Is lemon alkaline or acidic?
Why is lemon alkalizing
ALKALINIZING EFFECTS OF LEMON
Is lemon alkalizing or acidifying?
Consultation of a reader:
Is lemon acid or alkaline?
Although lemon contains acidic citric acid, it is not an acidifying food. Due to its content in potassium, calcium and little contribution of proteins, phosphorus and other acidifying components, lemon is an alkalizing food.
Is lemon acid for the stomach?
Lemon contains an organic acid called citric acid. In chemistry, citric acid is called a "strong acid," meaning that when it is ingested, it lowers the stomach pH. However, it contains little of that acid, so, in normal dietary amounts, lemon does not cause irritation in the stomach. In fact, if the lemon is consumed with meals, they do not have any harmful effect, since the foods compensate the slightly acidic pH that could bring the lemon.
What would be irritating to the stomach would consume a lot of lemon, undiluted in water, and on an empty stomach.
Regulation of acidity in the stomach
On the other hand, the stomach has its own mechanisms to regulate acidity. That is, when acid foods are ingested, what is produced in the stomach is a compensation, through the regulation of acid secretion. That is, the stomach walls pick up the pH change by ingestion of acidic foods, and what they do is produce less hydrochloric acid. In this way the ingestion of acids is compensated, and the stomach regulates excess acidity.
Therefore, under normal conditions, the stomach never has "too much acid", except for the ingestion of chemicals or excessive acidic foods (as discussed above on excessive amounts of undiluted lemon).
* More information: Lemon for the stomach
What properties does the lemon and its citric acid have?
As a curiosity, citric acid is digestive and helps the stomach in its functions of digestion of food.
An easy experiment to illustrate this property is the maceration of a protein food, such as fish, in squeezed lemon: Is it true that food changes color and softens? This is due to the properties of citric acid to help degrade proteins. And this property is excellent in recipes like ceviche.
This should not be interpreted as citric acid being corrosive. As it has been explained, in the normal amounts found in foods, the stomach can tolerate the ingestion of lemon.
Lemon as alkalizing food
About whether the lemon is alkaline, that is another issue other than the acidity or presence of citric acid in the fruit.
The alkalinity of a food, in scientific or dietary terms (what is known as the popular alkaline diet) depends on the amount of protein, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium in food. Technically this is called the PRAL value. (Potential Renal Acid Load)
Depending on the composition of the food, these give an acid or alkaline urine. And, in turn, a more or less alkaline urine favors the elimination of certain toxins from the body.
So, is lemon acid or alkaline?
As a conclusion of everything explained, it could be said that, although lemon contains citric acid, it is not acidifying. Due to its content in potassium, calcium and little contribution of proteins, phosphorus and other acidifiers, lemon is an alkalizing food.
Scientific studies on lemon as an alkalizing food
As scientific references, there is a meta-analysis (maximum scientific evidence) about lemon in gastric cancer that indicates that citrus consumption is beneficial for the prevention of stomach cancer. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables, in general, would also be beneficial.
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.