Acid Reflux & the Foods to Eat
When we think of acid reflux, we tend to think of all those foods we can't eat: citrus, fatty foods, spicy food, alcohol, etc. But what are the foods we can eat? Can you manage your acid reflux and still eat foods that tastes good?
Acid Reflux and Dietary Habits
Yes, you can still eat food that tastes good if you have acid reflux. An added bonus is that acid reflux usually diminishes when we eat a diet lower in fat, so consider your acid reflux as encouragement to start living more healthily. Typically, foods that won't trigger acid reflux are foods low in acid; think apples instead of oranges. But, as with any condition, triggers may vary for different people.
Determine Your Triggers
The most important step is to determine which foods trigger your acid reflux. Track everything you eat for a week or so and list if you experience acid reflux after ingestion. Also note if you used antacids, how many you took, and how often. Use this list to determine the general meal which caused your acid reflux, then try and determine the specific ingredient(s) that affect you.
You may need to do an experiment where you eliminate all the likely triggers from your diet, then introduce them one at a time and see what happens. For example, if a hamburger triggers acid reflux, consider which ingredient may have affected you. Was the hamburger over-seasoned or excessively fatty? Did you use any condiments like ketchup, mustard, pickles or onions? Eliminate all these items from your diet, and then introduce only one at a time. Try eating onions and see what happens. This will take some time, but you may find out you can eat a hamburger whenever you like, maybe just without the onions.
Change Your Diet
You may still be able to eat your favorite foods that induce acid reflux, but you may have to do so with care. For example, if you love your daily glass of orange juice, switch to the low acid kind. Take it a step further and thin the juice out with a bit of water. Be sure to drink this only after you've eaten.
Below is a listing of good foods for acid reflux sufferers from Madhura Pandit on Buzzle.com. Try them out and experience the difference for yourself!
Fruits and Vegetables: Vegetables and fruits rarely cause heartburn and acid reflux. Fruits and vegetables are also good for overall health and help in preventing most of the health disorders. Fruits good for acid reflux are Apples, bananas, melons, pears and peaches. Vegetables good for acid reflux include Baked potato, broccoli, carrots, celery, cabbage, fennel, green beans and peas. These vegetable should not be fried as it can aggravate acid reflux.
Grains: Low fat containing grains like multi grain, white bread, bran, oatmeal, cereals, brown or white rice, pretzels, whole wheat flour are good foods for acid reflux. Baked and fat free cookies are safer to eat.
Meat and Dairy: Chicken breast, egg white, fish, steak do not cause acid reflux. These should be consumed without adding extra fats or seasoning. Similarly, fat free creams and cheeses can also be consumed. All the dairy foods should be fat free or containing very low amounts of fats. Fat free oils and salad dressing are good foods for acid reflux relief."
Here are some other common lifestyle changes which may help ease your acid reflux:
- Eat smaller meals more frequently. This prevents your stomach from being overfilled and allows for easier digestion.
- Lose weight
- Exercise; focus on strength training rather than high impact cardio, and be sure to not eat for at least two hours before exercising.
- Stop smoking
- Limit alcohol and caffeine
- Reduce stress; it may not directly affect acid reflux, but it will affect everything that comes along with stress, including smoking, alcohol use, overeating, and a weakened immune system.
Having acid reflux doesn't mean you can't enjoy good food, it just means you need to be careful about what you eat.