A burning feeling in your stomach, nausea, bloating, overall discomfort, does this sound familiar? If it does, you’re probably dealing with acid reflux. Everyone has had this problem at least once in their lifetime.
Acid reflux happens when acid from your stomach comes back up in your esophagus, which can cause inflammation and irritation that lead to the symptoms described above.
If this happens often, there are certain lifestyle and diet changes you can talk about with your doctor. But if you’ve just had a big meal and you’re not feeling that great, you can give home remedies a try, before running to the pharmacy.
Continue reading to find out the top 12 changes you can make in your diet that will help with relieving your symptoms.
1. Eat High-Fiber Food
High-fiber food is your best friend, and not only when you are feeling low because of acid reflux. It helps the food move easily through your body, keeping your system clean. There are so many options available, for every meal of the day.
Starting your day with some oatmeal, coated with a banana and some nuts is a healthy, delicious meal that contains three foods that help with heartburn.
Brown rice. sweet potatoes, couscous, are another three important sources of fiber that are delicious when mixed with the right ingredients. You can use them in a salad, or with some low-fat meat or fish.
2. Stock on Bananas
Speaking of high-fiber food, eating a banana can be a great choice if you have acid reflux. It’s not acidic like other fruits, it has a high ph. and acts like a protective coating in your stomach, which makes it a heartburn reliever. Bananas also contain pectin, which helps the food move through your system.
Eat unripe bananas, as they contain less sugar and more antioxidants. If you want to make a delicious combo that will also relieve your acid reflux symptoms, try eating some banana and some whole-grain cookies.
3. Drink Some Chamomile Tea
Tea has so many health benefits, it tastes so great and it definitely helps when it comes to treating the symptoms of acid reflux. However, you should pay attention to the type of tea that you choose. Some types of herbs might irritate your stomach even more. For example, mint tea is known for helping with stomach problems, but it might be an acid reflux trigger for some people. The same thing goes for fruity, citrus tea.
Chamomile tea has soothing properties and it can actually help you relax by decreasing inflammation. Acid reflux can also be triggered by stress so keeping a positive attitude might help the symptoms so away.
4. Switch to Plant-Based Milk
Some people are lactose intolerant while others experience acid reflux after consuming dairy, without any specific diagnosis. If you love a bowl of cereal in the morning and you don’t want to skip on the milk, you can try plant-based milk. Soy, almond, oats, cashew, coconut, there are a lot of options available. You can experiment to find out what’s suitable for you.
According to Healthline, almond milk has alkaline properties that help with neutralizing stomach acids and soy milk is low-fat. Depending on the cause of your acidity, you’ll be able to choose the best products.
5. Don’t Eat Fatty Meals
Fatty foods are heavy on your stomach and they usually cause belching, gas, sometimes nausea and a general feeling of fullness, because they are harder to digest. This includes fried foods, like French fries, potato chips, high-fat cheese, butter and processed foods like desserts with a lot of sugar and cream.
If you experience acid reflux symptoms it’s recommended that you avoid this type of foods and choose healthier alternatives. If you want to eat potatoes, you can choose boiled or baked potatoes, instead of fries. If you are a sweet-tooth, try to avoid processed foods and bake something at home. And if you are in the mood to snack, you can try rice chips instead of potato chips.
6. Skip on Your Glass of Wine
Your health can actually benefit from one glass of wine in the evening, but when you’re dealing with acid reflux, it’s better if you avoid drinking alcohol, at least until your symptoms go away.
Alcohol is acidic and it might irritate your gut and worsen your symptoms even more. If you suffer from chronic acid reflux, alcohol can also act like a trigger. One night of excessive alcohol consumption can lead to heartburn symptoms and discomfort. Try to avoid it until you’re feeling better and don’t forget to stick to responsible drinking habits.
Also of interest: Here’s Our Top 3 Healthiest Types of Wine, According to Dietitians
7. Pay Attention to Citrus Fruits
Vitamin C plays a huge role for our immune system and our overall health. Citrus fruits are great, healthy and delicious, but, unfortunately, when it comes to acid reflux, it’s better if you take a break from your morning orange juice.
When you suffer from heartburn, your stomach produces too much acid. By eating citrus fruits, which are highly acidic, it’s like you’re trying to put out the fire by throwing gasoline on it. Try to avoid anything that contain citrus, including whole fruits, juices, smoothies and teas. They will irritate your gut even more and your symptoms will get worse.
8. Limit Your Coffee Intake
Hearing the words “You have to stop drinking coffee” might be the worst nightmare for some people. But when dealing with acid reflux, it’s important to keep an eye on the amount of caffeine you consume everyday. Coffee has acidic properties and when you drink too much, it might irritate your stomach even more.
Moreover, if you like to enjoy your coffee with some milk, that might worsen the problem, as some people experience heartburn after consuming dairy.
You can try having days when you skip your morning cup of coffee, or at least try to reduce your caffeine intake if your acid reflux symptoms get worse after drinking your daily cup.
9. Ask Your Doctor About Probiotics
Probiotics are basically good, friendly bacteria that can help your gut, by keeping it well-balanced. They help especially with managing inflammation and with protecting the stomach lining.
It’s important to talk to your doctor about taking any supplements or consuming foods containing probiotics. According to the underlying cause of heart burn you might need to avoid certain foods or medications, including those containing probiotics.
They can be found in supplements, but there are also foods that contain a high level of probiotics which will help with your general gut health. According to Healthline, they can be found especially in yoghurt, but it’s important you read the label beforehand so you make sure the bacteria wasn’t killed during during processing.
Probiotics can also be found in pickles and some kind of cheeses like mozzarella and cheddar.
10. Eat Healthy Fats
I know it might sound controversial to encourage people to eat fats, but there’s a big difference between good and bad fats. Avocado, nuts and different seeds, salmon, olive oil, these are all healthy foods, that contain important fats that actually help the immune system.
Not only they will help with your overall health, but they are also good for your heart and they help with keeping your cholesterol at the right levels.
Managing what you eat and introducing healthy fats in your diet will also help with feeling more energetic and feeling full for a long period of time which will help you avoid unnecessary snacking during the day.
11. Eat Less Carbs
Carbs are the main source of energy for our bodies and it’s really important that we consume enough of them so we won’t feel like going to sleep at 2 p.m. But it’s important that you mix them with sources of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, like fruits and vegetables.
Sometimes consuming high levels of carbs can lead to gut problems, like fullness, general discomfort, pain and gas. The reason is, some people find it hard to digest certain carbs, especially when they are mixed with other carbs or bad fats. This leads to fermentation, which can trigger acid reflux or worsen the symptoms.
The most important thing is to listen to your body and to observe if certain carbs trigger your symptoms and if you feel better when you avoid them.
12. Don’t Eat Right Before Going to Bed
Even if you don’t have any gut issues, eating a large meal right before going to bed is not a good idea. This will definitely affect the quality of your sleep and that’s why it’s important that you have your last meal at least 3 hours before saying Goodnight.
Moreover, if you suffer from acid reflux, eating before bed can trigger your symptoms or make them worse. Laying down with a full stomach will cause the acid to travel back to your esophagus which will easily determine the symptoms. Not only this is annoying, but it will also interfere with your sleep.