Bananas and many other foods are a safe and beneficial part of a diet for acid reflux. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for all foods. There are many types of foods that can trigger or make acid reflux symptoms, such as heartburn, worse. The following is information regarding five common types of foods linked to acid reflux, as well as suggestions for acid reflux friendly alternatives.
Fatty foods – Foods high in fat (I.E. red meat, sausages, bacon, ham, fast food, most processed foods) tend to be harder to digest and remain in the stomach longer. The longer food stays within the stomach, the higher the risk of acid reflux because there is a delay in the stomach emptying its contents.
Alternative: You need to avoid fatty foods and eliminate them whenever possible from your diet. Opt instead for lean white meat, fish and eggs, instead of red meat, and if you eat meat on occasion, eat only a small portion of lean meat that is grilled or baked - never fried!
Fried and spicy foods – Spicy foods (I.E. black pepper, Chile peppers, Chinese, Indian and Mexican cuisine.) and foods that are deep fried, fried in butter or stir fried (I.E. potato chips, fried tortilla chips, French fries, fried rice, etc.) can be hard to digest, increase acid production, and relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), all of which increases the possibility of acid reflux.
Alternative: Use herbs to add zing to your meals and limit the amount of spice you put in your food. Instead of deep or pan frying, bake, steam or broil (grill) most of your food.
Dairy products –Dairy products (I.E. milk, cream, butter, cheese, ice cream made from real cream, etc.), especially when consumed frequently or before bed, tend to encourage acid production and can cause heartburn.
Alternative: If you are not allergic to dairy products, you can still enjoy them in moderation, but they should be consumed in small quantities during the daytime. If, on occasion, you wish to have a glass of milk at night, accompany the milk with a food high in carbohydrates (I.E. bread) to help speed up digestion and minimize acid production.
Caffeinated and carbonated beverages – Carbonated beverages (I.E. soda and carbonated water) trigger burping, which, in turn, can encourage acid reflux. Caffeinated beverages (I.E. soda, coffee, tea and decaffeinated coffee) also encourage acid reflux because they cause the LES to relax.
Alternative: The ideal beverage is plain water. However, if you would like to include a warm drink in your diet for acid reflux, warm water with honey, herbal tea, or caffeine free coffee are ideal options. If you wish to drink soda, drink non-caffeinated soda and let it go flat before drinking to reduce the carbonation.
Citrus fruits – Citrus fruits (I.E. oranges, pineapples, lemons, limes, etc.) trigger acid reflux because they stimulate acid production in your stomach.
Alternatives: Although citrus fruits should be avoided, there are many other fruits such as bananas and apples that you can eat, and are considered very beneficial at suppressing acid and treating acid reflux symptoms. Other fruits that can be added to a diet for acid reflux are berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
Keep in mind, though many of the alternative food suggestions are suitable for the majority of acid reflux sufferers, every person responds differently to food. Therefore, it is important that you find out which foods trigger your symptoms so you can limit and avoid these foods when creating your diet for acid reflux.
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