Eating Bananas May Help To Settle Your Stomach
A portable healthy snack, bananas can sometimes aid in reducing the frequency of heartburn. Dr. Nusbaum told INSIDER that a banana’s natural pH can help settle the stomach and he said he recommends them to those who suffer from acid reflux.
However, Dr. Nusbaum said about 1% of patients with acid reflux find that their condition is actually worsened by bananas. So before using bananas as your go-to solution to acid reflux symptoms, you may want to test how your body reacts to them first.
How To Prevent Acid Reflux And Heartburn
Acid reflux happens when your stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. Your esophagus is the muscular tube that connects your throat and stomach. The most common symptom of acid reflux is a burning sensation in your chest, known as heartburn. Other symptoms may include a sour or regurgitated food taste in the back of your mouth.
Acid reflux is also known as gastroesophageal reflux . If you experience it more than twice a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease . In addition to frequent heartburn, symptoms of GERD include difficulty swallowing, coughing or wheezing, and chest pain.
Most people experience acid reflux and heartburn from time to time. GERD is a more serious condition that affects about 20 percent of Americans. Research in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences suggests that rates of GERD are rising.
Learn about steps you can take to prevent acid reflux and heartburn. Lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery may help you find relief.
Anyone can experience occasional acid reflux and heartburn. For example, you may experience these symptoms after eating too quickly. You may notice them after consuming lots of spicy food or high-fat treats.
Youre more likely to develop GERD if you:
- are overweight or obese
- have diabetes
Occasional or mild cases of acid reflux can usually be prevented by adopting a few lifestyle changes. For example:
- fatty or fried foods
Just A Few Dietary Tweaks Can Ease Your Discomfort
by Shelley Emling, AARP, July 28, 2017| 0
En español | Heartburn is a condition that many people will experience at least once in their lifetime. More than just a minor nuisance, this uncomfortable burning sensation can sometimes creep up into your throat leaving an unpleasantly bitter taste. The pain caused by heartburn can range from mild to so severe that its sometimes mistaken for heart attack pain.
And heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, which occurs when stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus the tube that connects the throat and stomach. In some cases, acid reflux progresses to gastroesophageal reflux disease , or a more serious form of reflux. Common signs of GERD include frequent heartburn, coughing, wheezing, chest pain and regurgitation particularly at night.
While over-the-counter and prescription medicines are available, lifestyle changes can sometimes help those with only occasional acid reflux. The Mayo Clinic advises losing excess weight, eating smaller meals, and avoiding alcohol and nicotine. But dietary tweaks also can be key when trying to alleviate symptoms.
Here are five foods to try.
2. Melons. Like bananas, melons also are a highly alkaline fruit. They are a good source of magnesium, which is found in many medicines for acid reflux. Furthermore, melons have a pH of 6.1, making them only mildly acidic. Especially good are cantaloupe and honeydew melon.
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Diet And Lifestyle Measures To Ward Off Heartburn
Taking steps to combat acid reflux can help minimize the use of potentially dangerous drugs.
The childhood admonition to refrain from swimming for an hour after eating, ostensibly to avoid cramp, is not nearly long enough for me anymore. I now have to wait at least two hours before attempting any vigorous activity, or chores that involve bending over, to avoid the miserable sensation of acid reflux, commonly recognized by its frequent symptom of heartburn.
Ive also found that a favorite breakfast food peanut butter is especially troublesome, along with smoked fish, pickled herring or brewed coffee on an empty stomach.
Sipping Smoothies To Help With Heartburn
The acid reflux smoothie I created below is made with ingredients that help provide natural heartburn relief. They go down pleasantly, stay down, and soothe.
- Cashew milk and basil help minimize stomach acid.
- Spinach reduces stomach acid secretions because its naturally low in fat + sugar.
- Pear adds fiber and natural sweetness. Just make sure its super ripe.
- Ginger is naturally anti-inflammatory, and is therefore used in many natural heartburn treatments.
- Banana is a non-acidic food known to soothe the esophagus and stomach.
- Oatmeal is naturally high in fiber, and diets high in fiber have fewer instances of heartburn.
Hopefully this acid reflux smoothie can help soothe your esophagus along with calming your whole body. It tastes light and is just the right amount of sweet for anyone with a sensitive palate.
Recommended Reading: Home Remedies To Prevent Heartburn
What Foods Help Acid Reflux Go Away
- ENT Institute
What foods help acid reflux go away? Acid reflux is one of the most irritating feelings that we deal with. It not only feels like our insides have been set aflame, but theres generally chest pain that comes with it. Other symptoms include burping, hiccups, nausea, and sore throat to name a few. Generally it shows up at the worst times too for example, during a business meeting that could make or break your chances of promotion, or better yet, on a date with someone you greatly admire and hope to continue a relationship with.
To make matters worse, its really gross when you think about what acid reflux really means. WebMD describes it like this: acid produced by your stomach can move up into your esophagus. This can cause symptoms such as a burning chest discomfortheartburn. If acid reflux symptoms happen more than twice a week, you may have acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease . . To think that stuff from your stomach is coming up the esophagus into your throat is not fun to wonder about.
And if that wasnt enough, acid reflux and GERD are known to be a cause of esophageal cancer a deadly cancer that is on the rise. According to the Mayo Clinic, Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. . Using that same source, here are symptoms of esophageal cancer:
- Hard time swallowing
- Chest pain and burning sensations
- Coughing and hoarseness
- Unexplained weight loss
Eating Spinach Can Potentially Help Reduce Stomach Acidity
“Spinach is rich in calcium, which increases bone health, and it’s highly alkaline, which helps the stomach to reduce acidity levels,” Scabardi said. Spinach is a versatile ingredient that can be added to recipes or smoothies in order to get the most out of its potentially soothing impact on heartburn.
Read Also: Natural Ways To Relieve Heartburn
Which Foods May Help Soothe Acid Reflux
Sadly, no food cures the condition, but certain foods may lessen the effects of reflux when combined with lifestyle changes. Be aware not all these suggestions work for all sufferers, so use your own experience to determine the most relevant for you.
Foods which may help include:
- Vegetables such as green beans, potatoes, fennel, asparagus, cucumber and leafy greens including spinach and kale.
- Fruits including melon, banana, apple and pears.
- Fibrous foods including oatmeal, wholegrain rice and psyllium husks.
- Ginger, famed for its stomach calming properties and natural anti-inflammatory status. Grate the fresh root and add to meals or brew as a tea when making tea for therapeutic purposes cover while steeping to retain the active constituents.
Although lean meat, fish and egg whites are often cited as useful food inclusions, evidence is inconclusive, with some studies reporting no difference to symptoms. Clearly, more research is needed to clarify this.
Garlic Onions And Spicy Foods
Spicy and tangy foods, such as onions and garlic, trigger heartburn symptoms in many people.
These foods wont trigger reflux in everyone. But if you eat a lot of onions or garlic, make sure to track your meals carefully in your diary. Some of these foods, along with spicy foods, may bother you more than other foods do.
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Foods To Add To Your Diet If You Have Acid Reflux
Acid reflux, also known as GERD, occurs when stomach acid flows back up from the stomach into the esophagus. Some are more susceptible to acid reflux than others, but it is typically caused by food or drink triggers. If you suffer from acid reflux, make sure to add these 10 foods to your diet.
Problems With Conventional Treatments For Acid Reflux
Acid reflux, heartburn and GERD are usually treated with perscriptions or over-the-counter drugs to lower pain. Sometimes these are used when symptoms are already beginning to flare up, while in other cases they are taken daily to prevent symptoms.
The three main types of medicines to treat acid reflux symptoms or those caused by GERD are: antacids, H2RAs , and PPIs . In the past, you may have taken some of these products and pills to resolve your symptoms.
In fact, acid reflux/GERD drugs have been found to contribute to symptoms like: poor digestion, irritable bowel syndrome , depression, anemia and fatigue. Long-term use of gastric acid suppression, like proton pump inhibitors or antacid medications, are even associated with an increased risk of C. difficile infections. As a result, serious problems that can develop include diarrhea, inflamed intestines and bleeding ulcers. Patients who are at the greatest risk for side effects from PPIs include the elderly, those with certain chronic medical conditions, and those taking broad spectrum antibiotics. In fact, the FDA has warned patients taking these drugs that they should immediately contact their healthcare professional and seek care if they develop diarrhea that does not improve.
Also Check: What Not To Eat When Having Heartburn
Eating Oatmeal And Whole Grains Can Help Reduce The Acid That Builds Up And Causes Heartburn
“Acid is the irritating factor in heartburn and the fiber in oatmeal and whole-grain products like whole-grain bread and pasta can help reduce it. The high fiber content of these foods helps to absorb and reduce the acid that builds up and causes heartburn,” registered dietitianEmily Wunder told INSIDER.
When cooking these whole grains, you may want to avoid pairing them with ingredients that are known to trigger heartburn, like tomato or garlic.
Acid Reflux Diet: Best Foods Foods To Avoid & Supplements That Help
More than one-third of the population suffers from some sort of recurring, painful digestive symptom, disorder or disease. For example, these include hemorrhoids, IBS, Crohns, gluten intolerance or celiac disease, heartburn or acid reflux. Many other chronic conditions, including some that are caused mainly by a weakened immune system, are also linked to poor digestive health.
What does acid reflux, or related issues like heartburn and GERD, feel like? Symptoms that are shared by all three include: chest pains, burning sensations that can pick up at night and disturb your sleep, and difficulty eating many foods.
If you experience any of these acid reflux symptoms and want to find some relief, you must improve your diet and make necessary lifestyle changes. These changes include rethinking how you sleep and even manage stress. Also, I recommend considering remedies like adding acid refluxfighting supplements to your diet, exercising, cutting out caffeine and too much alcohol, and potentially losing weight.
Recommended Reading: Causes Of Heartburn And Reflux
Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
Some women who have never had acid reflux before develop acid reflux or heartburn symptoms for the duration of their pregnancy. This is normal, and many women have decreased or no symptoms after the pregnancy is over.
In addition to following the guidelines discussed above, try sipping liquids instead of drinking them quickly to help prevent acid reflux symptoms. Keeping a food diary to help track what aggravates your symptoms can help you prevent symptoms throughout your pregnancy.
If your GERD or acid reflux hasnt responded to purely dietary changes, other remedies and medications may offer relief.
Over-the-counter treatments include:
What Causes Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is caused by weakness or relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter . Normally this valve closes tightly after food enters your stomach. If it relaxes when it shouldnt, your stomach contents rise back up into the esophagus.
Stomach acids flow back up into the esophagus, causing reflux.
Factors that can lead to this include:
- Too much pressure on the abdomen. Some pregnant women experience heartburn almost daily because of this increased pressure.
- Particular types of food and eating habits.
- Medications that include medicines for asthma, high blood pressure and allergies as well as painkillers, sedatives and anti-depressants.
- A hiatal hernia. The upper part of the stomach bulges into the diaphragm, getting in the way of normal intake of food.
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More Foods To Soothe Heartburn
Other foods and herbs have long been treatments for reflux and upset stomach. But keep in mind that while they may provide relief for some, “they won’t work for everyone,” says gastroenterologist Jay Kuemmerle, MD, of Virginia Commonwealth University. You might want to try:
- Fennel. This crunchy vegetable with a licorice flavor makes a great addition to salads. There’s some evidence that fennel can improve your digestion. It has a pH of 6.9, so it’s low in acid, too.
- Ginger. A long-standing natural treatment for upset stomach, ginger does seem to have benefits for reflux.
- Parsley. That sprig of parsley on your plate isn’t only for decoration. Parsley has been a traditional treatment for upset stomach for hundreds of years. And there’s some evidence that it can help with acid reflux.
- Aloe vera. This is another old treatment for GI problems that seems to help with reflux. You can buy aloe vera as a plant or as a supplement — in capsules, juices, and other forms. It works as a thickener in recipes.Just make sure itâs free of anthraquinones , which can be irritating to the digestive system.
Best Foods For Acid Reflux
A diet balanced with vegetables, protein and fruits is best, Dr. Khaitan says. Examples of the best foods for acid reflux include:
- Chicken breast Be sure to remove the fatty skin. Skip fried and instead choose baked, broiled or grilled.
- Lettuce, celery and sweet peppers These mild green veggies are easy on the stomach and wont cause painful gas.
- Brown rice This complex carbohydrate is mild and filling just dont serve it fried.
- Melons Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew are all low-acid fruits that are among the best foods for acid reflux.
- Oatmeal Filling, hearty and healthy, this comforting breakfast standard also works for lunch.
- Fennel This low-acid crunchy vegetable has a mild licorice flavor and a natural soothing effect.
- Ginger Steep caffeine-free ginger tea or chew on low-sugar dried ginger for a natural tummy tamer.
Read Also: Why Do I Keep Getting Bad Heartburn
How Do I Know Im Having Heartburn And Not A Heart Attack
Chest pain caused by heartburn may make you afraid youre having a heart attack. Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart, but since the discomfort is in your chest it may be hard to know the difference while its going on. But symptoms of a heart attack are different than heartburn.
Heartburn is that uncomfortable burning feeling or pain in your chest that can move up to your neck and throat. A heart attack can cause pain in the arms, neck and jaw, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue and anxiety, among other symptoms.
If your heartburn medication doesnt help and your chest pain is accompanied by these symptoms, call for medical attention right away.
What To Drink For Acid Reflux
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GERD symptoms are affected by what you eat. The symptoms can include coughing, nausea, and hoarseness. Burping, sore throat, and regurgitation are also commonly associated with GERD. What you decide to incorporate or avoid in your diet can help relieve some of your symptoms.
Herbal teas help improve digestion and soothe many stomach problems, such as gas and nausea. Try caffeine-free herbal tea for acid reflux, but avoid spearmint or peppermint teas. Mint triggers acid reflux for many.
Licorice helps increase the mucus coating of the esophageal lining, which helps calm the effects of stomach acid. However, theres insufficient evidence to confirm the effectiveness of fennel, marshmallow root, or papaya tea.
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