Acid reflux is an uncomfortable and frustrating problem. The condition can cause an intense burning sensation after eating, and therefore prevent the person from feeling comfortable, sleeping, and otherwise disrupt daily life.
Although there are a number of over the counter medications recommended for treating acid reflux, it is also controlled to a degree by diet. There are foods that can both aid and aggravate acid reflux. Here are ten foods to seek out and ten foods to avoid to help keep heartburn at bay.
Ten Foods That Help with Acid Reflux
1) Oatmeal: This food works well because it is both filling and it is very low in acid. The oatmeal can even help absorb some acidity that comes from added fruit, such as raisins. Oatmeal works great as both breakfast or snacks.
2) Bananas: Bananas are also very low in acidity and for most people, they can be very soothing for the condition. A small percentage of people find bananas make things work for them, so if someone finds their reflux is worse after eating one, this can be crossed off the list.
3) Melons: Melons, along with honeydew and watermelon, also have very low acidity and most people find them very soothing for their reflux. Like bananas, some people may find they make the condition worse, but these cases are rare.
4) Salad: Salads in general are fantastic for acid reflux sufferers. Some people, however, run into trouble with the parts they add to the salad. When fixing one, remember to avoid high fat dressings, cheeses, tomatoes and onions. Many people find their reflux to be fine so long as they add no more than one tablespoon of an ingredient with some acid content.
5) Fennel: This vegetable can be a fantastic additive to salads, chicken recipes and other dishes while helping to reduce reflux. It is low in acidity but high in vitamins and minerals, and may help improve stomach function.
6) Green and Root Vegetables: Nearly any vegetable that fits into this category, including broccoli, asparagus, or celery, are beneficial for those fighting acid reflux.
7) Poultry: Chicken and turkey are two wonderful options for those working to control their reflux with diet. The skin should be removed, because it is high in fat, but then the meat can be cooked and seasoned in a variety of ways without aggravating the awful heartburn.
8) Fish: Fish is another food category that does not provoke acid reflux. It can be baked, broiled, grilled, or sauteed without causing problems. This also includes shrimp and lobster, which can typically be eaten without worry.
9) Parsley: Parsley is an excellent choice for seasoning foods because of its mild flavor, but also for the benefits it offers in terms of digestion. It has been used for thousands of years to settle the stomach and aid in digestion.
10) Couscous and rice: These complex carbohydrates are not only good for people, they are also good choices for avoiding heartburn. They are easy to use to complement a meal and both tend to work well with chicken or fish.
Ten Foods to Avoid With Acid Reflux
1) Acidic Fruits: Fruits such as grapefruit or oranges are known for triggering heartburn. The high acid content of the fruit make it very easy for another reflux episode to occur. This is especially compounded on an empty stomach.
2) Tomatoes: Like the acidic fruits, tomatoes are known for their high acid content in addition to the variety of nutrients they offer. This makes them a definite food to avoid for those who suffer from heartburn.
3) Onions: Although many people enjoy onions in dishes or raw on top of burgers, they are another food prone to causing potential acid reflux for many people.
4) Chilies and other hot peppers: These hot, spicy foods and others like them are more culprits for acid reflux. Tolerance for spice is a very individualized factor, so each sufferer may have to determine how much spice they can take before the acid reflux becomes a threat.
5) Peppermint: This food may be a surprise to heartburn sufferers. Experts believe that peppermint may be a culprit because of its ability to relax the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus, which allows acid from the stomach to come back up, causing the terrible burning sensation.
6) Cheeses: Cheeses may taste delicious, but they also have a high fat content. Foods that are high in fat are also known for triggering acid reflux because they slow down the rate at which food is emptied out of the stomach.
7) Rich red meat: Like cheeses, juicy steaks can be a major trigger because of the high fat content. It is much better to go with a low fat meat choice, such as chicken, to avoid the burn.
8) Alcohol: Similar to the function of peppermint, alcohol allows the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach to open, which allows acid to get out. This is especially true while having a big meal when the stomach may be full.
9) Chocolate: Chocolate can also be a major heartburn trigger. It is another culprit that relaxes the sphincter.
10) Carbonated Beverages: Carbonation in popular beverages can cause stomach distention, which in turn can place excess pressure on the sphincter and cause the release of some stomach acid.
Diet can have an enormous effect on heartburn. Those looking to find relief from symptoms without medication should carefully consider the above list of best foods to eat and avoid.
Got more food tips for someone facing acid reflux? Leave a comment and let us know.