“Get some food, and everything is good.” That’s how you sum up the life of a foodie. But some way or the other, isn’t everyone a food admirer?
Enjoying wholesome meals is bliss. But sometimes, bitterness due to acid reflux ruins it all. Some people are at a higher risk of experiencing it often.
When it develops into a long-term problem, it may ruin your overall health. Hence, you could distance yourself from the foods to avoid acid reflux.
Although, some healthy habits offer great help. These are useful in both heartburn and GERD. You can try weight management and small meals, to begin with.
Quitting long-built guilty pleasures like smoking and alcohol consumption can slowly be eliminated. With this being said, let’s quickly advance to the central part.
Foods You Can Eat During Acid Reflux
This chronic disorder, in medical terms, is known as GERD.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease causes acid to enter the esophagus. This causes pain, bloating, and irritation.
Diet has a crucial role to play. Certain foods might lower your risk of acid reflux. These foods will help control your symptoms if you suffer from them frequently.
The main reason behind acid reflux is acidity itself. So during heartburn, eating highly acidic foods is a big no.
You should opt for alkaline foods to help neutralize the acid. Aside from these, liquid foods and fiber-rich foods are also beneficial.
Oatmeal is the top pick for breakfast. Even fitness freaks are awestruck by its benefits. It is nutritious and blends in with diet plans.
The critical nutrient present in it is fiber.
Fiber is an essential part of the body’s necessities. It is vital for smooth digestion.
In the case of acid reflux, fiber boosts satiety. Therefore, hunger doesn’t strike you very often. You might feel full. This may help eliminate the risk of overeating.
Some studies suggest that it may promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut.
This comes in handy during acid reflux.
The food is digested quickly. Therefore it does not stay in the stomach for a long time. This may avoid acid reflux.
Other advantages you get are eased up constipation, antioxidants, and blood sugar levels.
Oatmeal is also one of the best foods for weight loss, so if you are on a diet and are looking to shed some weight, then Oatmeal is a definite friend.
Watermelon is a must-have fruit for reducing acid reflux. This sugary fruit has about 92% water. This helps you stay hydrated.
Moreover, this water may dilute the acid produced in the stomach. So the probability of weakening of the impact of acid subsequently increases.
Another highlight is that the sugar present in watermelon is not harmful to you.
So you can enjoy delicious watermelon juice to satisfy your sweet cravings.
Besides watermelon, a variety of sweet non-citrus fruits can be consumed.
In contrast to the refreshing summer fruit, we have a winter spice ginger. Though it can be cultivated nearly the whole year, it is popularly used in winter. The reason is its warming effect.
Ginger is considered alkaline. Moreover, it is a part of traditional medicine for improving digestion.
The enzymes activated help bring the best in their medicinal properties.
According to a few studies, it has anti-inflammatory properties. These have been linked to acid reflux treatment.
Researchers believe ginger may prevent acid reflux symptoms by relieving inflammation in the esophagus.
Consuming ginger root tea at a gap of half-hour before or after meals can help.
It is better to use it as an alternative treatment and not a permanent remedy.
Veggies are versatile. Their benefits have no bounds.
Their utility is not limited to a particular goal or diet plan. A healthy and balanced diet always includes some veggies.
Greens, particularly leafy greens, are one of the richest nutrition sources. This will help stay in shape and reduce the risk of other problems.
Acid reflux is one of these problems. Green leafy vegetables may also reduce bloating.
Kale, broccoli, and spinach might be your companion during acid reflux. Besides the greens, carrots, potatoes, and beets may also help.
It is an excellent option to beat the summer heat. One could easily say that coconut water has several benefits some of them are hydrating and nutritious. But it has more to offer than just a refreshing summer drink.
Coconut water eases acid reflux.
It is a relief when plant and full-fat dairy milk worsen acid reflux. The presence of some electrolytes might balance the pH levels.
Hence the acid reflux can be neutralized using coconut water.
Eggs are an excellent protein source. As far as egg whites are low in cholesterol and fats, they are safe to be consumed during acid reflux.
Raw egg whites are found to be high in protein and low in cholesterol levels as compared to whole egg whites.
Another essential aspect to note is the pH value. The egg is neutral as a whole. But the whites are slightly alkaline. Their pH increases from 7.6-9.2 as they age.
It may neutralize the acid produced.
Lean Meats And Seafood
Fatty foods might be the wrong choice during reflux. Therefore, most meats are better avoided.
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to give up on meat. Just remember to opt for lean meat.
Chicken breasts can be the ideal choice. They bring protein to the plate without adding fat. To reduce fat content further, remove the skin.
Another option available is turkey. It is also low in fat. Talking about seafood, you can consider shrimps, lobsters, and shellfish.
Some fish options are salmon, trout, tuna, and sardines. These fish belong to the oily fish category but are low in fat and high in omega-3.
However, some people report digestive issues due to fish. It may trigger reflux for some people.
Honey is known to inhibit prostaglandin E2 and nitric oxide production. This relatively brings down inflammation.
Therefore, it acts as a smooth protecting cover to prevent acid reflux. Moreover, it keeps acid down. Its non-peroxide antibacterial activity helps in treating heartburn.
As per a study, a person reported reduced heartburn symptoms after consuming 1 tablespoon of honey daily. The antioxidants present in it may also relieve acid reflux.
Milk And Yogurt
Dairy products are an excellent source of fats. So it’s equally valid that they may cause reflux. But the fact is the fat present causes problems.
Choosing low-fat milk and yogurt can soothe the burning sensation.
They might also act as a temporary buffer. Hence the action of an acid is overruled.
The use of milk and yogurt for acid reflux has been a part of home remedies.
However, lactose-intolerant people should not consume these products.
Another home remedy to consider for reflux is fennel seeds. They are sweet and have a flavor similar to licorice.
These seeds have been a part of households for ages. It is common in countries like India to eat fennel seeds after meals. It freshens the breath and leaves a sweet taste.
But the reason for eating it after meals is much more than freshness. Fennel is said to improve digestion. It might clean your stomach and kill bacteria.
It soothes the muscle of the stomach, preventing pressure on walls and gastric problems.
It is best to chew some fennel seeds after meals. You can also try soaking them in water and then consuming your rejuvenating drink.
Fermented veggies are a great way to lower acidic levels. They contain probiotics.
These probiotics protect the inner lining of the stomach.
Some fermented foods are acidic. However, fermented veggies like pickles and your favorite kimchi are beneficial during heartburn.
Cucumbers contain a high amount of water. Except for keeping your body hydrated, the water dilutes stomach acid. This might weaken the acid reflux.
Cucumbers are also alkaline. Therefore, they can be used to neutralize pH in the stomach.
Remember that simple chopped pieces of cucumber or its juice is fine. Using pickled cucumbers can worsen heartburn.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is claimed to reduce acid reflux. The surprising fact is that it is acidic.
Taking a little extra acid may balance the acid production in the stomach.
Moreover, it helps the breakdown and digestion of food. So, when the exit time of food reduces, it may reduce acid reflux as a result.
Take no more than a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a cup of warm water.
On the other hand, apple cider vinegar has several benefits if you want to consume it daily.
Kefir is a popular fermented drink. Its origin traces back to Eastern Europe.
It is mainly made from pasteurized animal milk. Despite its acidic nature, many people reported improvement in acid reflux after drinking kefir.
It is due to the presence of lactobacillus and numerous other probiotics. They promote gut health, improve digestion and bring down acid reflux.
To make it, you must add kefir grains to milk in a glass container. Avoid the use of metal.
Ferment it for 24 hours at a temperature of 18-29°C. You can prepare several fresh batches from your kefir grains.
If you don’t want to go for animal milk, you can also consider coconut milk, plain water, and coconut water.
Acid reflux is a common problem. Nevertheless, you should not take it lightly.
If it develops over time into something serious, it becomes gastroesophageal reflux disease.
In both cases, it is possible to control the symptoms and their severity.
Lifestyle changes are a must for controlling acid reflux and GERD.
Changes like quitting smoking, alcohol, and overeating help.
Besides that, nutrition plays an important role. Foods that contain high-fiber and low-fat are ideal.
Alkaline foods oatmeal, cucumber, greens, sweet fruits, ginger, and honey also neutralize acid reflux.
Thus, it can be concluded that one might be able to mitigate the symptoms of acid reflux by including these foods in their diet.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
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Alisha Matthew has been a practicing nutritionist since 2016. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of IOWA. She is a staunch believer in improving the human health index by educating people about nutrition and the importance of nutrition in leading a healthy and happy life. Her long-term goal is to keep educating people on general health and keep herself updated with the latest trends in the field of health.