If you get acid reflux, you know how uncomfortable the feeling can be. Despite trying to cut out the right foods, you still may be experiencing heartburn, so it's helpful to know what foods can actually fight acid reflux. Your diet is important when it comes to preventing gastrointestinal issues, and certain foods can work wonders to relieve discomfort and prevent future issues.
Sixty percent of the adult population will experience some type of gastroesophageal reflux disease each year, and 20 to 30 percent will have weekly symptoms, according to Healthline. But what exactly causes these symptoms?
"Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter muscle that separates your stomach from your chest and the upper part of the stomach shift above the diaphragm," says Beth Warren, MS, RDN, CDN to Bustle over email. "When the diaphragm is in its correct position, it keeps acid inside the stomach. When it shifts, however, the acid can flow back up the esophagus contributing to symptoms of acid reflux."
Switching to lower-acidic foods can help prevent build up of acid in your stomach. If you suffer from acid reflux and want to change up the way you eat, try incorporating these 11 foods into your diet, which can help prevent the pesky condition.
1. Almond Milk
You may have hard to drink milk to help with acid reflux, but almond milk might be the better solution. "Sometimes cows milk can contribute to reflex, so almond milk is a great substitution," says Warren. "Almond milk is alkaline — the opposite of acidic — helping to combat acid reflux."
"Because oatmeal is a whole grain, it has a lot of fiber and is not an acidic food," says Warren. "As a result, it will help fill your stomach and lessen the chance of having a reflux issue. It may also soothe your symptoms."
Eating fermented foods rich in probiotics help increase the presence of good bacteria, according to Mayo Clinic. "Foods with healthy bacteria may help improve digestion and reduce the frequency of acid reflux," says nutritionist Lisa Hugh over email. digestion
Like yogurt, kimchi, a Korean staple made with fermented vegetables, is full of probiotics, making it another great choice for better digestion. Cabbage also contains a substance known as vitamin U, which has anti-ulcer properties, according to research from the Western Journal of Medicine.
"Ginger has been long used to treat gastrointestinal issues because of its soothing properties," says Warren. "It is known to be an anti-inflammatory food that can help combat symptoms of acid reflux."
6. Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera is good for more than just treating sunburns — it can help soothe the gastrointestinal tract as well. According to research from the Journal of Environmental Science and Health, drinking aloe vera juice can help prevent acid reflux, as it can decrease inflammation.
"Fennel is another known food to be used to help combat digestive problems including heartburn," says Warren. The herb contains an anti-inflammatory phytonutrient called anethole, according to Medical Daily, which can relax the stomach walls.
Bland starches are good choices when it comes to foods that are easy on the stomach lining, according to SF Gate. Plain pasta, baked potatoes, and bread are other good options as well — just be sure not to load them up with butter or other acidic, high-fat condiments that could cause acid reflux.
Beans are non-acidic, low in fat, and high in fiber, making them an excellent choice for fighting off acid reflux, according to Livestrong.
10. Green Vegetables
"Vegetables such as broccoli and celery are low acidic foods," says Warren. "As a result, they can soothe the esophageal lining." Other good veggies include asparagus and green beans, according to WebMD.
11. Low-Acid Fruits
"Even though a lot of fruits are acidic, contributing to acid reflux, low-acid fruits are a good bet," says Warren. Low-acid fruits include bananas and melons such as watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.
Eating these foods regularly can help prevent acid reflux, but be sure to avoid other foods such as coffee, citrus, alcohol, fried foods, and spicy foods to keep your symptoms at bay.
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