Is Rhubarb Acidic or Bad for Acid Reflux?


If you’re someone who struggles with acid reflux, you’re probably familiar with the long list of foods and beverages to avoid. But what about rhubarb? Is it acidic or bad for acid reflux? Let’s delve into the topic and find out.

Rhubarb, known for its tart taste and vibrant red stalks, is a versatile vegetable that’s commonly used in cooking and even in traditional medicine. It’s often found in pies, jams, sauces, and desserts. But when it comes to acid reflux, the acidity of rhubarb raises some concerns.

Understanding Rhubarb’s Acidity

Acidity is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. It is measured on a scale called pH, which ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, while values below 7 are acidic and values above 7 are alkaline. The pH of rhubarb typically ranges from 3 to 3.5, making it quite acidic.

To put this into perspective, the pH of lemon juice is around 2, while the pH of tomatoes is around 4. Rhubarb falls somewhere in between, leaning towards the more acidic end of the scale.

The acidity of rhubarb is due to the presence of malic acid and oxalic acid. These acids not only contribute to its tart taste but also affect the overall pH level of rhubarb.

Rhubarb and Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), occurs when the stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. This can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including heartburn, regurgitation, and chest pain.

Acidic foods, including those with a low pH like rhubarb, can potentially trigger or worsen acid reflux symptoms. This is because the acidic nature of these foods irritates the sensitive lining of the esophagus and can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscular valve that prevents stomach acid from flowing back up.

While there is limited research specifically on the effects of rhubarb on acid reflux, it is generally advised to avoid highly acidic foods if you have this condition like rhubarb.

The high acidity of rhubarb may increase the likelihood of experiencing acid reflux symptoms or aggravate existing symptoms.

Tips to Enjoy Rhubarb Without Discomfort

Keep in mind that rhubarb is not generally a good choice if you have acid reflux and therefore I would recommend proceeding with caution if you really want to eat a little rhubarb. Here are a few pieces of advice that will help lower the chance of rhubarb causing or worsening acid reflux symptoms.

1. Peel the Stalks: The skin of rhubarb can be more acidic than the flesh. Consider peeling the stalks to reduce the overall acidity.

2. Cook with Liquids: Cooking rhubarb with water, broth, or other liquids can help dilute its acidity. This can be done when making compotes, sauces, or jams.

3. Add Sweeteners: Adding sugar, honey, or maple syrup to rhubarb dishes can help balance out the tartness and reduce the overall acidity.

4. Combine with Alkaline Foods: Pairing rhubarb with alkaline foods like milk, yogurt, or bananas can help neutralize the acidity and make it easier on your digestive system.

5. Moderation is Key: If you choose to consume rhubarb, do so in moderation. Eating smaller portions less frequently may help minimize the impact of its acidity on your acid reflux symptoms.

In addition to these tips, it’s important to follow general guidelines for managing acid reflux. These include eating smaller, more frequent meals, avoiding lying down after eating and raising the head of your bed.

Remember, everyone’s tolerance to acidic foods can vary, and individual sensitivities may play a role in how rhubarb affects you.


While rhubarb is a highly acidic vegetable that may trigger or worsen acid reflux symptoms, there are ways to enjoy it without discomfort. By peeling the stalks, cooking with liquids, adding sweeteners, and combining with alkaline foods, you can reduce its acidity and still savor its unique flavor.

If you’re looking for more guidance on managing acid reflux and related digestive issues, I encourage you to check out the Wipeout Diet Plan for practical tips and a comprehensive diet plan. Additionally, if you need one-on-one assistance, consider booking a Private Consultation to receive personalized support.

Important Frequently Asked Questions

Is Rhubarb Good for Acid Reflux?

No, rhubarb is not recommended for individuals with acid reflux due to its high acidity, which can potentially trigger or worsen symptoms.

Does Rhubarb Cause Acid?

Rhubarb itself doesn’t cause acid, but its high acidity can contribute to acid reflux symptoms by irritating the esophagus and weakening the lower esophageal sphincter.

What Does Rhubarb do to your Stomach?

Rhubarb’s acidity can irritate the sensitive lining of the stomach, potentially leading to discomfort or worsening acid reflux symptoms in individuals prone to this condition.

How Do you Make Rhubarb Less Acidic?

To make rhubarb less acidic, you can peel the stalks, cook it with liquids, add sweeteners, or combine it with alkaline foods. These methods can help reduce the overall acidity and make it easier on your stomach.

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