Preventing Acid Reflux with Diet

We've probably all had heartburn at some point in our lives, but for many this is just a symptom of a larger issue - acid reflux. When you have acid reflux, the acid produced by your stomach can move up into your esophagus. This can cause symptoms such as the burning chest pain that we know as heartburn, regurgitation and a sour taste in your mouth, bloating, burping, sore throat, and even ulcers in extreme cases.  

Many doctors often prescribe medications to alleviate these symptoms, but acid reflux can occur for many reasons.

Causes for Acid Reflux

  • Eating large meals or lying down right after a meal
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Eating a heavy meal and lying on your back or bending over at the waist
  • Snacking close to bedtime
  • Eating certain foods, such as citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, or spicy or fatty foods
  • Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, or tea
  • Smoking
  • Being pregnant
  • Taking aspirin, ibuprofen, certain muscle relaxers, or blood pressure medications

Rather than relying on medication, discontinuing some of the practices listed above would be much easier AND healthier solutions. Perhaps the easiest fix for acid reflux can be made by revamping your diet.

Foods that Cause Acid Reflux

  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges or lemons
  • Coffee or tea (regular or decaffeinated)
  • Fatty or fried foods
  • Foods containing tomato, such as spaghetti sauce, salsa, or pizza
  • Garlic and onions
  • Mint

Foods that Fight Acid Reflux

  • Pears, bananas, melons
  • Weak herbal teas
  • Oatmeal & whole grain breads
  • Leafy greens & other green veggies
  • Potatoes, rice, couscous
  • Lean poultry, meats, and fish
  • Fennel, ginger, kefir, aloe, and parsley

These foods are naturally low in acid and work wonders to help soothe your discomfort by neutralizing the acid in other foods. In addition to these foods, you may also want to consider having smaller, more frequent meals, as well as leaving 2-3 hours between eating your last meal and going to bed.

These simple changes in diet are not only good healthy habits, but they will leave your tummy feeling much happier, making for a happier and healthier YOU!