Acid reflux is a condition that causes a burning sensation in the lower chest area, also referred to as heartburn.
Acid reflux is triggered by the backflow of acid from the stomach to the esophagus, which occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) becomes weak or gets damaged. Usually, the LES stays closed to prevent the movement of stomach contents to the esophagus.
When Acid reflux happens more often, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), usually accompanied by trouble swallowing, chest pain, and coughing. At such a point, acid reflux treatment may be necessary.
The good news is that certain foods can help control acid reflux, including when the condition is severe and chronic. The top 5 foods we highlight below will not cure your disease but may help soothe the symptoms.
Ginger root is a scientifically proven herbal digestive aid for fighting nausea and acid reflux. It is an excellent digestive tonic known to boost gastric motility.
This means that it can alleviate acidity, vomiting, and also prevent acidity in the gastric lining. The volatile oils present in ginger have been linked to the reduction of acid backflow.
A tablespoon of ginger mixed with lemon juice and about two tablespoons of honey acts as an anti-inflammatory tonic, which can fight acidity and reduce the pain associated with it.
Oatmeal is a high fiber whole grain food that can ease the symptoms of acid reflux. Not only does it boost intestinal health, but it also makes you feel full for longer and reduces constipation.
However, be careful with the extras such as sugar, dried fruit, cream, and syrup, all of which could trigger reflux symptoms. Instead, choose fresh fruit as your topping.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are considered a great source of complex carbohydrates. For people with reflux issues, apples and bananas are particularly useful since they are low in acid and aid digestion.
Raw or cooked vegetables (except tomatoes, onions, and peppers) are an excellent addition to acid reflux sufferers’ diet and have been associated with a decreased risk of GERD.
Some of the best vegetables include carrots, fennel, broccoli, kale, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, celery, potatoes, turnips, and sweet potatoes. Naturally, veggies are low in sugar and fat and can reduce acidity.
A large variety of meat in small portions is acceptable for people with acid reflux issues. However, your tolerance to them will largely depend on the preparation.
Some of the best low-fat meats include lean cuts of pork and beef, steamed or baked skinless turkey and chicken, and fish. The largest portion of a chicken’s protein can be found in egg whites, while most of the cholesterol sits in the yolk.
With egg whites being an excellent source of protein and low in acidity, they are some of the best options for fighting heartburn. If you are also looking to fight fat intolerance, eat the egg whites.
Frozen or not, yogurt, like bananas, contains a soothing effect that can prevent stomach discomfort. Yogurt that is not overly sour is rich in probiotics, meaning it can give your immune system a boost and prevent acid reflux through normalizing the bowel function.
Given that it is a good source of protein, yogurt enhances the digestive system’s ability to digest food properly. Heighten the effects of your yogurt by adding ginger, which can act as an anti-inflammatory.
Avoid topping your yogurt with foods that could trigger heartburn. Instead, choose granola or fresh fruit.
While not every food on this list will work for everyone, it is advisable to try them all and pick out what works best for you. However, remember only to include foods that are low in acidity in your daily diet.
Foods that have a higher pH level are the best when it comes to soothing acid reflux discomfort. Therefore, look for foods with a pH level of more than 5 or 6 to help alleviate your condition.
Importantly, work with your doctor to establish a diet that is right for you, and if necessary, ask about acid reflux medication (as recommended by Dr Felix) if dietary changes alone aren’t having the required effect.