If you suffer from acid reflux, you may want to know how you can enjoy eating without triggering the painful effects of this condition. The journal Gut has presented research indicating that the incidence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is increasing and occurs in 10 to 20% of the populations of Europe and the United States. This condition occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus due to a weakened or faulty esophageal valve. The introduction of stomach acid into the esophagus results in heartburn, indigestion, pain, and difficulty swallowing. The following are foods that should help soothe tissues and prevent acid reflux rather than triggering a painful episode.
Bananas are low in acid, which means they won’t irritate tender or swollen esophageal tissues when swallowed. Additionally, they may help neutralize stomach acids. Bananas also contain fiber, which is instrumental in keeping food moving through the digestive tract. Keeping food moving along the digestive tract prevents it from languishing in the stomach, where it can stimulate more acid production. To prevent painful episodes of acid reflux, stick to non-acidic foods and avoid tomatoes and citrus fruits, which are highly acidic.
Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melons are also alkaline or non-acidic fruits. In addition, these fruits contain magnesium, which may play a role in preventing reflux due to its actions on the sphincter of the esophagus. A slice of chilled melon can provide relief to sore tissues of the throat while providing the nutrients your body needs.
Oatmeal is a rich source of the fiber your body needs for good digestive health. The whole grains of oats keep you feeling full longer. This means you are less likely to overindulge and trigger acid reflux caused by overeating. Fiber also is helpful for keeping your digestive tract functioning and moving food along at a healthy pace. Since oatmeal is low in fat, it won’t cause painful reflux the way fried or fatty foods do. Avoid high-fat foods like fatty meats, cream sauces, and greasy snacks that will cause the esophageal sphincter to relax and allow stomach acids to creep up into your esophagus.
Unlike full-fat dairy products, yogurt can be a healthy choice for those wishing to alleviate the pain of acid reflux. Yogurt is cooling and soothing to inflamed esophageal tissues. In addition, yogurt contains probiotics, the healthy microorganisms that populate the digestive tract and aid in digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Yogurt is also a good source of protein, which is necessary for good digestive health. Eat several small meals a day when suffering from acid reflux and be careful not to overeat, as this can trigger painful symptoms of reflux.
6. Green Vegetables
Green vegetables are great sources of vitamins and nutrients. They are also alkaline, which means they don’t contain acids that will irritate your digestive tract. Spinach, kale, broccoli, and snow peas are delicious green vegetables that you can enjoy while staving off acid reflux. Avocado is a creamy alkaline fruit that can also be enjoyed when eating to prevent acid reflux. Some individuals with acid reflux do not suffer ill effects from consuming spicy foods. However, others do notice increased symptoms when dining on spicy dishes. Therefore, you may want to avoid zesty or spicy vegetables like onions and garlic that may prompt the regurgitation of acid into the esophagus.
Ginger is a spice that not only imparts a wonderful flavor and aroma to recipes, but may also have many health benefits. Some find relief from nausea and indigestion when brewing ginger into a tea. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful when dealing with acid reflux. AARP suggests grating a bit of ginger into some yogurt to keep acid reflux at bay.
4. Egg Whites
Egg whites are a good source of protein that should soothe rather than irritate symptoms of acid reflux. Avoid egg yolks, as they contain a compound that may cause your esophageal sphincter to relax and allow acid to move up into the esophagus. The high fat content of egg yolks also makes them a poor choice for individuals suffering from acid reflux. You can enjoy an egg white scrambled with spinach for a protein-rich, nutrient-packed snack that shouldn’t trigger painful acid reflux.
3. Fish and Poultry
Fish and lean poultry are good sources of protein that should be less irritating to sufferers of acid reflux. Avoid frying these foods, as the fats in oil can trigger an episode of reflux. Prepare your lean cuts of meat by grilling, broiling, or baking to prevent consuming excess fat or grease that can irritate your condition. One trick for preventing acid reflux is to keep your posture straight while eating rather than slouching. Additionally, you should avoid eating right before lying down. Remain upright to allow food to digest and to prevent acid from easily slipping pass your esophageal sphincter.
White potatoes that have been baked, boiled, or mashed should be good choices when eating to prevent acid reflux. Avoid French fries, as fried foods tend to trigger symptoms of reflux. You will also want to avoid using butter, sour cream, or high-fat creamy sauces. Fatty substances can delay the emptying of your stomach and increase your risk of experiencing reflux symptoms. Roast thin-skinned red potatoes and toss with rosemary for a delicious acid reflux-friendly side dish. Serve with a lean chicken breast, a leafy green salad, and a bowl of cantaloupe for dessert.
Brown rice or couscous can be good choices for those wishing to alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux. These complex carbohydrates are filling without being high in fat content and contain more nutrients than other carbohydrates like white rice or refined flour. Complex carbohydrates keep you satisfied longer, which decreases the likelihood of overeating and may help you lose weight. Obesity is a risk factor for acid reflux. If you struggle with obesity, mindful eating can help you achieve weight loss, which in turn will decrease acid reflux symptoms. Avoid serving rice with acidic or spicy sauces to defend against reflux symptoms.