Foods that reduce acid reflux
Acid reflux is quite a common phenomenon and it happens usually whenever acid backflows from our stomach into the esophagus. This happens in a common manner but acid reflux can cause complications and harmful symptoms such as heartburn, so in this article, I will share foods that reduce acid reflux and we can include them in our diet.
Out of the many causes of acid reflux, the common one is that the LES or lower esophageal sphincter is damaged or not working in its proper condition. The LES has the function to close so as to prevent the stomach from moving into the esophagus. As it fails to function, the food starts coming out back into the esophagus.
Acid reflux can be reduced or increases depending on our diet. Many foods play an important part in increasing the amount of acid that your stomach produces. This acid is used to digest stomach but when it increases, acidity increases in the inner lining of our stomach. Eating the right kind of foods can help in controlling acid reflux. It also helps prevents GERD which is a type of gastroesophageal reflux disease which is a chronic form of acid reflux.
How can good food help
Foods help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. One may wonder how? The reflux symptoms result from stomach acid getting in touch with the esophagus which causes irritation and pain. When you get too much acid in your diet, you can substitute some food to decrease the chances of acid production to manage the symptoms of this disease. One important thing to note here is that no food can cure your condition entirely. Your decision to use these foods will help soothe your symptoms and the results vary with each individual.
Vegetables are never the reason acid gets produced in our stomach. Instead, they help neutralize the acid, especially the alkaline version. Vegetables are usually lower in fat and sugar too. They help reduce stomach acid in a safer way. Various good options are available in the market including the popular ones such as broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, potatoes, green beans, cucumbers, and leafy greens.
Having natural anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is an all-time popular natural treatment for acid reflux. This helps in heartburn and various other gastrointestinal problems. You can start having ginger in regular diets. Though it might not be a good idea to consume ginger in its raw form, you may include in regular diets. You can add grated or sliced ginger roots to recipes or smoothies. You can drink ginger tea to ease acid reflux symptoms and you can even add the ginger paste to daily food dishes to get its benefits.
Oatmeal is a world-known breakfast favorite for no ordinary reason. The diet is rich in fiber but also do wonders in keeping your acidity in check. Oatmeal is a type of whole grain and is an excellent source of essential nutrients required by our body. Oatmeal helps by absorbing acid in the stomach to reduce the reflux symptoms. Also, it is is a favorite for fitness experts as it helps in providing our body with all the necessary nutrients without causing a burden on the calorie intake. It is even regarded as better than whole-grain bread and whole-grain rice.
Fruits those are low in citrus
Citrus is a form of acid and helps our body in making the digestion process faster. But if you are having acid reflux symptoms, you already are dealing with the uncontrolled amount of acids in your body. Hence, what you should be looking for are non-citrus fruits. Various options are available in the market but the common ones are melons, apples, pears, and bananas. These help in avoiding acid reflux symptoms. You should avoid acidic fruits such as oranges, pineapple, lemons, etc.
Seafood and lean meats
These are good options in reducing your acid reflux. Being rich in protein content, help reduce the acid in our stomach. You may go for lean meats such as fish, turkey or chicken. You may opt for low-fat seafood that can help reduce acidity symptoms. It is always the best option to have them grilled, baked, poached or broiled. You should not consume them in grille form.
When consuming egg, you should note that the egg whites are a good option to counter acid reflux. You should avoid having egg yolks. Yolks are higher in fat and often trigger reflux symptoms. Egg whites have rich protein content which helps reduce the acid amount in our body.
When looking for the best acid-countering foods, you should not ignore the importance of healthy fats. There are various sources of healthy fats that are easily available in the market and are affordable too. Popular choices include walnuts, flaxseed, sesame oil, avocados, sunflower oil, and sesame oil. You should look forward to reducing your intake of Trans fats and saturated fats.
Symptoms and triggers
Out of many common symptoms, heartburn is the most common one that promotes GERD. One can easily develop a burning sensation in his or her stomach. Heartburn can also lead to a burning sensation in your chest. This happens usually when you have eaten a full meal. You can get acid burn after eating certain foods that trigger the process. Many people get an acid burn from eating oily foods or junk items. Many people have reported getting an acid burn from tea as well. You need to find you are triggering food in order to reduce or eliminate it from our diet. GERD also causes vomiting along with regurgitation which happens as the result of acid moving into your esophagus.
Some of the other common symptoms of acid reflux include:
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Pain in muscles
- Lump in the throat
- Problems in swallowing
Studies suggest that only a single diet cannot prevent acid reflux symptoms fully. There are many people that find certain food items triggering their symptoms. Food triggers are different for every individual and require different treatment options. This also depends on our body’s ability to produce acid or retain it. Good lifestyle habits can help you in the prevention of the onset of acid reflux.
We have combined three categories for people who are having a problem in finding the food that triggers their acid reflux. You should take note of
- Things you eat
- The time of day you are eating
- The symptoms you are experiencing
By taking note of all these things, or maintaining a diary to be regularly updated by you, it will be much helpful tracking your food for a bigger goal. You will also be able to know how much your diet varies and in what manner. You can use the diary or a digital record to identify specific drinks and foods that are affecting your GERD.
Nutrition and diet advice is a starting point in order to plan your meals. You can use the guide in accordance with a good food journal. You can then also incorporate professional recommendations from your dietician or physician. One’s ultimate goal should be to minimize your acid reflux symptoms.
Food that causes acid reflux
There is no exact estimate as to which food is actually the reason behind acid reflux symptoms. However, experts have listed certain foods that are causing these problems in many people much more as compared to other foods. To control the acid gas reflux symptoms, you can start eradicated the following foods from your diet:
Foods rich in high fat
We often consume fatty and fried foods without worrying about our digestive health. In reality, these foods stress our stomach and digestive system. They cause LES to relax which causes more stomach acid to back up into our esophagus. The high-fat foods also delay stomach emptying which causes fat accumulation and several other health-related issues.
When you are eating fat-rich foods, you are putting yourself at greater risk for reflux symptoms. They also increase your total daily fat intake which is not a good sign for a healthy body.
If you are wondering which foods are high in fat and should be avoided, here is a shortlist for you:
- Chips, French fries, and onion rings
- Bacon fat, lard, and ham fat
- Full-fat dairy products like butter, regular cheese, sour cream, and whole milk
- Fatty or fried beef, lamb or pork
- Sugary foods such as desserts like ice-cream or soft drinks
- Oily and greasy food
- Creamy sauces, salad dressings with creams and gravies
As discussed above non-citrus fruits help in reducing acid reflux in our stomach. Same way citrus fruits increase the symptoms. The most common ones are tomatoes. Various fruits and vegetables are important in a healthy diet. However, various fruits can worsen your GERD symptoms, especially those that are acidic. When you have a sensitive digestive system or if you are experiencing frequent acid reflux, you should take a chance to eliminate the intake of certain foods. The list includes grapefruit, lemons, pineapple, oranges, tomato salsa, limes, tomato sauce or foods using like pizza and salsa.
The dark temptation of chocolate might be satisfying for our taste buds, but not so for our stomach. It contains an ingredient known as methylxanthine that shows to relax smooth muscles in LES. This increases reflux. Hence, it might be a good idea for removing the chocolate foods from your diet.
Spicy foods, onion, and garlic
All three of these trigger heartburn in the majority of individuals. These foods usually don’t cause a trigger in reflux in everyone. But if you take them on a regular basis, you may get much prone to acid reflux than others.
There are plenty of foods that might not be on the radar of a common individual facing reflux symptoms. This happens as many people are blessed with intolerance towards these food items. It’s only after facing severe symptoms that we get to recognize our defaulters in the diet plan. Some unnoticed food items include flour-based products like bread, whey protein, and dairy products.
Make lifestyle changes
Making lifestyle changes is always good instead of going for medications or treatment plans. Here are a few habits you can change or adapt to avoid acid reflux:
- Make lifestyle habits instead of taking medications. You can reduce acid production by making dietary changes
- Maintain a healthy weight by indulging in physical exercises as well as working out regularly
- Chew gum that is not peppermint or spearmint flavored. Peppermint can often trigger acid reflux symptoms.
- Avoid bad habits such as alcohol or smoke
- Always eat slowly by chewing the food. Refrain from overeating
- Avoid wearing clothes that are tight around the waist or belly region
- Avoid eating three to four hours before going to bed
- To reduce reflux symptoms, you can try raising the bed’s head for four to six inches.