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What To Eat With Heartburn Problems

Heartburn Relief: Food Facts

Acid Reflux & Heartburn : Diet for Acid Reflux Disease

Though heartburn triggers can vary from person to person, certain food and drinks are more prone to allowing stomach acid to splash up into your esophagus, including:

  • Meats. Ground beef, marbled sirloin, chicken nugget-style, and chicken/buffalo wings.

  • Fats, Oils & Sweets.Chocolate, regular corn and potato chips, high-fat butter cookies, brownies, doughnuts, creamy and oily salad dressings, fried or fatty food in general.

  • Fruits, Vegetables & Juice. Orange juice, lemon, lemonade, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, tomato, mashed potatoes, French fries, raw onion, potato salad.

  • Other Beverages. Liquor, wine, coffee, and tea.

  • Grains. Macaroni and cheese, spaghetti with marinara sauce.

  • Dairy. Sour cream, milk shake, ice cream, regular cottage cheese.

Foods and beverages like these contribute to heartburn by lessening the effectiveness of the LES to keep stomach contents in the stomach. Smoking also plays a large role, and carbonated beverages should be added to the list as they can put pressure on the stomach, forcing stomach acid back up into the esophagus.

Avoid the foods and beverages above â and eat smaller meals â and you may decrease the amount of reflux from your stomach into the esophagus.

Yet changing what you eat isnât the only way to avoid the horrors of heartburn, there are simple lifestyle changes you can make as well.

Acidic Drinks Or Foods

Acidic foods and drinks can worsen your GERD symptoms or contribute to an acid reflux episode. In addition to some foods discussed above, like coffee, this includes foods such as:

  • Citrus fruit, such as oranges and grapefruit
  • Citrus juice, such as orange juice and lemon or lime juice
  • Garlic, onions, and other alliums
  • Mint and mint-flavored foods and drinks
  • Tomatoes and tomato products, such as tomato sauce or ketchup
  • Processed foods.

Even foods that are traditionally considered healthy, such as pineapple, can aggravate acid reflux events because of their acidity. Foods that are naturally high in acid can affect the overall acidity of your stomach and heighten your GERD symptoms. Eat acidic foods only in moderation, if at all, and pay careful attention to how you feel after doing so.

Ways To Relieve Acid Reflux Without Medication

Image: Bigstock

A few lifestyle changes are worth trying before resorting to drugs for controlling gastroesophageal reflux.

If you are sounding a little hoarse and have a sore throat, you may be bracing for a cold or a bout of the flu. But if you’ve had these symptoms for a while, they might be caused not by a virus but by a valveyour lower esophageal sphincter. That’s the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesn’t close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.

Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburnpain in the upper abdomen and chest that sometimes feel like youre having a heart attack.

Three conditionspoor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus, too much acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptyingcontribute to acid reflux, says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health.

If you’ve been having repeated episodes of heartburnor any other symptoms of acid refluxyou might try the following:

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Foods To Consider Including

Since youll probably need to eliminate certain items from your diet to reduce symptoms of GERD, it may be helpful to know about alternative foods that are less likely to cause problems.

The following replacements may help you avoid symptoms.

Milk products Instead of whole milk and full-fat dairy products, try reduced-fat, low-fat, or fat-free milk, yogurt, cheese, or ice cream.

Alternatively, you can try nondairy options like soy or almond milk, or nondairy ice cream alternatives.

Baked goods Instead of high-fat items like biscuits, croissants, doughnuts, or sweet rolls, try plain bread or rolls, pancakes, waffles, bagels, or low-fat muffins.

Meats and other proteins Instead of fatty meat, fried meat, lunch meat, or sausages, try lean meat, poultry without its skin, fish, tofu, or eggs.

Fruits Instead of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit, try any other fresh, frozen, or canned fruit or fruit juice that you can tolerate well.

Vegetables Instead of fried or creamed vegetables, onions, tomatoes and tomato products, or vegetable juices, try a variety of other fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables that are prepared without added fat.

Soups Instead of creamy or tomato-based soups, try lean broth-based soups or homemade soups made with lean ingredients, including low-fat or fat-free milk instead of cream.

Eating Bananas May Help To Settle Your Stomach

Acid Reflux Disease, Causes and Cares

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.

Recommended Reading: What Are The Best Foods To Eat For Heartburn

High Fat Foods & Gerd Symptoms

When fat enters the stomach, it triggers a release of the hormone cholecystokinin , which can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax. Chronic relaxing or malfunctioning of the LES is what causes GERD. With the LES left more open, the stomach contents can reflux back up the esophagus and cause discomfort.

The other problem with high-fat foods is they require more time to break down during digestion. In order to help the digestive process, the CCK hormone keeps fatty foods in the stomach for a longer period of time. This is a natural reaction, but when combined with the relaxed LES, the risk of acid reflux symptoms increases.

Below is a list of several types of high-fat foods you should avoid when managing acid reflux or GERD symptoms.

  • Fried food
  • Sausage
  • Fatty meats

Fried foods are especially bad due to their high levels of saturated fat. You should not eliminate all fats from your diet because your body does need fat to work properly. Some healthy sources of fat include avocados, nuts, and olive oil.

While you do not have to eliminate all of these foods from your diet immediately, the more you can limit and monitor fatty foods, the better. Paying attention to your fat intake will also help you avoid future health problems like obesity, heart disease, and cancer.

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.

Read Also: What Can I Drink That Helps With Heartburn

Fennel Is A Flavorful Herb That May Help Settle The Stomach

Fennel is a crunchy herb that looks like a cross between onion and celery even though it’s actually a member of the carrot family.

neutral pH helps settle the stomach. It is a great food for acid reflux and actually seems to improve stomach function through improving gastric motility,” said Dr. Nusbaum.

Fennel can be consumed raw or cooked and its seeds can be used to add flavor to dishes like chicken and fish.

Heartburn Trigger: Coffee And Mint Teas

What To Do For Heartburn & Stomach Problems

What to Drink Instead: Although many researchers believe caffeine makes coffee troublesome for heartburn sufferers, some studies indicate that tea doesnt influence reflux the same way. Just be careful to avoid certain herbal teaspeppermint and spearmint are known heartburn triggers. Try experimenting with a cup of black tea or decaf coffee, which has also been shown to significantly lower GERD symptoms.

Recommended Reading: Can Heartburn Damage Your Heart

What Should I Eat To Avoid Heartburn

Chocolate, regular corn and potato chips, high-fat butter cookies, brownies, doughnuts, creamy and oily salad dressings, fried or fatty food in general. Fruits, Vegetables & Juice. Orange juice, lemon, lemonade, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, tomato, mashed potatoes, French fries, raw onion, potato salad.

Similarly, What foods neutralize stomach acid?

Here are five foods to try.

  • Bananas. This low-acid fruit can help those with acid reflux by coating an irritated esophageal lining and thereby helping to combat discomfort.
  • Melons. Like bananas, melons also are a highly alkaline fruit.
  • Oatmeal.
  • Yogurt.
  • Green Vegetables.

Additionally, How Can heartburn be prevented? Occasional or mild cases of acid reflux can usually be prevented by adopting a few lifestyle changes. For example: Avoid lying down for three hours after a meal. Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.

Related Contents

Is Milk Bad For Acid Reflux

Milk and dairy products are high in fat and tend to make heartburn worse. When you have frequent GERD symptoms, like heartburn, eating high-fat dairy products like cheese can aggravate your symptoms. Furthermore, cold dairy products like ice cream can actually numb and inhibit the lower esophageal sphincters function.

Also Check: Best Foods To Eat With Bad 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.

Dont Drink Too Much Alcohol

MedStar Washington Hospital Center Blog Center View

Alcohol increases the amount of acid the stomach produces and relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter . If you do want to have some alcohol during your festivities, try the following tips:

  • Dilute alcoholic beverages with water or club soda.
  • Limit alcohol consumption to one or two mixed drinks, no more than 16 ounces of wine, or and no more than three beers.
  • Drink white wine instead of red wine.
  • Choose non-alcoholic beer or wine.
  • Keep track of which alcoholic drinks aggravate your heartburn, and avoid them as much as possible.

Recommended Reading: Difference Between Heartburn And Chest Pain

How Common Is Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is among the most frequent health complaints of American adults, and may have become even more common in the wake of pandemic-related stress and weight gain. Late last year, pharmacies reported an unprecedented run on antacids by people described as having a pandemic stomach, leaving those with serious ailments that required such products often out of luck.

Even before the pandemic, an online survey from 2019 of more than 71,000 adults found that nearly a third reported that they were affected at least weekly by the discomforting symptoms of acid reflux, in which a small amount of stomach contents reverses course and backs up into the esophagus.

Can Drinking Water Reduce Heartburn

Drinking water during the later stages of digestion can reduce acidity and GERD symptoms. Often, there are pockets of high acidity, between a pH or 1 and 2, just below the esophagus. By drinking tap or filtered water a little while after a meal, you can dilute the acid there, which can result in less heartburn.

Recommended Reading: What Can Cause Really Bad 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.

Just A Few Dietary Tweaks Can Ease Your Discomfort

Acid Reflux & Heartburn : Things You Shouldn’t Eat With Acid Reflux

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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Foods Most Likely To Trigger Gerd

Although there is no dedicated GERD diet or acid reflux diet, certain foods can trigger heartburn and those that can help counteract heartburn or do not cause it. These foods cause acid reflux because they cause a delay in the digestive process, which lets food sit in the stomach longer. The worst foods for GERD are spicy foods and those high in fat and salt. Certain drinks may also trigger heartburn. Foods to avoid with GERD include:

  • Alcohol
  • Potato chips and other processed snacks
  • Tomato-based sauces

Can Gerd Go Away Forever

There are several treatment options for GERD, but is there a cure? It is possible to eliminate GERD with diet modification , but the diet will have to be maintained in order to prevent recurrence of symptoms, Dr. Lopez says. Because there is usually an anatomical reason for GERD, if the diet is not maintained, GERD symptoms will likely recur. Also, some individuals require both diet modification and initiation of medication. Just like most disease processes, GERD is a spectrum. Thus, different individuals usually require different treatments in order to improve or eliminate their symptoms.

Unfortunately, theres no quick fix for GERD. Figuring out how to reduce or eliminate symptoms can sometimes be a game of trial and error. First, try the least invasive technique, diet change, and go from there.

Read Also: What Foods To Eat When You Have Heartburn

How Does Nutrition Help Or Hinder Acid Reflux

What, when and how you eat may help manage your symptoms. Eating smaller, more frequent mealsthroughout the day and avoiding food within three hours of bedtimeappears to help some sufferers. Chewing well and eating in a slow and relaxed manner may also be a useful strategy as can reducing the fat andcarbohydrate content of your meal.Its worth remembering that what triggers your heartburn will be personal to you which means what helps manage it will likewise depend on your own journey of discovery.

Foods To Avoid If You Are Prone To Acid Reflux

Acidic Stool Causes

Food triggers are different for every person, but certain foods are known to cause problems for a lot of people. To identify specific trigger foods, keep a food diary for at least a week to track the foods you eat, what time of day you eat and what symptoms you experience. You might start by eliminating or reducing these common problem foods from your diet:

  • High-fat foods
  • Fried and fatty foods such as French fries, potato chips and onion rings
  • Full-fat dairy products including butter, whole milk, regular cheese and sour cream
  • Fatty or fried cuts of beef, pork, or lamb
  • Bacon and ham fat
  • Desserts, such as ice cream
  • Cream sauces, gravies, and creamy salad dressings
  • Citrus fruits including oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes and pineapples
  • Tomatoes
  • Garlic, onions and other spicy foods
  • Caffeine
  • Mint and products with mint flavoring, like chewing gum and breath mints

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