You're not alone if you suffer from acid reflux. In fact, about 20% of Americans have it. If you've been struggling with acid reflux, you might be surprised to learn that there are certain foods you can eat to help ease your symptoms. Check out this list of acidic and alkaline foods to see what you should add (or avoid) in your diet.
Avoid Trigger Foods Such as Caffeine, Chocolate, Spicy Foods, and Citrus Fruits
If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it's important to watch what you eat. While everyone is different, certain foods tend to be triggers for people with GERD.
- Caffeinated beverages, like coffee and tea, should be avoided as they can irritate the digestive tract.
- Chocolate contains certain compounds that can relax the sphincter muscle, allowing acid to flow back into the throat.
- Spicy foods have an acidic flavor and can cause an increase in gastric acid, causing GERD symptoms.
- Citrus fruits contain a high concentration of citric acid and are also known to cause GERD flare-ups.
While these items may be difficult to give up, avoiding trigger foods such as caffeine, chocolate, spicy foods and citrus fruits could help alleviate GERD symptoms for many people. If you find yourself craving any of these types of food, try substituting with healthier options like herbal teas or naturally sweetened treats instead. With some careful experimenting and a bit of willpower, you can find GERD-friendly meals that still satisfy your cravings without causing painful symptoms.
Eat Smaller Meals More Frequently Throughout the Day
Eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of the traditional three large meals is an excellent way to support your health and nutrition. This approach has been used for centuries in some cultures, and it is a great way to keep your body functioning optimally. Eating smaller meals more frequently can help aid digestion, reducing acid reflux and GERD. Additionally, when you eat smaller meals, it helps prevent overeating, which may improve weight management.
When making the switch to several small meals per day, avoid processed foods that are high in sugar and preservatives as these can create imbalances in your gut microflora and lead to nutritional deficiencies. Instead, focus on consuming wholesome foods such as lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates such as quinoa or millet, seeds, and nuts. This will help ensure optimal absorption of micronutrients that are important for bodily processes such as cell regeneration and energy production. Eating smalls meals more frequently throughout the day is an easy way to support your health!
Elevate Your Head While Sleeping
Investing in a good night's sleep is an important part of staying healthy and feeling rested. However, acid reflux and GERD can disrupt sleep, causing pain and discomfort at night. By sleeping with your head elevated, you can keep acid from travelling up into the esophagus, allowing for uninterrupted sleep. To do this, stack two large pillows or use a special wedge pillow that props up the head only. Placing additional pillows under your shoulders will also help alleviate neck pain and provide some cushioning for extra comfort. It may take some time to get used to sleeping with your head elevated, doing so can be helpful in managing acid reflux and GERD symptoms, creating better conditions for peaceful slumber.
Stay Upright for at Least 3 Hours After Eating & Before Lying Down
Eating before lying down is a common practice, but it may be doing more harm than good. This is especially true when it comes to acid reflux. Lying flat can cause acid from the stomach to move into the esophagus, leading to painful heartburn and acid regurgitation. It's best to remain upright for at least 3 hours after eating. Doing so helps keep acid in the stomach where it belongs and makes it much easier for food to travel through the digestive system as intended. Additionally, eating on a schedule that allows for this 3-hour recovery period between meals can have powerful benefits in controlling acid reflux. At the very least, try to keep your head elevated while sleeping; this simple change can often help reduce acid reflux symptoms. Although everyone's situation is different, in general staying upright after eating is an effective way to keep acid reflux under control.
Weight Loss for Help with Acid Reflux Symptoms
If you are looking for a natural way to reduce acid reflux, losing weight may be the answer. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss, following some of the tips we’ve shared can help get you started.
- Avoid trigger foods such as caffeine, chocolate, spicy foods, and citrus fruits.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day instead of large meals.
- Elevate your head while sleeping by placing pillows under your head and shoulders.
- Stay upright for at least three hours after eating before lying down.
These changes may not produce results overnight, but if you stick with them, you should start to see a difference in your symptoms over time.
For professional help with your weight loss journey and acid reflux relief, call Soza Weight Loss: (504) 475-9817.