Acid reflux, heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a symptom of mucosal damage. This occurs when stomach acids go up from the stomach and into the esophagus. Acid reflux is caused by the sudden relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter. The lower esophageal sphincter serves as barrier between the stomach and the esophagus. This organ prevents stomach acids from spilling into the esophagus.
When there are sudden changes in the stomach or there’s abnormality in the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter will fail, causing heartburn. A person afflicted with GERD will feel a burning sensation creeping up from the abdomen all the way to the chest. It causes shooting pain, nausea, indigestion, and acidic aftertaste. Persistent heartburn will irritate the trachea, causing inflammation. Long-term effects of acid reflux include scarred esophagus and even throat cancer.
The good news is that symptoms could be prevented if you watch what you eat. Certain types of food could trigger acid reflux. By eliminating foods that increases stomach acids, you can prevent heartburn. Below are low-acid foods you need to eat to avoid bouts with acid reflux:
Bananas and Melons
Melons and bananas are some of the mildest foods on the market. These are great snacks and they are available all year round. If you have a history of heartburn, make sure to eat melons and bananas several times per week. Any kind of melon will neutralize stomach acids, including honeydew and watermelon.
Apart from lowering cholesterol level in the body and stabilizing blood glucose level, oatmeal also won’t upset a delicate stomach. It won’t cause acid reflux, making it a great choice for those afflicted with GERD. It’s also high in fiber so it keeps you energized all day and keeps cravings away!
Wholegrain breads won’t cause stomach acids to back up. They are also healthier than other types of breads – including wheat bread, whole wheat bread, or 7-grain bread! Breads are mostly made from refined grains and sugar. They are not only fattening, they also lose nutrients like natural fibers and essential vitamins. So if you must eat bread, turn to those made from unprocessed grains.
Don’t shun carbs just yet. Healthy carbohydrates are not just part of a healthy diet; they could also eliminate symptoms of acid reflux! You can eat rice if your stomach’s upset. But too much rice will lead to weight gain. We recommend couscous instead. Couscous contains fewer calories and it’s full of vitamins and minerals. If you must eat rice, get brown or black rice. They contain more fiber than white rice.
Apart from couscous and brown rice, you can also eat potato, sweet potato, and yams. These root vegetables won’t irritate the stomach.
Green, Leafy Vegetables
Vegetables like asparagus, green beans, celery, cauliflower, and broccoli are all low in acid. They are safe to eat by those who suffer from GERD.
It’s safe to eat lean protein as long as they are prepared the right way. Avoid rich, fatty, or greasy meats. Turn to chicken, lean cuts of pork and beef, or turkey. Fish is also an excellent choice because it’s low in acid. To prepare the meats, grill or bake them. You can also steam them. Do not add spicy condiments or any other ingredient that will trigger heartburn.