What to Eat and Avoid with Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a condition that occurs when acidic digestive juices creep up from your stomach and get back into the esophagus. The condition is related to GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which is the more severe form of this gastric problem. Acid reflux is characterized by a burning sensation in your throat or chest.

Many people think that acid reflux is caused by eating foods with high acidity while in fact the opposite is true. Poor digestion and low stomach acid are the major culprits. While you can’t temper the symptoms instantly by changing your diet, it does help make a significant change with time. Below are some of the foods you should include in your acid reflux diet.

What Is the Ideal Acid Reflux Diet? Dos and Don’ts

The best way to deal with acid reflux is to manage your diet. It is easy to design and follow a diet that prevents and reduces the symptoms of this condition. You can eat all the basic food groups including vegetables, cereals, dairy products, fruits and meats with only a few limitations.

Here’s a guideline:

  • Dairy Products - For dairy products, you should go with skim milk, 1% and 2% low fat milk and fat free or low-fat yogurt. Avoid chocolate milk and whole milk.
  • Vegetables - Avoid creamy style or fried vegetables and tomatoes.
  • Fruits - You can eat most fruits apart from citrus varieties such as pineapple, grapefruit and oranges.
  • Grains and Breads - Only eat low-fat breads and grains. Avoid those made with whole milk.
  • Meat - Low fat meats, turkey, fish, chicken are good to go. Avoid bacon, chicken skin/fat, fatty meats, sausages and cold cuts.
  • Oils and fats - Avoid all vegetable and animal fats and oils
  • Desserts and sweets – avoid chocolate and all deserts containing fats and oils.
  • Beverages – Avoid coffee, alcohol, sodas and most teas. You should only consume beverages that do not contain caffeine or mint, juices and water.
  • Soups – Only go with low-fat or fat free soups. Avoid beef, chicken, cream or milk based soups.

Super Foods for Acid Reflux

  1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great addition to your breakfast or day time snack. It is both filling and reflux-friendly. You can also eat instant oatmeal with raisins since the oatmeal helps absorb the acidity caused by raisins.

  1. Ginger

Ginger is one of the best additions to your diet if you suffer from acid reflux. However, you should use it in moderation. Throughout history, ginger has been used to treat gastrointestinal conditions and as an anti-inflammatory. You can slice it, dice it or shave it with a grater and add it to your food or smoothies. You can also make ginger chews or ginger tea. The possibilities are endless.

  1. Aloe Vera

This natural healing agent is a great solution to acid reflux. While you can find aloe vera as a living plant, it is also available in liquid form or leaves. You can find it in health food stores and groceries. Use it to thicken your recipes or congeal liquids. It may not taste nice on its own but it’s quite an effective addition to your acid reflux diet.

  1. Salad

Salad should be a staple in your diet when you have acid reflux. However, you should steer clear of onions, tomatoes, high-fat dressings and cheese. If you must add dressings that are acidic or fatty, make sure not to exceed one table spoon.

  1. Banana

With a pH of 5, bananas are an excellent snack for people with acid reflux. Bananas are particularly great for your digestive system. It boosts the secretion of mucus in the stomach, which helps protect the intestinal walls from gastric acid. However, in some people the condition gets worse after eating bananas. 

  1. Melon

Melon has a pH of 6.1 which makes it a perfect addition to your diet. However, there is a marginal chance that you might experience increased symptoms. If you do, avoid melon completely.

  1. Fennel

When acid reflux strikes, consider adding fennel into your tea. Add two tsps. of fennel seeds and some honey into a mug of boiling water. Strain the tea and leave it to sit for about half an hour. Take it to soothe your stomach. You can refrigerate and then heat when you need to take some. You could also chew some fennel seeds to help keep the reflux in check and keep your breath smelling fresh. You can also add it to your salad and chicken dishes.

  1.  Turkey and Chicken

Boil, grill, bake or sauté poultry to soothe acid reflux. Make sure to remove the skin as it contains a lot of fat.

  1. Fish and Seafood

Lobster, shrimp, shellfish and wild fish are a great addition to your acid reflux diet. You should never fry it to avoid the fat. Bake grill or sauté to enjoy a delicious meal that will help with acid reflux.

  1. Greens and Roots

Asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, and green beans are excellent for dealing with acid reflux. You don’t have to stick with these. You can basically add any greens or root vegetables to your diet to soothe acid reflux.

  1.  Celery

Celery is an appetite suppressant and a good source of roughage. It has a high water content and has no calories.  Most importantly, it is great for people with acid reflux.

  1. Parsley

This medicinal herb has been in use for hundreds of years as a solution to indigestion and acid reflux. You can use curly parsley and flat leaf parsley to make some excellent garnish and seasoning.

  1. Yoghurt

Yoghurt helps maintain an ideal pH level in the stomach due to its alkalinity. It is a probiotic that encourages the growth of good bacteria and inhibits acid reflux.

  1. Almond Milk

Blend an almond milk smoothie and have it for breakfast. Almond milk helps balance out the stomach by neutralizing acidic foods.

Know More Triggers of Acid Reflux

Sometimes, you may eat everything right and still struggle with acid reflux. Below bare some of the other culprits that may be responsible other than your acid reflux diet.

  • Being overweight can be an acid reflux trigger especially if you have a big belly that pushes up on your stomach.
  • Chronic stress can impair the nerves in the stomach. This makes the process of digestion impossible and consequently leading to acid reflux.
  • Magnesium is used to relax your sphincter muscles when you’re swallowing food. When it is in short supply in your body, the food will not be able to go down and will instead go back up.
  • Sensitivity to foods such as dairy and gluten can be missed by your doctor. This can lead to acid reflux among other symptoms.
  • Yeast and bad bacteria can cause acid reflux.
  • H.Pyroli can also cause acid reflux. 

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