Foods to Avoid with Acid Reflux

Even though occasional cases of acid reflux (heartburn) are common, some people experience searing sensations, bloating, and belching nearly constantly. When stomach acid leaks back into the esophagus, acid reflux ensues. Although it occurs frequently, it may also result in difficulties or unfavourable sensations like heartburn. 

The lower esophageal sphincter's (LES) weakness or injury is one cause for this. The LES typically closes to stop food from entering the esophagus from the stomach. What you eat has a very big impact on how much acid that is being produced by the stomach. The key to managing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is an acute type of acid reflux that is caused due to the consumption of GERD-friendly foods.

Acid Reflux

When the sphincter at the base of the esophagus isn't functioning properly, fluid from the stomach can enter the esophagus and cause acid reflux. The worst meals for GERD can make uncomfortable symptoms worse, but some foods can make them go away. Altering your diet to avoid foods that trigger heartburn can greatly reduce acid reflux and spare you from needing additional treatments.

Foods that You Should Eat

Foods that You Should Eat

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When you eat acidic foods, your stomach produces acid, which hits your esophagus during your flare-up. This leads to pain and irritation, which we refer to as heartburn. There are certain food items which you can add to your meal when you have acid-reflux symptoms. 

These food items can help in managing your symptoms. One thing you should remember is that these food items cannot be a solution to your condition. So, if you make the choice to practice them during your flare-up, you must rely on how much they help you personally.

1. Vegetables

Vegetables naturally have less sugar and fat. Broccoli, Green Beans, Cauliflower, Asparagus, leafy greens, Cucumbers, and Potatoes are all good choices.

2. Ginger

Ginger is a natural remedy for heartburn and other digestive issues since it contains natural anti-inflammatory effects. To help in reducing symptoms, you can add a little bit of grated or sliced ginger root to your meal or to your smoothie. You can also make some ginger tea, as that can be very soothing as well.

3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal for acid reflex

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Oatmeal is generally consumed as a popular breakfast meal. It is a complete grain and also a fantastic source of fibre. When you have a high-fibre meal, your chances of an acid reflux flare-up are also lowered. You can also eat whole-grain rice and bread as they are additional sources of fibre.

4. Citrus-free fruits

Pears, Apples, Bananas and Melons are examples of non-citrus fruits that are less prone to cause reflux symptoms.

5. Seafood and Lean Meats

You can choose to eat Low-fat lean meats as they are GERD-friendly foods. They might reduce your acid reflux flare-up symptoms. Some other food items to help with this include chicken, seafood and Turkey, fish. You can grill, bake, boil, or poach your meat.

6. Eggs Whites

Using egg whites is a wonderful choice. However, avoid eating too many egg yolks because they have a high fat content and could cause reflux.

Finding your Triggers

Acid Reflex

Image Source: Photo by benzoix: Freepik

Heartburn is a typical sign of GERD  and acid reflux. After consuming a substantial meal or particular food, you can experience burning in your chest or stomach. As acid travels into your esophagus as a result of GERD, regurgitation may also occur. Additional signs include:

  • Bloating
  • A sore throat
  • A dry cough
  • Burping, or the hiccups
  • Swallowing trouble
  • Throat lump

Numerous GERD sufferers discover that specific meals make their symptoms worse. Food triggers for GERD vary from person to person, and no dietary plan may be able to combat every symptom. Keep a meal journal and note the following in order to determine your unique triggers:

  • What meals do you consume?
  • When do you eat during the day?
  • What signs do you encounter?

Keep this journal for a minimum of a week. In case your diet changes, keeping a lengthier food journal can be useful. The diary might help you pinpoint particular food items and beverages that have an impact on your GERD symptoms.

The nutrition guidance offered below can help you to kick start when making meal plans. Utilize this manual in addition to your food diary. Also, do not forget to focus on your doctor’s suggestions. The objective is to reduce and manage your symptoms by avoiding foods that trigger heartburn.

What Are The Food Items You Should Avoid?

Not many food items have been scientifically proven to cause acid reflux flare-ups, but some foods are evidently problematic for a lot of people. That is why you can begin by cutting out the following food items from your diet to manage and control your symptoms:

1. Foods With High Amount Of Fat

Image Source: Photo by Racool_studio: Freepik

Fatty foods may make the LES relax, increasing the chances of your stomach acid refluxing into the esophagus and causing heartburn. These food items also delay the process of you emptying your stomach.

If you try to reduce your overall daily intake of fat, it can help with your aim of monitoring acid reflux flare-ups. This is because the consumption of high-fat foods incurs a higher risk of experiencing acid reflux flare-ups.

These foods we have mentioned below include a lot of fat, and thus they are not GERD-friendly foods. Avoid or consume them in moderation:

  • Fatty or fried pieces of beef
  • Hog, or Ham fat or Bacon Fat
  • Lard sweets or snacks like ice cream
  • Potato chips 
  • Full-fat dairy foods like Butter, whole milk, regular Cheese, and sour cream
  • Creamy salad dressings, gravies, and sauces
  • Fatty and oily foods

2. Citrus-y fruits and Tomatoes

When you are managing a healthy diet, fruits and vegetables are always an essential part. However, some fruits, especially those which come under acidic foods, might cause GERD symptoms or make pre-existing symptoms worse. If you frequently get acid reflux flare-ups, you should cut back on or completely avoid the following:

  • Grapefruit 
  • Limes
  • Pineapple
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Tomatoes
  • Dishes with tomato sauce, like pizza and chilli salsa

3. Chocolate

Methylxanthine is a component found in chocolate. This is well-demonstrated to relieve the LES's smooth muscle and boost reflux.

4. Meals With Onions, Garlic, and Spice

Many people have heartburn symptoms after eating sour and spicy meals that have garlic and onion in them. These items are commonly known as foods that trigger heartburn. Garlic and Onions.

5. Mints

Mint for acid reflex

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Chewing gum and breath mints, as well as other items that have mint in them, can worsen your acid reflux flare-ups and make your symptoms worse.

The Bottom Line

Not everyone will experience acid reflux flare-ups because of these foods. Keep a log of the food you are eating properly if you consume a lot of these foods that trigger heartburn, though. You might be more sensitive to certain of these items than others. Keeping a log of your intake will help you in being careful with what you consume.

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Zandu Ayurvedic Team

Zandu Ayurvedic Team has a panel of over 10 BAMS (Ayurvedacharya), boasting a collective experience of over 50 years. With a deep-rooted understanding of Ayurveda, they are committed to sharing their expertise & knowledge through our blogs.
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