresh onions because it’s more processed and it’s more concentrated and therefore it’s more likely to cause acid reflux than fresh onions usually.
Is Raw Onion Good for Acid Reflux?
No raw onion is not good for acid reflux. In fact, it’s quite likely to bother or aggravate acid reflux problems. Therefore, cooking your onions is usually the better choice if you suffer from acid reflux.
Are Cooked Onions Less Acidic?
Yes cooking onions can help lower their acidity and also helps to lower the sulfur levels both of which make them easier to digest and with a lower chance of acid reflux.
Do Onions Irritate the Stomach?
Yes onions can irritate the stomach for some people. They are particularly likely to cause this irritation for people with more sensitive digestive systems.