The LES (lower esophageal sphincter) is a muscle-like valve at your stomach’s entrance. When food goes through the LES, it shuts, but suppose it fails to close completely or opens too many times. In that case, it allows the acid that your stomach produces to find its way into the esophagus. This can cause a burning sensation in the lower chest region known as acid reflux or heartburn.
Foods That Can Help Manage the Symptoms of Acid Reflux
Certain foods can help manage the symptoms of acid reflux, combined with lifestyle adjustments or medication if the condition is particularly severe. Food is the most natural method of acid reflux treatment and symptoms management. Here are some ideal foods:
Ginger is a natural heartburn treatment and one of the most appropriate digestive aids due to its medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties. Its alkaline nature soothes digestive tract irritations and eases other gastrointestinal issues. Any time you feel heartburn accumulating, try drinking ginger tea. You can also add sliced or grated ginger root to a smoothie or other recipe to alleviate the symptoms.
Oatmeal can help prevent symptoms of acid reflux, as well as other foods high in fiber. Oatmeal is a whole grain, an impressive fiber source, and a favorite snack for many. A fiber-rich diet has been associated with reduced chances of acid reflux occurrence. Whole-grain rice and whole-grain bread are other sources of high-fiber.
Not only does fiber encourage bowel wellbeing, but it also decreases constipation and helps you feel satisfied long after you’ve eaten. Naturally, you are unlikely to overeat when you’re feeling satisfied. This reduces the possibility of regurgitation from your stomach into your esophagus. When taking oatmeal, use low-fat milk like almond milk or any other high alkaline milk.
High alkaline foods are good for acid reflux as they are suitable for the digestive system. They will also reduce the production of stomach acid as they are naturally low in sugar and fat. If you already love green vegetables, then it won’t be a struggle to take more of them. Foods like kales, spinach, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cucumbers, green beans, and asparagus are highly alkaline and calm acid reflux.
Milk & Yoghurt
Whole milk is ideal if it contains the full amount of fat – 2% fat, alongside non-fat and skim milk. The fat in milk may exacerbate acid reflux. Still, low-fat milk can be used as a quick aid for acidic reflux and relieve heartburn symptoms as it protects the stomach lining from acid.
Low-fat yogurt soothes the stomach to keep you comfortable. It contains probiotics, a form of healthy bacteria found in the digestive tract that can stimulate the immune system and increase digestion. Yogurt also increases the ability to digest food efficiently because it is a healthy protein source. Add a little ginger to your yogurt to make it more effective.
Although studies have found that people with a higher fruit intake have a lower risk of acid reflux, it’s safer to make sure you eat only non-citrus fruit, like apples, pears, bananas, and melons. These have less possibility of triggering acid reflux symptoms than other, more acidic fruits. Bananas are low in acid; hence, they coat the esophageal lining when irritated, thus working as a natural acid reflux treatment. Bananas are also high in fiber content, which helps the digestive system operate at optimal performance, thus eliminating indigestion.
When food remains in the digestive tract, it continues to generate acid, which will then cause acidic reflux. However, pectin, a soluble fiber found in bananas, assists in pushing the food in the stomach through the digestive tract. Another good source is melon. Several acidic medications contain magnesium, a natural element found in melons.
Lean meat is low in fat and helps to minimize acid reflux symptoms. Meats such as fish, seafood, turkey, and chicken are examples of lean meat. The most appropriate preparation methods are baking, grilling, poaching, or baking to eliminate the addition of cooking fats.