Proper Diet For Acid Reflux
Maintaining a proper diet is important for proper health. But did you know that maintaining a proper diet for acid reflux can be crucial for those suffering from acid reflux disease? it is important to know that the foods you eat can many times make the condition worse. Diet is often overlooked as a cause of acid reflux symptoms. This can be because you simply didn’t know that some foods can increase acid production in the stomach. Some foods also have a high acid content which can just add to the problem. Some people may only have a few trigger foods that they should avoid. Others may need to make a complete change in diet to relieve their symptoms. They may need to focus on foods that don’t aggravate the condition further.
So how do you know which foods to avoid and which foods are OK? First, you have to be aware that acid reflux affects everyone differently to some degree. Foods that cause major problems for one person may not affect another. No two cases of acid reflux are identical. Some people can eat may be able to eat whatever they want, but they have to avoid certain beverages. Other people may be affected by some of the lifestyle choices I covered in my last article. Acid reflux can be considered to be unique for each individual who suffers from it.
Common Food Triggers
Below is a list of the more common foods that can trigger acid reflux in many individuals. As stated, everyone is different so some of these foods may trigger your symptoms while others don’t.
- Garlic– Garlic is used in many home remedies. But it can also be a trigger for acid reflux symptoms for some individuals. Many Italian dishes are made with garlic, and they also contain sauces that are tomato based. That can make it a little difficult to determine if it is the garlic or the tomatoes that are causing the symptoms.
- Spicy Foods– Many people love to eat spicy foods. But spicy foods can be a source of acid reflux symptoms. From using a high amount of black pepper to eating foods made with chili or cayenne peppers. Certain spicy types of cuisine can be implicated as well. Mexican or Indian food is very often spicy.
- Citrus– Citrus fruits have a high acid content. Eating lemons, oranges, pineapple, or grapefruit can mean reflux symptoms for many people.
- Fried Food– Food fried in fatty oils can spark a bout of reflux symptoms as well. It is advised by doctors to avoid fried foods if you suffer from acid reflux.
- Vinegar– The common name hides the fact that vinegar is acetic acid. The acid in vinegar can add to the amount of acid in the stomach and lead to heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux.
- Tomatoes– As already mentioned tomatoes are high in acid content so they are another fruit that may lead to acid reflux symptoms. Some people are only sensitive to eating raw tomatoes, while others need to avoid products made with tomatoes. These can include ketchup, red sauces that use tomatoes, tomato juice and others that are tomato based.
- Caffeine– Although coffee may be great for waking you up, caffeine also stimulates the production of stomach acid, which can lead to acid reflux symptoms.
- Tobacco– Nicotine is also implicated in stimulating the production of stomach acid. If you suffer from acid reflux, you should consider quitting smoking.
- Alcohol– Alcohol is also implicated in excess stomach acid production. For this reason, people with acid reflux should moderate their alcohol consumption.
A Proper Diet For Acid Reflux
Now that you know which foods may be triggering your acid reflux symptoms, let’s look at ways to change your diet habits to deal with the symptoms. Acid reflux can be challenging because a food that may not bother you at all today may cause you symptoms at a later time. Understanding what a proper diet looks like can help you to make healthy changes that can also help control your acid reflux symptoms.
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables– If you never have had problems with fruits or vegetables then you can eat all of these you like. Fruits and vegetables provide valuable vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. They provide lots of dietary fiber which also helps with the digestive process. If you have had problems with them in the past, you should avoid the ones that caused you issues, or slowly work them back into your diet to see if that was really what was causing the problem. Be careful with citrus fruits due to the high acid content, but you may be able to eat small quantities that will help you get the nutrition you need without suffering.
- Whole Grains– Switching to whole grains can not only be good for your health but also good for your acid reflux symptoms as well. Sometimes starchy varieties of pasta, white bread and rice can aggravate your symptoms, and they have little nutritional value. Replacing them with the whole grain varieties such as whole grain pasta, brown rice, and whole grain bread can add essential fiber and nutrients to your diet.
- Lean Protein– Having protein in your diet is important to muscle health, and your overall health. But fatty meats can trigger acid reflux symptoms just as much as fried fatty foods. To prevent this and still get the protein you need, try cutting out the fatty proteins and choose lean proteins instead. Avoid meats such as hot dogs, bologna, salami and other types of high fat processed meats. Substitute turkey, fish, poultry, and lean ground beef. You can also trim the fat off of other cuts of meat for variety.
- Dairy– Dairy products contain calcium for strong bones as well as other vital nutrients. Start off with low-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and sour cream until you are sure they won’t cause any symptoms.
- Beverages– Plain water is always the safest and healthiest thing to drink. Drinks with high caffeine and carbonated drinks can cause the biggest issues. Clear juices with low amounts of acid are better than orange juice or tomato juice. Herbal or green tea is a better option than coffee. If you must drink alcohol white wine or clear alcohol such as vodka are better options.
- Fats– When we think of fats many times we forget about the snacks we consume which are high in fats. You can try low-fat versions, or you can eat fruits or vegetables as a low-fat snack. When cooking use low-fat oils such as olive oils which are healthier for you.
Eating a proper diet for acid reflux, and being healthy in general, is something that can be tough to accomplish. Our daily routine is many times built around fast and highly processed foods. But making these changes, even slowly, will not only help to reduce the symptoms you suffer from acid reflux, they will help your overall health. That is a win-win scenario.