Diet for Acid Reflux

Diet for Acid Reflux

The way to combat acid reflux, which affects millions of people around the world, is to work out a diet for it. Ideally, the food plan should include a list of all the foods that are safe to eat, and the ones to avoid. Here is a look at how you can formulate a diet plan for acid reflux, with minimal hassles.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2018
Acid reflux, also referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition caused by the back flow of the acid, from the stomach into the esophagus. The esophagus or the swallowing tube, carries the food from the throat to the stomach. The lower part of this tube has a specialized muscle around it, known as the lower esophageal sphincter which usually stays closed, opening only to allow food and liquid into the stomach. This prevents the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. However, with the weakening of this muscle, the liquid contents of the stomach are regurgitated into the esophagus, leading to the symptoms of acid reflux, heartburn, and nausea. This not only causes painful discomfort for the sufferer, but can also result in inflaming and injuring of the esophagus. Additionally, when these acidic juices make their way into the throat, mouth, and air passages of the lungs, they can cause hoarseness, dental erosion, and asthma respectively. Although it affects people irrespective of their age and sex, people suffering from obesity, hiatal hernia, recurring vomiting, or scleroderma are more prone to be affected by this condition.

While there are antacids, very conveniently available over the counter, the best way to combat acid reflux disease is to follow a proper food diet. Most dietitians who have worked out the food plans for acid reflux say, that the safest foods to eat are those that are alkaline or neutral in nature. In addition, there are certain foods that need to be completely avoided or taken in moderation. Here is a look at the list of safe foods to eat with acid reflux, and the foods to be avoided or limited.

Recommended Acid Reflux Diet Plan

Fruits: The fruits which can help neutralize stomach acids and are considered safe to include in your acid reflux diet plan are berries, melons, bananas, peaches, and pears.

Vegetables: Include vegetables like carrots,broccoli, cabbage, peas and green beans in your GERD diet.

Bread and Grains: Corn bread, white bread, bran or oatmeal cereal, pretzels, brown or white rice and rice cakes, can be included in the diet for acid reflux.

Dairy: You can also include dairy products like fat-free sour cream, fat-free cream cheese, low-fat soy cheese.

Meat: Opt for low fat meat, chicken, fish and turkey in the diet.

Sweets and Desserts: The sweets should ideally be made with low or no fat content in it. Try out the fat-free cookies and jelly beans.

Beverages: While planning your diet, stick to mineral water or herbal tea.

Diet for Acid Reflux: Foods to Avoid

There are certain foods which need to either be completely avoided, or consumed in moderation. These include high fat content or spicy foods, junk foods, and foods with lots of refined sugars. People suffering from acidity, should avoid citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit. Avoid fatty meat such as sausage and bacon, and refrain from using all animal or vegetable oils while cooking. A strict no-no for any acid reflux diet, is the intake of beverages like alcohol, coffee, carbonated beverages, tea and mint tea.

Along with this, it is recommended that people suffering from the condition stop smoking immediately, as smoke has a tendency to damage the sensitive lining of the esophagus, making it difficult to recover from the harmful effects of acid reflux. It is also important to remember that frequent meals are much better than having three large meals, as they exert less pressure on the stomach. A great idea, based on the recommended foods, is maintaining a food log which will allow you to adjust the diet accordingly. Remember that a food diet for acid reflux, is basically a trial and error method for those who suffer from its painful symptoms.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.