Acid reflux occurs due to acid backflow from the stomach into the esophagus. The lower esophagus sphincter prevents food from moving upward into the esophagus. Acid reflux might occur due to lower esophagus sphincter (LES) weakening or damage.
The food we eat affects the amount of acid our stomach produces. One of the key factors to consider when trying to control acid reflux is to eat the right kinds of food. This further helps in controlling gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is a severe form of chronic acid reflux.
Following is the list of specific foods that you can incorporate into your diet for controlling acid reflux:
Vegetables are naturally low in fat and sugar. This helps in reducing stomach acid, thereby controlling acid reflux. Incorporating vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, leafy greens, potatoes, and cucumbers will help in getting relief from the symptoms of acid reflux.
Including ginger in your diet to control the symptoms of acid reflux will help in reducing the acidic level in your stomach. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that act as a natural treatment for heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems. Add a slice of ginger root in recipes and smoothies to get relief from acid reflux symptoms.
An excellent source of fiber, oatmeal can absorb excessive acid in the stomach and reduce symptoms of acid reflux. Fiber options such as whole-grain bread and whole-grain rice can be an excellent diet for acid reflux control.
- Non-citrus fruits
Avoid taking an excess amount of citric foods (foods rich in vitamin C) as they tend to increase the acidic content in the stomach. Include non-citrus fruits such as melons, bananas, apples, and pears. These fruits are less likely to trigger reflux symptoms when compared with acidic fruits.
- Low-fat meats
Meat such as chicken, turkey, and fish reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. Egg whites are also a good option. However, avoid consuming yolk as the high content fat in the yolk might trigger reflux symptoms.
- Healthy fats
Foods rich in healthy fats such as avocados, walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil help in controlling the acid reflux. Your diet acid reflux should not contain saturated and trans fats as they are hard to digest; hence, force the stomach to produce more acid. Replace them with healthier unsaturated fats.
Bananas are a great snack and really good for people who experience acid reflux. However, there are cases in which bananas have worsened the cases of acid reflux. So, keep in mind that it might work for most of the people but not for everyone
Simple changes in your diet and everyday habit can certainly help you with getting relief from acid reflux symptoms. Incorporate the following habits into your diet for acid reflux.
- Revamp your meals. For example, follow a low-fat and a high proteinaceous diet. Replace a rich creamy sauce pasta with a skinless chicken breast. The white sauce contains trans fats which trigger acid reflux in the body which can worsen the condition.
- Avoid eating big portions with big intervals. Eat more often but in smaller portions. Smaller meals are easier for the stomach to process and avoid developing acid reflux
- Avoid binging on food. Pace yourself and stop eating just before you feel full. This will slow down the process of acid production in the stomach.
- Keep a track on what foods increase the acid reflux in your body. Notice your diet for acid reflux. Foods and drinks that might initiate or worsen your heartburn may include coffee or tea, alcohol, citrus foods, tomatoes and products that are tomato based such as tomato sauce and salsa.
- Excess of chocolates, mint or peppermint, fatty or spicy foods, onions, and garlic tend to trigger acid reflux.
- Avoid consuming alcohol while having food as alcohol can trigger acid reflux, and the oily food can worsen the condition.
- Don’t lie down for at least two hours. Raise the head of your bed at least 4 to 6 inches to reduce acid reflux symptoms while sleeping.
- A healthy diet for Acid reflux will not help if you are a smoker. Although smoking is altogether an unhealthy habit, it worsens the symptoms of acid reflux. Therefore, avoid smoking if you are already experiencing these symptoms.
- Fried and fatty foods cause LES to relax. This allows the stomach acid to reach the esophagus. And since fried and fatty foods are rich in unsaturated fats, which are hard to digest and process, they remain in the stomach for a longer time. Chocolate works in the same way. They contain an ingredient called methylxanthine which relaxes the LES muscle, thus increasing the acid reflux.
If you have questions about which foods to include in your diet for acid reflux, talk to your doctor. This is because foods that help improves reducing the symptoms of acid reflex in one person, might trigger in someone else.