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If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, you’re probably familiar with acid reflux. For those unfamiliar with what acid reflux is and the irritation it wreaks havoc on your body, here’s what this annoying, digestive-related disorder is all about.
Foods To Avoid If You Have Heartburn
A major symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, otherwise known as heartburn, which occurs when acid from the stomach creeps back up into the esophagus. This is why people clutch their chest – it can cause pain
The 8 Best Breakfast Foods For Acid Reflux
As the acid flows backward, even down the esophagus, it can make swallowing difficult and cause a feeling of a lump in the throat. But the symptoms don’t stop there – other parts of the body also take heat.
There are many reasons that go into a good night’s sleep, and feeling like your chest is on fire isn’t one of them. According to the Mayo Clinic, nocturnal acid reflux can disrupt sleep, aggravate asthma, and cause coughing. It is therefore important to ensure that intake of substances that help prevent these symptoms do not lead to sleep disturbances, which later lead to other adverse effects.
To help you ease those uncomfortable acid reflux symptoms, we’ve consulted with registered dietitians Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD, Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD and The No-Brainer Nutrition Guide for Every Runner, and Drs. Talked to Rizwana. . Chaudhary, MD, assistant professor of medicine in gastroenterology and hepatology at Johns Hopkins, to either list foods that cause, reduce, and/or prevent acid reflux.
Foods that cause heartburn and foods to avoid when you have acid reflux have some similarities. Foods that sit in the stomach longer (hello, fatty and heavy foods!) can make some of the symptoms listed above worse, says Dr. Chaudhary says. We’ll start with avoidance and then mention some that can help.
Simple Food Swaps For 8 Heartburn Triggers
Foods that cause heartburn and foods to avoid when you have acid reflux have some similarities. Many take longer to digest and can sit in the stomach, causing acid to travel up the esophagus, Dr. Chaudhary says. But others are just really sour!
Whether you use healthy fats or, even if you eat healthy fats, you are putting yourself at risk for some digestive problems. Fried and fatty foods relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and ultimately, do not perform its duty properly. The LES is a bundle of muscles that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Specifically, the bottom of the esophagus needs to be sealed so that food does not flow back up after it has accumulated in your stomach.
“Fat and fatty foods cause the lower esophageal sphincter to not tighten properly, allowing stomach acid to back up into the esophagus,” says Rizzo.
Foods like french fries, fried chicken, and funnel cake actually stabilize your LES. “Fried foods also take a long time to digest, so they sit in the stomach for a long time and make reflux symptoms last longer,” she says.
Acid Reflux Food To Avoid
Eating high- to full-fat dairy products can help you feel fuller longer, but unfortunately, acid reflux sufferers struggle to reap the benefits of these foods without feeling like their esophagus is being destroyed.
Again, it is associated with high fat content. There are dairy alternatives to cow’s milk that are low in lactose (the sugar in milk that can cause gas, bloating, and congestion). Milk with a low lactose content can also put less pressure on that tender LES.
Intolerance or sensitivity to dairy products can cause reflux. “Reflux can be a sign of food sensitivity, which is a non-allergic immune response that causes inflammation,” Sass says. “For many, breastfeeding can eliminate milk reflux.”
Even heart-healthy dark chocolate feeds the acid back upstream. The reason? Methylxanthine. These are naturally occurring substances that act on the central nervous system and relax the smooth muscle tissue in the LES.
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Like fatty and fried foods, cocoa is also capable of weakening the LES. Two types of methylxanthines in chocolate are caffeine and theobromine, stimulants that let you enjoy the “feel good” vibe you get when you nibble on a square or two.
What are you talking about already opening your second can of diet soda? Just say no. Soda and other carbonated drinks cause some serious esophageal irritation. The bubbles in the carbonation expand inside the stomach, creating too much pressure to stay just below your delicate LES muscles. 6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
“In addition to triggering reflux, carbonated beverages can cause bloating and belching,” says Sass. “Swapping your fizzy drink for plain water like cucumber, ginger or lemon will help your overall digestive system feel and function better.”
That morning cup of joe will probably send your esophagus into a burning tizzy; Not a great way to start the day. “Even if you love your cup of joe, the acidic nature of the drink can exacerbate reflux symptoms,” says Rizzo. “If you notice that you’re experiencing reflux after your cup of joe, you may want to switch to green tea.”
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And that’s not all—even a little caffeine can be enough to exacerbate heartburn symptoms, Dr. Chaudhary says.
“Where’s the beef?” If you suffer from acid reflux, you should know that even healthy, grass-fed beef is high in fat. And fatty foods, as you now know, relax the LES while they sit in your stomach waiting to be digested. Just one 3-ounce serving of 85% lean ground beef contains 5 grams of saturated fat.
So, to put this into perspective: if you eat about 2,000 calories per day, that’s 25% of your daily intake! It is best to limit these meats as much as possible to keep your symptoms at bay.
When you’re heading out for a night out with friends or a date night, you might want to splurge by adding a beer or glass (or two) of wine with dinner. Well, think twice before you crack open that second bottle, because alcohol slows your food snake through your digestive system. This means your food isn’t broken down as quickly as it should be and it settles in your stomach, increasing your chances of having an acid reflux episode, Dr. Chaudhary explains.
Food Swaps That Can Provide Acid Reflux Relief
This is a bit of a no-brainer. When you suffer from reflux, your esophagus feels like it’s on fire, and the last thing you want to do is eat something that will fuel the flames even more. Spicy foods can trigger acid reflux symptoms in many people for two reasons, says Rizzo.
“First, for those who suffer from reflux, spicy foods can inflame an already irritated digestive system. Second, they can take longer to digest and sit in the stomach too long, causing acid reflux,” explains Rizzo.
“Peanut butter and jelly time” isn’t exactly happy time for those battling acid reflux. Jelly, along with marmalade, is at the top of highly acidic foods, with a pH of 5.5. Instead of spreading sugar-laden jelly on top of your peanut butter, throw in some chunks of salty fruit like bananas and/or strawberries; The pH of the sandwich will be less acidic with alkaline fruit!
Strawberries can also be acid-producing, Dr. Chaudhary says. So skipping strawberries — in jam or berry form — can keep acid reflux at bay.
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Despite the stellar lycopene content of tomatoes, this food is actually loaded with citric and malic acid. This is harmful for those who suffer from acid reflux attacks, as these two acids can cause the stomach to produce too much acid.
Gastric acid is the chemical responsible for breaking down food, and when the amount becomes too large, it has nowhere to go but the esophagus. So, the next time you’re making spaghetti, use a tomato-based pasta sauce and reach for the EVOO instead!
Peppermint works as a wonderful agent to tame the effects of certain disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and can soothe an upset stomach. But, unfortunately, it can increase the effects of acid reflux, Dr. Chaudhary notes.
“For those who suffer from acid reflux, peppermint tea can irritate the digestive system. It’s best to avoid anything mint-flavored if you notice you’re experiencing reflux or heartburn,” says Rizzo. The problem isn’t that it doesn’t soothe the lining of the digestive tract. The fact that these refreshing sheets actually exist
Acid Reflux Smoothie Recipe
Good for relaxing muscles, especially the LES. You may want to skip the after-dinner peppermint.
That morning’s dose of
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