Take heartburn Sometimes, it’s usually nothing to worry about, especially if it happens after you finish eating a large pizza alone or drink too much alcohol. However, if you find yourself always taking antacids no matter what you eat, you may need to reevaluate your daily diet.
Diet does not necessarily cause Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acid continually rises to your mouth and esophagus, says Stacy Cavagnaro, R.D, a registered dietitian with the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition, “But what we eat and how we eat can worsen uncomfortable symptoms.”
These symptoms include heartburn or a burning sensation in the chest, as well as lesser-known symptoms such as bloating, chronic cough, difficulty swallowing and regurgitation, she said.
Eating too quickly, eating too much (hello, holiday season), or eating within three to four hours of lying down or going to bed can make symptoms worse, says Cavagnaro. And some foods can also do acid reflux worse.
Not sure which foods make your acid reflux worse and which might help? Here’s an overview of the best and worst foods for acid reflux.
Worst Food For Acid Reflux
1. Fatty and greasy foods
Fried foods, fatty meats and high-fat dairy, including French fries, chips, cheese and sour cream, can relax the esophageal sphincter, which is the valve that keeps acid in the stomach, says Cavagnaro. When the esophageal sphincter is relaxed, more acid can seep into the esophagus, causing irritation. High-fat foods are also absorbed more slowly and sit in the stomach longer, causing the stomach to secrete more acid.
Caffeinated beverages, including coffee, can increased risk of GERD. Caffeine also relaxes the esophageal sphincter, allowing more acid to enter the esophagus, causing irritation, Cavagnaro says.
Related: What exactly is GERD?
Drink alcohol, especially red wine, especially in large amounts can increase the risk of acid reflux. Cavagnaro says alcohol is another food that relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, making acid more likely to flow into the esophagus.
Related: What to drink to relieve heartburn?
Like alcohol and caffeine, chocolate has been shown to affect the valve that keeps acid in the stomach. This allows it to move into the esophagus and mouth and cause heartburn.
Mint has been shown to help relieve lower GI symptoms, such as bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea and constipation Cavagnaro says that comes with irritable bowel syndrome. However, mint can also trigger GERD symptoms. “If you have any reflux symptoms, stay away from peppermint teas and supplements,” she adds.
6. Citrus fruits and juices
Citrus fruits and juices, including oranges, pineapples, grapefruits, lemons and limes, are highly acidic. This leads to more acid in the stomach that can move up the esophagus, says Cavagnaro.
Tomatoes and tomato juice are acidic, like citrus fruits. So they can cause acid reflux because eating highly acidic foods leads to more acid in the stomach, says Cavagnaro.
8. Spicy food
CapsaicinThe compound that makes spicy foods spicy can slow digestion, allowing food to stay in the stomach longer, causing acid reflux, says Cavagnaro. It can also irritate the esophagus and worsen the effects of GERD.
9. Onion and garlic
Onion and garlic promote acid production in the stomach, explains Cavagnaro. This can make acid reflux worse.
10. Carbonated drinks
Bubbles in gas drink can make GERD symptoms worse. These can cause bloating and feelings of fullness, causing more pressure and making reflux symptoms worse, says Cavagnaro.
Best foods for acid reflux
1. Whole grains
High-fiber foods, including whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and whole grain bread, are important for your health. gut health, Cavagnaro said. This can reduce the risk of acid reflux.
2. Green vegetables
Eating more vegetables may reduce the risk of GERD, research Shows. Leafy greens, broccoli, zucchini and leafy greens, which are high in fiber, are beneficial for gut health and reduce the risk of acid reflux, says Cavagnaro.
3. Root vegetables
5. Melons, bananas and other alkaline foods
“Alkaline foods help neutralize stomach acid,” says Cavagnaro. So, adding more bananas, cantaloupe, honey, cucumbers and apples to your diet can reduce your acid reflux. Many of these foods are also high in water content, which helps neutralize stomach acid.
6. Low-fat or fat-free milk
“Milk has been used for centuries to treat reflux symptoms,” says Cavagnaro. However, it should be low-fat or fat-free milk, like cheese, skim or 1% milk, and low-fat yogurt. High-fat dairy, like cream and whole milk, can make acid reflux worse.
7. Herbal tea
Sipping herbal tea could be a natural remedy for heartburn, according to Harvard Medical School. For example, chamomile can soothe the digestive tract, reducing your acid reflux. And, ginger is a helpful digestive aid. So choose teas with these ingredients.
8. I love you
This natural sweetener can help neutralize stomach acid and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also covers the esophagus. Therefore, Beloved husband is a great heartburn remedy.
Licorice has been shown to increase the coating of the lining of the esophagus, which can make the sensation of acid reflux less uncomfortable. Supplementing your diet with licorice lozenges or mouthwash is also possible help with digestive problems.
10. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is great for your skin, but it can also reduce the effects of heartburn. Research shows that aloe vera syrup reduces symptoms of GERD, and that aloe vera juice is high in vitamins and minerals and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Next, read more about the dietary changes you can make reduce heartburn.
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