Are Olives Acidic?

Last modified on June 6th, 2022 at 11:17 pm

**Disclosure: We recommend the best products we think would help our audience and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, and we may earn a small commission. Read our full privacy policy here.

Olives, also known as drupes or stone fruits, are rich in antioxidants and healthy fats. Antioxidants protect the body’s cells from oxidative damage caused due to free radicals, whereas healthy fats help lower the body’s ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. Hence, olives are deemed to be very healthy and are often enjoyed greatly in salads and sandwiches.

Now, ‘are olives acidic’ is a common question. This depends on the type of olives we are talking about. While some olives have a neutral pH value, most have a pH lower than that of water, which indicates that they are acidic.

Nutritional value of olives

Olives contain 80% water and are rich in powerful antioxidants.

100 grams of ripe, canned olives have the following nutritional values:

  • Carbohydrates: 6.3 grams
  • Proteins: 0.8 grams
  • Fats: 10.7 grams
  • Calories: 115

As you can see, olives are low in carbs and high in fats. These fats are monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA). They are nutrient-dense as they are enriched with vitamin E, iron, copper, sodium, and calcium.

What is the pH of olives?

According to a study titled “Physicochemical, microbiological, and organoleptic profiles of Greek table olives from retail outlets,” published in the Journal of Food Protection, the average pH values of olives range from 3.96 to 4.31. A pH of less than 7 indicates that the food is high in acidic content. Thus, olives are considered to be acidic in nature. Olives when fermented become even more acidic.

Important health benefits of Olives

Olives are linked with providing numerous health benefits due to their high nutritional status. These are as follows:

Who should not consume olives?

As olives are acidic, it would be best for vulnerable groups to avoid consuming them. The vulnerable population includes people with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or chronic heartburn. There haven’t been enough studies done that strongly suggest the negative side effects of olives in relation to acidity. Additionally, triggers for acid reflux can be different for different people. So, if you experience any symptoms of acid reflux, like heartburn or a sour taste in the back of your mouth, you should stop consuming olives and seek medical advice. 

Black olives are less acidic compared to green and pickled olives, so you can try switching to them and check if you still experience heartburn.


If you really love olives and don’t want to stop eating them despite experiencing heartburn, you can try having alkaline foods that might help neutralize the acidity due to olives. If you are someone who does not experience any discomfort while having olives, it is advisable to eat them in moderation, as consuming an excess might cause acidity.


FoodData central. (n.d.). Usda.Gov. Retrieved May 29, 2022, from 

García-Martínez, O., Rivas, A., Ramos-Torrecillas, J., De Luna-Bertos, E., & Ruiz, C. (2014). The effect of olive oil on osteoporosis prevention. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 65(7), 834–840.

Ghanbari, R., Anwar, F., Alkharfy, K. M., Gilani, A.-H., & Saari, N. (2012). Valuable nutrients and functional bioactives in different parts of olive (Olea europaea L.)-a review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 13(3), 3291–3340.  

Panagou, E. Z., Tassou, C. C., & Skandamis, P. N. (2006). Physicochemical, microbiological, and organoleptic profiles of Greek table olives from retail outlets. Journal of Food Protection, 69(7), 1732–1738. 

Tripoli, E., Giammanco, M., Tabacchi, G., Di Majo, D., Giammanco, S., & La Guardia, M. (2005). The phenolic compounds of olive oil: structure, biological activity, and beneficial effects on human health. Nutrition Research Reviews, 18(1), 98–112. 

Leave a Comment