What to Eat with Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when some of the acid content in the stomach goes up into esophagus then into the gullet which transports food down from the mouth.
At the opening of your stomach, there is a valve just like a ring of muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Ordinarily, the LES will close as soon as food passes through it. If the LES opens frequently or does not close all the way, acid produced in your stomach can go back up into your esophagus and can cause a lot of symptoms including heartburn. This has made people to be more aware of what to eat with acid reflux.
If you experience acid reflux symptoms often like two times a week then you could have acid reflux disease also called and referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
WHAT CAUSES ACID REFLUX
One of the common causes of acid reflux is an abnormality of the stomach known as hiatal hernia. This situation happens when the upper part of the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm which is a muscle that divides the chest from the stomach. Ordinarily, the diaphragm assists in keeping acid in the stomach but when you have a hiatal hernia, acid can go back into your esophagus and lead to symptoms of acid reflux occurring.
Here are some common risk factors that can lead to acid reflux happening
- Being obese or overweight
- Eating large portion of food or lying down immediately after eating
- Eating close to your bedtime
- Eating heavy meals and bending over at the waist or lying down on your back
- Eating some kind of foods like tomato, chocolate, citrus, garlic, mint, onions as well as foods that are spicy or fatty
- Drinking some types of beverages such as carbonated drinks, tea or coffee
- Being pregnant as pregnancy can sometimes cause acid reflux because of the extra pressure that is placed on the internal organs
- Smoking once in a while or frequently
- Taking a lot of salt
- Not having enough fiber in diet
- Not doing enough physical exercises
- Taking medications including sedatives, painkillers, antidepressants, antihistamines as well as drugs for asthma among other drugs
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ACID REFLUX
Below are common symptoms of acid influx
Heartburn: This is a burning sensation that causes pain or discomfort that could pass from your stomach up to your abdomen or chest and could even go up into your throat leaving a bitter or sour taste. Heartburn could become worse when a person lies down or bends over. It can last for many hours and can also get worse after eating.
- Vomiting blood or your stool being black or bloody
- Having hiccups that do not seem to go away
- You start losing weight for no particular reason
Nausea: A situation where your esophagus gets narrow which produces the feeling that food is stuck in your throat
Bloating: Having a dry throat, wheezing, harshness or if you have prolonged sore throat could all be symptoms of acid flux
With this in mind, people are always looking for foods they can eat with acid reflux. There are meals that make your acid reflux worse such as coffee and tomatoes. For instance you may just have eaten a spicy meal and feel a lot of discomfort. It is likely to be acid reflux which causes heartburn due to stomach acid going back into esophagus. The symptoms include a burning pain in your chest which becomes worse when you bend over or lie down. This is mostly caused by foods that are spicy or fried as well as alcohol or caffeine.
When this continues to happen you can seek medical help. Apart from seeking medical help and attention, there are foods and beverages that you can take that will help to relieve you and ease your discomfort by reducing the acid in the foods you have eaten. You can go for foods that have naturally low acid content, they include the following:
WHAT TO EAT WITH ACID REFLUX
This root has been used many years to cure all types of digestive diseases. All you have to do is grate, cut or peel just a tiny bit of the root of ginger and place in hot water and make some tea that will help ease your pain. It is one of the best foods for acid reflux as it is very effective.
Ginger root can easily be sliced, diced and peeled making use of a grater. You can also make use of it when cooking as well as including it in your smoothies.
When going for bread try to choose whole grain which is produced with unprocessed grains. Other breads such as whole wheat or wheat may be made with refined grains and do not contain natural fiber, vitamins along with other nutrients.
Banana is a fruit that naturally has low acid content and is a good food to choose if you are experiencing acid reflux and symptoms of heartburn. A banana that is sort of soft is a great choice to eat as it will help ease and relive your discomfort because it will be attached to the irritated esophageal lining. The banana soothes and protects the lining by forming a protective film over it.
Bananas are very good to be taken as a snack and having a pH level of 5.6, most times they are good for people with acid reflux to eat but there are few people who experience acid reflux that complain that their situation becomes worse after eating bananas, so you should realize that what may be good for a lot of people may not be good for you.
There are lots of fruits that have high acid content but melons do not. Various types of melons are good such as watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe. With a pH level of 6.1 is good for people having acid reflux. Just like bananas, there are few people who complain that their situation becomes worse after eating bananas, so you should realize that what may be good for a lot of people may not be good for you.
Fish is another good meal to eat when you are having acid reflux. With fish you have many options to choose from but try to avoid frying your fish or preparing it with fatty spices and sauces. Great choices of eating your fish include eating your fish grilled, baked or poached.
You may not be interested in taking a bowl of salad but doing so can actually help a lot to relieve you of the pain you are experiencing due to acid reflux. There are some people that complain they experience acid reflux after eating vegetables but this is due to having cream dressing or cheese in the salad.
Having a bowl of cut greens with lemon juice or a bit of olive oil or a bowl of steamed vegetables will lead to reduced irritation because veggies are low in fat. On the other hand foods that are high in fats make the stomach get rid of food slowly and can cause acid reflux to happen.
You can start your day with a bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal contains lots of fiber that is quite healthy and another great aspect is that it fills you up. A bowl of oatmeal will also help coat and cushion the lining of your stomach. Try to avoid pouring plenty milk on your oatmeal because high fats or even healthy fats can lead to the lower esophageal sphincter relaxing and causing acid reflux.
Having almond milk and making a smoothie with it to start your day during breakfast can help you to have less digestive problems. If you are experiencing acid reflux almond can help you a lot in reducing discomfort because it contains alkaline that helps to neutralize acidic foods.
EGGS WITHOUT THE YOLK
Eggs have low acid content and are a great source of protein. When eating eggs just makes use of egg whites and leave the yolk and it may not help your situation.
Though there is no evidence that shows that this helps to reduce acid reflux symptoms like heartburn, there are experts that have the opinion that the esophageal lining can be coated by pure black licorice. The pure licorice works to form a protective film over the lining of your esophagus. Apart from this when you chew it, you salivate which can help eradicate acid from your stomach.
RICE AND COUSCOUS
These are great complex carbohydrates that are healthy and good for you to eat if you are experiencing acid reflux and the symptom of heartburn. When deciding on the type of rice to eat you should choose brown rice as it contains more fiber.
MEAT AND POULTRY
This is good for you to eat if you are having acid reflux, just try to avoid frying your meat, turkey and chicken. When you want to eat your poultry and meat prepare them by grilling, steaming and baking when doing this make sure you remove the skin. You can also have ground steak and beef provided they are lean.
ALOE AND KEFIR
This is a good combination that will help you to ease your pain and discomfort. Just mix one teaspoon of aloe juice and a few ounces of kefir along with a milk drink that is fermented. This combination can help to relieve symptoms because of the juice from the aloe plant which lowers inflammation and helps in healing the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). Also kefir contains alkaline that helps to neutralize acid in the stomach. One thing to note is that you should not consume too much aloe juice as it can lead to you having stomach pain and diarrhea.
Veggies like green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, asparagus have low acid content. This helps to soothe the esophageal lining. You should just ensure you season your vegetables with spices that are non-acidic like basil. Also avoid acidic spices like black pepper and chili powder.
Fennel with A pH level of 6.9 is a great meal for acid reflux and it does seem to improve stomach function. It has a mild licorice flavor which gives it a special taste.
Fennel is an herb that helps in healing. It is a great to consider putting in your tea when acid reflux symptoms like heartburn occur. Take two teaspoons of fennel seeds and two teaspoons of honey and put them in hot water. After doing these put the tea in a container for 30 minutes then place it in the refrigerator. Any time you need to use it you can take it out of the refrigerator and heat it up to soothe your stomach.
Apart from doing this method you can as well chew fennel seeds all through the day as it not only helps control stomach acid but helps to keep your breath fresh.
There are almost no calories in celery because of its high water content which makes it great if you are having acid reflux. It is also good in suppressing appetite and it is a great source of roughage.
For a number of years, parsley has been considered as an herb that serves several medicinal purposes including helping to settle the stomach as well as aid digestion. Curly parsley and flat leaf are varieties that are great for garnish and seasoning.
When dealing with acid reflux, herbal tea is a great choice for acid reflux because herbal tea can improve digestion and can soothe and relieve several stomach problems such as nausea and gas. Drinking herbal tea that is free from caffeine is good for acid reflux provided it does not contain peppermint or spearmint.
If you are interested in using dried herbs as extracts in tea, you should use one teaspoon of herb for every cup of hot water.
It is worth noting that some herbs can interfere with certain medications that have been prescribed by your doctor so it is important you have a discussion with your doctor before making the decision of taking herbal tea.