There is quite a list of foods to avoid when trying to minimize acid reflux. After learning what foods trigger your acid reflux it make sit easier to limit the occurrence of your acid reflux. Then you can create an acid reflux diet plan. This will focus on avoiding acid reflux trigger foods and contain foods that will benefit the body and stave off heartburn. These beneficial foods will improve your body’s digestion as well as reduce the damage inflicted on the body by the acid from the stomach.
Protein – Protein is helpful to acid reflux because it increases the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, making it less likely that acid reflux will occur. The more pressure exerted on the LES the less chance that it will relax allowing food to come back up into the esophagus. Lean protein is better for acid reflux sufferers because the more fat content can increase the potential for heartburn symptoms. Good sources of protein include lean animal meat, and protein powder or supplements.
Poultry – Poultry is a good source of protein because it usually is leaner than red meat. However you will want to remove the skin before consuming it because the skin is higher in fat. Broiling, baking or grilling is a good way to cook poultry but stay away from frying it.
Seafood – Shrimp, lobster, shellfish and wild fish are all great sources of seafood that should be included in an acid reflux diet. Seafood is low in fat but rich in essential omegas, and fatty acids that the body requires. Never fry seafood, which will increase the fat content, which increases the likelihood of heartburn.
Fiber – A high fiber diet not only helps with digestion but also is less stressful to the esophagus. The less stress you put on your LES the more likely it will close tightly after eating therefore avoiding heartburn symptoms. Some good sources of fiber include whole grains, non-starchy vegetables and fruits.
Couscous – Couscous is made of semolina wheat, making it a great source of fiber and complex carbohydrate. This enhances digestion making it a great food for acid reflux sufferers.
Papaya- Papaya contains papain which is an enzyme that helps to digest protein. It reduces acid in the stomach that can rise up into the esophagus and cause acid reflux.
Pineapple – Pineapple is rich in bromelain another digestive enzyme that aids in digestion. It like papain it helps to reduce the acid that rises up and causes heartburn symptoms.
Bananas -Bananas are a good fruit to eat if you have acid reflux because it has a lower pH than most fruits. It is very close to being a neutral on the acidity scale that’s why it is beneficial in an acid reflux diet. In about 1% of sufferers bananas can worsen acid reflux symptoms.
Melon- Melons should also be included in the acid reflux sufferers arsenal. Melons, like bananas are neutral in terms of acidity, which helps to reduce acid reflux. Include honeydew, watermelon and cantaloupe in your acid reflux diet. For a small percentage of people melon can worsen acid reflux symptoms.
Greens – Green and root vegetables are rich sources of fiber, which regulate the digestive system and help to reduce symptoms of acid reflux. Cruciferous vegetables should be a staple part of any acid reflux diet. Cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc. should all be eaten to aid in your digestion and reduce acid reflux.
Celery – Celery has almost no calories due to its high water content. It is a great appetite suppressant and an excellent source of roughage. This is why it should be included in your acid reflux diet.
Fennel – Fennel is a crunchy vegetable that improves stomach function. It has neutral acidity therefore decreasing acid reflux symptoms.
Parsley – Parsley has been used as a medicinal herb that settles stomach and aids in digestion. It can be used in many dishes as a seasoning or garnish and should be included in your acid reflux diet.
Ginger – Ginger should be eaten in moderation by acid reflux sufferers. It is an anti-inflammatory, which can treat gastrointestinal conditions therefore it, helps to aid in acid reflux disorder.
Sarah Labdar graduated with a BA in exercise science and has worked in the medical field since. Her focus is alternative medicine and how it interacts and works in conjunction with traditional medicine. Check out my health website!
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Photo Credit: Grant Cochrane