Make These Changes In Your Diet to Help Reduce Acid Reflux
When you are struggling with the pain and discomfort of heartburn, or acid reflux it came seem like no matter what you eat the pain gets worse. In some severe cases that may be true and if so you may need advice from your doctor to get your system back to normal.
In some severe cases that may be true and if so, you may need advice from your doctor to get your system back to normal.
However, there are specific foods that can make heartburn worse and others that can ease the pain of acid reflux or help eliminate it altogether.
Take a look at this explanation of which foods to avoid and which foods can actually heal your hurting digestive system.
Limit Foods that Increase Stomach Acid
Adjusting your diet to remove or reduce certain foods that can trigger the LES to allow for acid to sneak out from the stomach can greatly help reduce reflux. Foods and meals that are capable of increasing stomach acid and, therefore, aggravating heartburn symptoms include:
fried foods or meals high in low-quality and refined oils — these are foods you should stop eating immediately if you want avoid heartburn completely
packaged foods with artificial sweeteners, ingredients, preservatives and flavors
citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit)
Dealing with heartburn doesn’t necessarily mean you have to avoid these foods altogether, but take note of what you’re eating prior to experiencing any painful symptoms. Everyone reacts differently to acidic foods, and it might take some trial and error in order to establish which are the worst offenders for you personally. You might want to keep an ongoing record so you can easily connect the dots between certain foods and reoccurring heartburn symptoms.
Step one should be to greatly limit processed foods, including anything artificially flavored, fried or sweetened (cereals, corn and potato chips, muffins, cookies, anything with refined vegetable oils). Consider lowering your grain intake and cutting back greatly on oils like canola, safflower, sunflower, corn and soybean oil.
Focus on eating a healing foods diet filled with whole foods that don’t aggravate your digestive system. Leafy green vegetables, berries, starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, probiotic foods, coconut oil and wild-caught fish are usually all well-tolerated, even for people with sensitive stomachs. The GAPS diet is a great example of a protocol that focuses on whole foods that treat digestive issues like IBS, leaky gut, acid reflux and many other conditions.
Healing foods on the GAPS diet include:
fresh organic vegetables (especially those containing prebiotic fibers, including artichokes, asparagus, cucumber, pumpkin, squash and fennel)
healthy fats, including coconut oil, avocado and ghee (easy to digest and nourishing to the digestive tract)
quality animal proteins like free-range chicken and grass-fed beef
wild-caught tuna, sardines and salmon
bone broth (contains enzymes and nutrients like collagen, glutamine, proline and glycine to help rebuild the gut lining)
aloe vera, raw honey, parsley, ginger and fennel (nourish the digestive tract)
unpasteurized cultured dairy products like kefir and yogurt, or raw unpasteurized cheeses (help balance healthy bacteria in the stomach)
fermented vegetables, including kimchi and sauerkraut, or fermented drinks like kombucha (contain beneficial probiotics)
apple cider vinegar (fermented and helps balances stomach acid)
teas including chamomile, papaya, fennel and ginger tea – Dr. Axe
Simple Sleep Habits To Help Reduce Acid Reflux
You may not realize that your sleep habits could have any affect on your heartburn, but in some cases, they can.
Here are three ideas that can help prevent heartburn when you are trying to sleep!
Elevate the Head of Your Bed
Some people suffer from reflux symptoms during the night.
This may disrupt their sleep quality and make it difficult for them to fall asleep.
One study showed that patients who raised the head of their bed had significantly fewer reflux episodes and symptoms, compared to those who slept without any elevation.
Additionally, an analysis of controlled studies concluded that elevating the head of the bed is an effective strategy to reduce acid reflux symptoms and heartburn at night.
Summary: Elevating the head of your bed may reduce your reflux symptoms at night.
Don’t Eat Within Three Hours of Going to Bed
People with acid reflux are generally advised to avoid eating within the three hours before they go to sleep.
Although this recommendation makes sense, there is limited evidence to back it up.
One study in GERD patients showed that having a late evening meal had no effects on acid reflux, compared to having a meal before 7 p.m.
However, an observational study found that eating close to bedtime was associated with significantly greater reflux symptoms when people were going to sleep.
More studies are needed before solid conclusions can be made about the effect of late evening meals on GERD. It may also depend on the individual.
Summary: Observational studies suggest that eating close to bedtime may worsen acid reflux symptoms at night. Yet, the evidence is inconclusive and more studies are needed.
Don’t Sleep on Your Right Side
Several studies show that sleeping on your right side may worsen reflux symptoms at night.
The reason is not entirely clear but is possibly explained by anatomy.
The esophagus enters the right side of the stomach. As a result, the lower esophageal sphincter sits above the level of stomach acid when you sleep on your left side.
When you lay on your right side, stomach acid covers the lower esophageal sphincter. This increases the risk of acid leaking through it and causing reflux.
Obviously, this recommendation may not be practical, since most people change their position while they sleep.
Yet resting on your left side might make you more comfortable as you fall asleep.
Summary: If you suffer from acid reflux at night, avoid sleeping on the right side of your body.
Have you tried eating small meals to reduce acid reflux?