Many people around the UK are becoming more and more conscious of the types of food they consume on a daily basis.
We have even read up on those why are trying a diet that is high in alkaline and low in acidic foods.
And the reason for this?
Proponents of the alkaline diet maintain that if you consume a diet high in alkaline foods (high pH) and restrict acidic ones.
You can increase your body’s pH levels (make your body less acid) and make your body a poor environment for cancer.
There are a large number of us that would struggle to go without a little bit of chilli to flavour up meals, so we had to know if we could keep eating hot peppers and stick to the diet.
In this article, we’re going to discuss whether or not chillies are acidic or alkaline:
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Table of Contents
What makes chillies acidic
Chillies are acidic because they contain a compound called capsaicin. This is what gives them their spicy taste and makes hot peppers acidic to the tongue. Capsaicin has been shown to slow tumour growth when used with other compounds found within chillies such as caffeic acid and quercetin so it’s definitely something you should be eating more often.
Chillies also offer a lot of vitamin C, which is up to seven times greater than that of oranges. Vitamin C, commonly known as ascorbic acid, is a vital antioxidant. Even though ascorbic acid is a weak acid, the high amounts of vitamin C in chillies may explain some of their acridity.
Green chillies have more vitamin C, at around 240 mg per 100 gr, than red chillies (approximately 140 mg per 100 gr). This indicates that the acidity of chillies is not solely due to their vitamin C content.
The high antioxidant content of chilli peppers is most likely the main reason for their acidity. While antioxidants are beneficial to us, many people aren’t aware that they’re acidic. This isn’t something to be concerned about; antioxidants still have several health advantages.
Antioxidants are a class of compounds commonly found in fresh fruit and vegetables. They counteract the harmful effects of free radicals in the body. The production of free radicals is influenced by poor nutrition and exposure to UV radiation.
Do you want to find out 4 different ways you can preserve chillies? Read an article we wrote that covers this
How are the acidic compounds in chilli peppers processed in our bodies
Our bodies are naturally acidic. The pH of our blood average is between approximately seven and eight, which makes it slightly acidic. We maintain this acidic environment in several ways:
- Our kidneys produce ammonia which acts as a natural buffer to the acidity of our blood
- Our lungs release carbon dioxide into the air when we exhale; CO₂ mixes with water to form carbonic acid and eventually turns into bicarbonate ions – this helps neutralise acids within cells throughout the body The acidic nature of chilli peppers isn’t something that you need to be concerned about unless your intake becomes so great that you start experiencing symptoms such as nausea or vomiting. If this happens, try reducing how much chilli pepper you consume on a daily basis.
Can the Colour of Chillies Affect their Acidity
There are numerous chemicals contained in chillies that give them their bright colours, the most popular of which are anthocyanin and carotene. Anthocyanin, a chemical found in many chilli kinds, is responsible for the red colour of many chillies.
Carotene is part of the carotenoid family of pigments, which are also responsible for yellows and oranges in numerous fruits and vegetables, including chillies.
The fascinating thing about Anthocyanin is that its colour depends on the alkalinity or acidity of the cell it’s in. In an acidic cell, Anthocyanin becomes red, while in an alkaline one, it takes on a bluish-purple hue. This is why some chillies have a purple or blue hue. Although it’s not all too frequently seen, if you’ve grown several different chilli types, you may have noticed it yourself!
Is Capsaicin on Acidic or Alkaline scale
Many people believe that the burning sensation in our mouths when we consume chillies is due to their acidity. It’s not true. Chillies contain a chemical called capsaicin, which has a warming effect on the body. The sensation of heat when eating chillies is due to capsaicin.
Capsaicin is actually alkaline, as an isolated compound. It binds to receptors on our tongues and skin that detect high temperatures and abrasions. There is no actual burning or harm caused by it. It is effective in relieving pain after the initial discomfort or irritation caused by capsaicin. As a result, it’s commonly used in lotions and topical ointments to treat muscular and joint discomfort, as well as rashes.
When capsaicin is taken, it has been shown to decrease stomach acid secretion and enhance blood flow within the stomach’s lining. It’s been widely claimed that eating chillies causes stomach ulcers, but the effects of lowering stomach acid and improving blood flow aid in the healing and prevention of stomach ulcers.
Is chilli sauce acidic or alkaline
The answer to this question really depends on the ingredients in the sauce. If it contains mostly acidic ingredients, such as vinegar, then it would be acidic. However, if it has more alkaline ingredients, such as tomatoes or onions, then it would be considered alkaline.
Vinegar is made up of approximately 5 to 20 percent acetic acid, with the remainder being water and additives. Vinegar lowers the pH of a sauce significantly when added to it. When metabolized by the body, vinegar is not alkalizing since it is a weak acid.
Why are Acidic Ingredients used in Chilli Sauces
Humans have always had to figure out how to store food for lengthy periods of time before the invention of refrigeration technology. There were no refrigerators or freezers at the time, so we developed different methods to keep food from spoiling. We determined that by acidifying meals or adding acids to them, they could be kept for longer periods of time.
Spicy food high in acidic components such as vinegar or tomatoes is used in chilli sauces because it allows for longer shelf life. It also results in a tasty and balanced sauce that is ‘spicy’. The acidic nature of the ingredients helps to preserve them from harmful bacteria.
Lactic acid fermentation has been used since ancient times to acidify food. This method produces lactic acid and can only take place in environments that do not contain oxygen, also known as anaerobic situations. The creation of preserving lactic acid requires the presence of Lactobacillus, a widespread microbe. Fermentation is used to turn a variety of foods from all around the world. Yoghurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi are just a few examples.
Having trouble growing your own chillies? Have a read of this article that explains how you do this.
Other related questions
How do you neutralize the acid in chilli?
- If you have a dish that is too acidic, there are several ways to neutralize the acid. One way is to add an alkaline ingredient to the dish. This will help to balance out the pH levels and make it more palatable.
- Another way is to use a chemical agent such as baking soda or baking powder. These agents contain alkaline compounds that can counteract the acids in food.
- Finally, you could also dilute the acidic components of a meal by adding water or broth. This will help to reduce the sourness or bitterness of the food.
Is chilli bad for acid reflux?
Chilli is acidic in nature, but the acidic components are diluted by other ingredients. Unless you have an allergy to spicy foods or experience heartburn regularly after eating chilli, there should not be any negative side effects on your acid reflux condition.
Is Ginger acidic or alkaline?
As mentioned earlier, acidic foods have a pH level of less than seven. Meanwhile, alkaline foods are above that number. Ginger is slightly acidic in nature. Ginger’s optimal enzyme activity occurs at a pH of 7.0, with activity possible in neutral, moderately acidic, and mildly alkaline environments.
Does the alkaline diet really work?
A diet consisting mostly of alkaline foods has been found to have little influence on blood pH and no significant impact on the bodies overall pH. Certain health problems, such as acid reflux disease, can be helped by eating alkaline meals.
Is cayenne pepper acidic or alkaline?
Lemon and cayenne are highly alkaline, with high concentrations of bioflavonoids antioxidants in Lemon and cayenne. Those who consume a typical British diet high in acid-producing foods require additional alkaline meals.
What are the top 10 Acidic foods?
- Cheese, egg yolks, and cream all fall under this category.
- Shellfish, including crabs, lobsters, and mussels, are all part of the seafood family.
- high-sodium processed foods
- Fresh and processed meats, such as corned beef and turkey
- Brown rice, oat flakes, or granola
- Carbonated soft drinks, such as soda, seltzer, or spritzers
- Protein shakes and animal protein
What are the top 10 alkaline foods?
The top foods are as follows:
- Swiss Chard, Dandelion greens
- Spinach, Kale
- Figs and Apricots
- Green vegetables
- Beans and lentils.
How can I Alkalize my body fast?
- There are a few different ways that you can alkalize your body:
- One way is to increase your intake of alkaline foods and drinks.
- Another way is to use an alkaline supplement.
- Finally, you could also try an alkaline detoxification program.
What drinks are alkaline?
- Herbal tea
- Black coffee
- Milk is also slightly alkaline
Is Turmeric alkaline or acidic?
Turmeric is acidic in nature, but the acidic components are diluted by other ingredients. Unless you have an allergy to this spice or experience heartburn regularly after eating turmeric, there should not be any negative side effects.