14 Foods For Fighting Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a common condition among most people. It is estimated that 50% of the American population does suffer acid reflux or heartburn every day. This been commonly attributed to unhealthy eating habits and overdependence on factory processed foods among many other factors. To better understand how to deal with acid reflux, it would be best if people first understood what a heartburn is and how to address it.
Acid Reflux: Definition
Heartburn or acid reflux is the burning sensation you feel on your chest, which travels up your throat and sometimes into the mouth.
This burning sensation is caused when gastric juices and food materials find their way back into the throat. This be due to weak lower esophageal muscles, eating acidic foods or fruits, as well as improper dieting plans.
If left unhandled, acid reflux could escalate to a more discomforting condition, known as GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease). Most people use over-the-counter medications (antacids) to treat acid reflux and heartburn. Although these antacids may be effective in soothing your throat, they do not heal you but rather neutralize the acidic juices in the esophagus.
This means you aren’t protected from another heartburn should you ingest a triggering food. The best way of dealing with acid reflux is by identifying its triggers and avoiding them. You should also replace these acid reflux offenders with foods that help fight the condition for good. Discussed below are some of the commonly preferred foods used to counter acid reflux and to take care of heartburn for good.
Best Foods For Acid Reflux
1. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is considerably one of the best home remedies for acid reflux and heartburn. The reason why, is because oatmeal is high in fiber content that induces satiation very fast.
Besides this, oatmeal helps absorb excess fluids and water in the stomach, as well as neutralizing acidic solutions in the esophagus.
Instant oatmeal is also recommended for acid refluxers as it not only absorbs acidic solutions in the stomach but also promotes movement of food along the gut. The rich fiber content promotes movement of food materials for digestion along the digestive tract thus easing pressure on lower esophageal muscles.
2. Chia seeds: Also known as a superfood, chia seeds are very effective in treating as well as preventing acid reflux. Unlike processed foods that are low in fiber, chia seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber. As mentioned above, dietary fiber promotes movement of food materials from the stomach to the small intestines for digestion and absorption.
Thisreduces pressure and accumulation of acidic gasses due to fermentation thus taking care of heartburn. Chia seeds are also rich in vitamins, antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, all which work hand in hand to reduce inflammation and promote healing on already injured tissues and cells.
3. Ginger: Ginger is another excellent remedy for acid reflux. This because ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties that help treat heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD among other gastrointestinal conditions.
Ginger should however be used in moderation as overusing it could make the condition worse. The best thing about ginger is that it can be used alongside other foods as a spice.
Ginger root tea is another mostly preferred and enriching beverage that has many beneficial properties for the human body and digestive system to be more precise.
4. Green Tea: Green tea has long been used to treat various conditions including GERD and acid reflux. This because green tea is rich in potent antioxidants, phytonutrients, and anti-inflammatory properties. These antioxidants help detox and expunge toxins from body cells while phytonutrients act on the stomach acidity regulating pH levels.
By controlling pH levels, the burning sensation is taken care of thus giving you fast relieve from the inflammation. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea help soothe injured cells thus giving you faster relieve.
5. Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is one of the most famous herbs used to treat almost any health condition. It is an effective home remedy for treating acid reflux among other digestive disorders, and can be found in virtually all health food stores and groceries.
Although many people think aloe vera isn’t a recipe, the gel can be used as a soup thickener and salad toppings. This herb is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, hydrating agents and is alkaline in itself.
The aloe vera gel is therefore alkaline meaning it not only washes food materials down the esophagus but also neutralizes any acidic compound within the same. Thisgives you a much faster relieve for longer.
6. Vegetable Salads: Vegetable salads are the primary meal for every acid refluxer. Onions and tomatoes should however be avoided when preparing the salads as they are acidic in nature. The reasonwhy vegetable salads are a refluxer’s primary meal is that, they are rich in phytonutrients, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and are alkaline in nature.
Dietary fiber in vegetable salads promotes faster food movement and digestion, while vitamins, phytonutrients, and antioxidants help get rid of toxins in the digestive tract. Since these salads are alkaline, they help regulate pH levels in the stomach as well as neutralize any gastric juices within the esophagus.
7. Bananas: With a pH level of 5.6, bananas make an excellent snack for people suffering from GERD and acid reflux. The low pH in bananas helps neutralize any acidic juices in the throat thus aiding faster relief.
In addition to this, bananas are an excellent source of magnesium and manganese, ample minerals needed for good digestive health.
Having a banana immediately after eating your main meals is therefore an excellent idea for all. Some people however do not respond well with bananas, hence should avoid it if need be.
8. Melons: Cantaloupe, watermelons and honeydew are good examples of melons that can be used to treat and prevent acid reflux. All these have a pH of 6.1 thus making them suitable for treating acid reflux. The alkalinity in these melons helps detox and neutralize acidity in the throat thus giving faster relief.
In addition to this, these melons have a high water capacity, which helps wash any food materials down the throat as well. This much water also helps dilute acidity in the stomach thus preventing another heartburn. Just as it is with bananas, some people may not cope very well with melons as should only take a small piece or avoid it altogether.
9. Fennel: Fennel is commonly used to improve stomach and digestive functions. The best thing about this is that, fennel can be used alongside other dishes such as chicken, tuna, baby spinach and as a salad as well. One of the reasons why fennel is an excellent food for acid reflux is that, it has a pH of 6.9. This makes it basic hence good for neutralizing acidity in the esophagus and stomach. You can still use fennel instead of onions while preparing meals or salads to avoid triggering a heartburn.
10. Flax Seeds: These fall in the same category as chia seeds. Flax seeds have an exceptionally high nutrient content when compared to other seeds in the market.
These tiny seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, proteins, minerals, dietary fiber and excellent quality carbohydrates. The reason why flax seeds make up to this list is because of the high dietary content.
The insoluble fiber in flax seeds promotes food movement down the digestive tract thus easing pressure on LES muscles. In addition to this, antioxidants and omega 3 fats help in detoxing, as well as get rid of inflammation caused by the enzymes and acidic solutions.
11. Turkey And Chicken: These are valuable staple foods for refluxers and those suffering from GERD. Chicken and turkey are a good source of tryptophan, a compound that helps in relaxation. All you need to do with the chicken/turkey is get rid of its fatty skin, and you are good to go. Proteins and other nutrients found in these help the body cope with inflammation while inducing recovery on injured tissues.
12. Seafood: Lobster, shrimp, shellfish, tuna, salmon, mackerel and oysters are very good remedies for acid reflux. These are very rich in omega 3 and 6 fats, high-quality proteins, essential oils and dietary fiber needed for proper cell and organ functioning.
Although these may not have a direct impact on acid reflux, they help boost immunity as well as the body’s capacity to contain acid refluxing.
According to research, acid reflux mainly occurs due to a heavy intake of fatty foods and lack of essential amino acids in the foods we eat. Adding seafood to your table and diet plan however helps strengthen your body, and especially LES muscles. This helps contain acid reflux and GERD in the future:
13. Celery And Parsley: Celery is commonly used for the treatment of acid reflux, as it has no calories but high water content. The reasonwhy it is recommended for acid refluxers is because it acts as an appetite suppressant. Celery is also a good source of roughage (insoluble fiber) that aids in digestion. Parsley, on the other hand, is used as garnish and for seasoning. It has long been used for its medicinal properties that help treat digestive problems.
14. Slippery Elm: Slippery elm contains many beneficial properties for acid reflux patients. To begin with, it is a rich antioxidant and also secretes a gel that helps neutralize excess acidity and soothes already injured tissues.
This herb is commonly recommended for it helps protect stomach and esophageal lining from corrosion, thus providing a longer lasting relief.
In addition to this, slippery elm has an anti-inflammatory property that helps soothe irritation and inflammation caused by digestive enzymes and HCL in the stomach.
If you have been struggling with heartburn or acid reflux for a long time, you should then consider switching to a better lifestyle. Identifying foods that trigger this condition, such as alcohol, deep fried foods, food spices, citrus fruits, fermented foods and processed foods, and avoiding them completely can also help you manage the condition. Depending on antacids won’t do you any good but will only make the condition worse in the long run.
In addition to eating well-balanced and organic foods, consider taking on regular body exercise. Body exercise not only helps keep organs fit but also promotes movement of foods down the digestive tract. Taking a 20-minute walk, swimming, taking the stairs or even jogging is exercise enough to keep you fit and contain heartburn. Taking good volumes of water, or even unflavored yogurt goes a long way in containing digestive problems and disorders.