The burning and discomfort resulting from excess stomach acid causes untold misery to many. Acid reflux disease can cause suffering, lost productivity at work, difficulty enjoying meals and even eating disorders in severe cases. On the plus side, though, reducing excess stomach acid can prove as simple as changing the foods you eat. What are some foods that reduce stomach acids?
Most of the foods that reduce stomach acid best are readily available at any grocery store, and unlike processed foods, which can cost quite a bit, most items on this list cost relatively little. Read on to discover 10 foods which can help you cool down the blaze in your belly fast.
Foods high in fats can increase stomach acid, but even though avocados have a high fat content, they contain so many useful nutrients, some diet experts recommend them for reducing reflux anyway. The fats avocados contain are the polyunsaturated variety. Your body cannot make these types of fats on its own, and they are critical for proper neurological functioning.
Issues with neurological functioning may increase the risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The neuro-happy omega-3 fatty acids found in avocados help improve the functioning of the nervous system and may reduce symptoms. Plus, omega-3’s help keep skin, hair and nails strong and healthy, so upping your avocado intake, as long as you tolerate them well, is a win-win.
Flaxseeds contain healthy oils, but they also contain high levels of fiber. Researchers believe eating a diet high in fiber can help balance out gastrointestinal bacteria and improve hormonal balance. Some researchers believe hormonal changes may increase the severity of GERD, especially during certain times of the month for females. Adding more flaxseeds into your diet is easy — simply sprinkle a few on to top salads, soups and stir fry dishes.
3. Healthy Oils
While saturated fats found in animal meats increase symptoms of acid reflux, heart-healthy oils decrease the burn. Three of the best options:
- Olive oil. Olive oil doesn’t cause the valve of muscular tissue separating the esophagus from the stomach to relax or move. This means foods containing the oil are unlikely to trigger movement of food and stomach acid back up the esophagus where it causes pain. Additionally, the lubricating factor helps protect the stomach lining.
- Sesame oil. Fans of Asian cuisine, dig in. Sesame oil, used in many Asian dishes, helps to ease symptoms of GERD naturally.
- Sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is high in vitamin E, a nutrient proven to ease the effects of acid reflux.
Unlike citrus fruits, which increase acidity and can even harm tooth enamel when consumed in sufficient quantities, bananas contain soothing potassium. Potassium plays an essential role in keeping muscles functioning properly. In too high quantities, potassium can increase GERD symptoms, but in moderate amounts, the mineral eases the angst.
Potassium facilitates the functioning of smooth muscle tissue, like that found in the ring separating the stomach and esophagus. Eating a banana a few days a week can help keep this tissue functioning properly, and also aid in the functioning of other smooth tissue organs like the heart. Fruits like bananas and apples also contain a lot of fiber.
5. Eggs and Egg Whites
Some with GERD can tolerate egg yolks, but other find the fat content triggers flares. However, egg whites are a good choice for nearly anyone. They contain few calories, but high levels of protein needed for muscle repair. Try adding a few hard boiled egg whites to your salad if you do not follow a vegan diet.
Remember when you were little, had a tummyache, and your mother advised you to drink stale ginger ale? Ginger remedies tummy trouble of all kind, including that stemming from acid reflux or GERD.
If you enjoy Asian cuisine, ginger is found in many recipes. Alternately, you can add sliced ginger to western recipes or even soak slices of the root in water. You can also make a ginger tea as a super food that reduces stomach acid quickly.
Yogurt is rich in probiotics, making it perfect for treating excess stomach acid. In Ayurvedic medicine, practitioners consider yogurt a “cool” food — perfect for calming the burning in your stomach and chest.
As women with GERD suffer an increase in symptoms near their period, eating yogurt can both ease menstrual cramps and calm their reflux symptoms at the same time. Vegans and those sensitive to milk products can select non-dairy varieties or take a probiotic supplement.
Oatmeal is wonderfully bland, which anyone suffering tummy trouble appreciates. This makes it one of the best foods that reduce stomach acid. The whole grains in natural oatmeal suck up excess acid like a sponge.
9. Deep Green Veggies
Dark green vegetables like spinach and kale have incredible anti-inflammatory properties, making them perfect for inflamed stomachs containing an excess of acid. Additionally, consuming such vegetables regularly may aid in alleviating chronic inflammatory conditions such as various forms of arthritis. Enjoy a spinach salad for lunch and use kale as a sandwich topping instead of iceberg lettuce.
Melons represent another type of Ayurvedic cooling food, making them a tasty remedy for excess stomach acid. And with summer finally here, local farmers markets have a plethora of ripe melons for sale on the cheap. Prep a fruit salad of honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon on the weekend and take it to work with you during the week for a sweet lunchtime dessert that also prevents reflux.
Dig into the Foods that Reduce Stomach Acid
Now that you know which foods reduce stomach acid best, the future of feeling better is in your hands. Get thee to the grocers and get to feeling better quickly by chowing down on the nom noms above. Your stomach will thank you!