hat diet should you be following if you suffer from acid reflux? There are several different foods that can help, and it is important to know what they are.
This article will cover the symptoms of acid reflux, triggers for acid reflux, diet advice, and natural remedies for this condition.
What Is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux means stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Chronic acid reflux is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
This condition is most often caused by diet and lifestyle changes, such as eating large meals or overeating, lying down after a meal, drinking too much alcohol, smoking cigarettes.
Moreover, sleeping on your back with your head elevated, such as when using reading pillows, wearing tight clothes around the waist that press on the stomach, and not wearing a bra.
The esophagus allows food to go from your mouth into your stomach by creating pressure on one end of it so that when we swallow, this forces down any contents that are in our throat or upper part of the esophagus.
This is what prevents us from choking. When you eat too quickly, the food in your esophagus is not pushed through to your stomach. This will allow acid from your stomach and digestive juices back up into the lower end of your esophagus.
Common symptoms include the burning sensation in the chest, as well as a dry cough, difficulty swallowing, bad breath, indigestion, and chest pain.
When this happens repeatedly, it can irritate or erode tissues that line the wall of this tube-like structure called a “reflux”. This causes stomach acid to seep into the higher part of your esophagus, which can lead to symptoms such as heartburn and chest pain that many people mistakenly refer to as “heart attack” or “stomach cancer”.
Foods That Help Your Acid Reflux
When it comes to eating the right food for acid reflux, there are many things to consider. You want to avoid foods that will trigger your symptoms and diet the right way for you.
Eat foods that are rich in fiber. It helps reduce the acid in your stomach, and it also helps with digestion. Also, eat foods that are rich in calcium.
These foods help heal the esophagus and stomach lining. Moreover, eat foods that are also rich in vitamin C. It helps neutralize the stomach acid and protects the esophagus from damage caused by refluxed acid. Lastly, eat foods that are rich in magnesium as it has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce up to 80% of GERD symptoms.
Foods that help with acid reflux:
- Salads with leafy greens.
- Tomatoes, cucumbers, and other green vegetables.
- Vegetable soups without spice or beans.
- Fruit smoothie made of yogurt, bananas, and berries with no honey.
- Fresh fruit juice like apple juice or grapefruit juice. Don't forget to add some water.
- An apple before bedtime to prevent acid reflux from occurring during sleep.
- Rice porridge for breakfast or lunch with a touch of cinnamon and walnuts, almonds, or pecans.
- Raw vegetables with rice and beans.
- Broth-based soups like chicken or beef bones for soup
- Poached fish without the sauce baked in parchment paper to avoid fat content from being burnt on the pan surface.
- Beef stew with lots of vegetables.
- Roast chicken without skin.
- Boiled or grilled fish without the sauce. Avoid fried food. It will trigger acid reflux.
- Yogurt with live cultures specifically for digestion and probiotics to improve your gut flora and prevent acid reflux.
- Dried fruit like figs or dates that are soft in texture and don't contain any seeds.
- Roasted nuts with no salt or sugar added and avoid peanuts.
- Fresh fruit like apples, bananas, pears without skin or peels. Avoid acidic fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons because they can trigger acid reflux.
- Banana mixed with oats.
- Black rice porridge without any spices or onions to prevent acid reflux from occurring during sleep.
- Roasted nuts mixed with dried fruit and almonds. Add a spoonful of honey if you want some sweetness in your diet, but avoid using it on fresh fruits because they can trigger acid reflux.
- Whole wheat toast without butter.
- Quinoa porridge with a touch of cinnamon and walnuts, almonds, or pecans.
- Brown rice mixed with beans after cooking.
- Fresh vegetable juice made from carrot, celery, lettuce leaves, cucumber without any spices like onion or garlic to prevent acid reflux during sleep.
- Eggplant (sliced and boiled) mixed up with beans and rice for the best acid reflux diet.
Foods That May Trigger Acid Reflux
There are certain foods that may trigger acid reflux. The following list of foods should be removed from the diet if they are triggering symptoms:
Some foods are well known for triggering acid reflux. The most common culprits include diet sodas, tomatoes, citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, spicy food such as chili peppers or curry dishes, onions (especially raw), carbonated beverages like soda water with bubbles, mint leaves from peppermint tea, or spearmint chewing gum.
Many dieters and athletes turn to diet sodas with the assumption that it provides a better option for regular soda. Diet sodas may use artificial sweeteners like aspartame or saccharin, which can trigger acid reflux in some people. One study found that diet soda may be worse for people with acid reflux because it contains phosphoric acid, which is a major trigger of heartburn.
Tomatoes are common base ingredients in many dishes, such as pizza sauce and pasta sauces. As well as being acidic, tomatoes are also a common trigger for acid reflux. Some people reported heartburn or acid reflux symptoms shortly after eating a tomato-based meal.
Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons can cause acid reflux symptoms due to high levels of citric acids. Spicy foods such as chili peppers or curry dishes may trigger heartburn by temporarily making stomach contents more concentrated, leading which leads to increased production of stomach acid. Onions are also known to cause heartburn, especially when eaten raw or boiled without cooking.
Carbonated drinks like soda water with bubbles contain carbon dioxide gas which may trigger indigestion and exacerbate the symptoms of acid reflux in some people. Mint leaves from peppermint tea, or spearmint chewing gum can also cause acid reflux when the active ingredient menthol is introduced to stomach content.
The effects of diet sodas on your body vary from person to person and are determined by the individual's sensitivity to various artificial sweeteners that they use as their main ingredients. If diet sodas make you feel worse, then you should avoid diet sodas.
Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux
- Drink water and avoid sugary drinks.
- Avoid foods that are high in fat or spicy.
- Eat small meals more often. This will not only help with acid reflux but also hunger pains as well!
- Take the medication prescribed by your doctor if necessary to reduce symptoms of heartburn before bedtime.
- Avoid eating high-fat foods.
- If you want to lose weight, do it gradually and be sure not to cut too many calories at once. Doing this can cause your stomach acid levels to rise, which will trigger heartburn as well. Try an antacid before bedtime if necessary for relief from heartburn.
- Eat foods high in fiber to help reduce the acid levels in your stomach as well!
- Avoid wearing tight clothing that may cause abdominal pressure, leading to an increased risk of severe cases of heartburn and reflux.
- Try eating ginger before the main meal you are about to eat for a natural anti-inflammatory as well.
- Try eating raw garlic before the main meal you are about to eat, which is a natural antibiotic and will help reduce heartburn problems that may occur because of acid reflux!
- Avoid eating too much fried food, fatty foods, and other high-fat items. These can cause stomach upset which can lead to heartburn or acid reflux symptoms. Eating more fruits and vegetables is recommended because they are low in calories, rich in vitamins and minerals, and are easy to digest.
- Avoid eating heavy meals, especially late at night when digestion is slower. It may be helpful to eat smaller portions of food more often during the day rather than waiting until it's time for dinner or lunchtime - this could help relieve symptoms of acid reflux.
Talk To Your Doctor
Talk to your doctor about the best diet for acid reflux for you because they have a lot of experience and can recommend diet changes that may help with symptoms. It's also important to speak with them before making any diet changes on your own.
As you can see, a healthy diet is one of the most important factors for any condition, and acid reflux is no exception. The best diet for acid reflux to follow may be strict at first, but as time goes on, it will get easier and become not only a necessary part of your diet but also something you enjoy.
With this diet plan in mind, along with the diet tips you have learned, it is now your choice to make the necessary changes and experience relief. Speak to your doctor when you have any questions.