How Diet Affects Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux is the movement of food in the reverse direction in your body. What you eat should generally move down your stomach to get processed in the intestine so that nutrients are absorbed and residues are excreted.
Your lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a valve which ensures one way movement of consumed items, can't do it's function effectively when it gets damaged. As a result food along with digestive acids moves up causing heartburn. The process is called acid reflux. A severe form of chronic acid reflux is called gastroesophageal Reflux disease (GERD).
Certain foods produce less symptoms than the others. Let us examine which foods to eat and which to avoid if you have acid reflux.
The following foods have shown relief from acid reflux although there is not much research done to support it.
1. Bananas for Acid Reflux
High alkaline food such as bananas with pH value between 4.5-5.2 are a great relief for acid reflux. It neutralizes the acidity and calms you down.
Almost all melons such as cantaloupe, honeydew or watermelon are all alkaline foods like bananas. Although their pH values are not as alkaline as bananas, they do a good job to reduce acid reflux.
All green leafy vegetables like spinach,kale, celery, parsley, brussels sprouts and a range of other are highly alkaline foods that help to deal with acid reflux. Green vegetables are already in high demand healthy foods , so they not only help you with acid reflux but also make you overall healthy.
Fennell has been found to improve stomach functioning and is a very good food for acid reflux. You can use it in salad along with other leafy vegetables. Make sure that your salad doesn't include most common ingredients: tomato and onions as they cause acid reflux.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is widely used as a skin healing product, but it is also great for relieving acid reflux. You can make aloe vera drink or buy ready made aloe vera drink from your nearest grocery store. Make sure that the commercially available aloe vera drink has less sugar content.
6. Oatmeal for Acid Reflux
Oatmeal is one of the best acid reflux diets. You can eat oatmeal any time but generally oatmeal is used during breakfast. In fact, almost all whole grain foods are good for acid reflux and heartburn problems.
7. Low Fat Meats and Egg white
Low fat meats or lean fats as they are called are good for acid reflux. If you fry them then the whole purpose of them being low fat is lost, so use them poached, baked or grilled. Following choices will do a good job
- Egg white
Main cause of Acid Reflux is the weakness or damage in the esophageal sphincter. Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms. The Other symptoms may include:
- Sore throat
- Swallowing difficulties
Certain foods can Trigger symptoms of GERD in some people, yet they may not produce any difficulty in other people with damaged esophageal sphincters. So in order to find out which foods actually Trigger your Acid Reflux you need to track the food you eat.
Once you identify the specific foods and drinks that cause heartburn symptoms, then you can avoid them in future.
Some of the following foods have been found to cause acid reflux in most people.
1. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are notorious for worsening GERD symptoms. You should avoid or at least reduce consumption of all citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, pineapple, grapefruit and tangerines. If you have acid reflux then you should even reduce consumption of tomato which is not a citrus fruit but is acidic.
2. Fatty Foods
High fat content foods impact acid reflux in two ways. One, they take a long time to digest as a result your stomach doesn't empty fast so increases the probability of acid reflux. Two, It relaxes LES causing it to malfunction. So avoid or reduce consumption of all kinds of fatty foods such as french fries, potato chips, full fat dairy products, ice creams, beef, pork and other red meats.
3. Spicy Foods
Spicy foods also give symptoms of acid reflux to many people. If you are one of them then avoid all kinds of spicy food. You can even give up onions and garlic.
Chocolate also causes heartburn in many people. Milk Chocolates which are rich in dairy fat should be completely avoided if you are vulnerable.
Coffee or other caffeinated drinks give acid reflux. Avoid them.
Mint is although very cooling, it can give heartburn symptoms to most people. Avoid consumption of raw mint or mint containing foods.
Avoid these foods and reduce the probabilities of heartburn.
In addition to knowing what foods to eat and what to avoid, you can also take the following precautions and make lifestyle changes to further reduce the probability
- Increase your dietary fiber - do there is no scientific evidence yet experience have we established that fiber rich fruits and vegetables good for Acid Reflux
- Do not sleep within two three hours of eating food - sleeping position will lose the gravity advantage of standing or sitting position in which food automatically moves down.
- Do not overeat - when you eat more than required the food takes time to get digested. It finds more reason to move a and cause Acid Reflux.
- Avoid alcohol caffeine and carbonated soda drinks - all these items increase the acidity in the stomach increasing probabilities of acid reflux