Acid reflux is one of the most common problems observed in the country, and several factors worsen its symptoms. However, one does not have to take antacids every time they experience an acid reflux attack. These discomforts can easily be managed by incorporating certain foods into the diet. Here are a few simple dietary changes one can make to manage their condition better:
- Include more green veggies
Leafy greens, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, cucumber, and green beans have a high alkaline content that helps restore the pH balance of stomach fluids. This significantly reduces the risk of the acid refluxing into the esophageal tube and causing discomfort. These foods are also low in fat and sugar, making them excellent substitutes over store-bought canned goods. A sizable portion of greens also helps improve gut health and immunity.
- Eat more complex carbohydrates
Most of the processed foods bought from the supermarket are made with simple carbs. Simple carbs are only good for releasing short bursts of energy when digested. These products are also made with trans and saturated fats that can trigger an inflammatory response. To manage acid reflux better, nutritionists suggest including more complex carbs in the daily diet, as they slow down the digestion process. This helps the system absorb more nutrients and fiber. Whole wheat, oatmeal, farro, quinoa, brown rice, and millets are fiber-rich sources of complex carbs. Most of these can absorb any excess stomach acid and prevent reflux.
- Herbs, fruits, and beverages
Ginger is an excellent herb used to manage indigestion and acid reflux discomfort. One can have a cup of ginger tea or use it as an ingredient in dishes, such as soups, smoothies, and curries. Other foods that help manage acid reflux are bananas, melon, and watermelon. These fruits have a high alkaline content. Lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water and some honey helps neutralize the stomach acid to a great extent. Nonfat milk can also provide immediate relief from the symptoms of heartburn. However, it’s essential to steer clear of milk if one is lactose intolerant, as it can exacerbate the symptoms.
- Switch to healthy fats
Substitute trans and saturated fats with healthy fats found in assorted nuts, olive oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil. Avocados are a great source of healthy fats that help reduce inflammation associated with acid reflux.
Simple changes like eating in manageable portions can help the body digest food better and prevent the acid from refluxing into the esophagus. Note that the body naturally produces more stomach acid after a heavy meal, so eating smaller portions will help avoid excess fluids from being released into the system. It is also a good idea to avoid eating meals right before bedtime. The stomach will release acid to break down these foods, and the horizontal sleeping position will allow the fluids to reflux.