Acid Reflux Foods To Eat And Feel Good
Acid reflux is caused when the acid in your stomach “refluxes,” or flows upward, into the lower esophagus where it can cause irritation resulting in burning and pain. Many foods can actually exacerbate this condition, and should be avoided entirely, or limited in their consumption to avoid overproduction of stomach acids that can result in acid reflux occurring.
But there are other foods which, in general, are not associated with acid reflux. When planning your grocery shopping or menu, or going out for lunch or dinner, keep these foods in mind to limit your chances of experiencing the burning pain of acid reflux.
Fruits and vegetables
Most unseasoned vegetables are fine, with the exception of onions and their relatives, such as garlic, scallions, and leeks. Carrots and potatoes are especially mild and easily digested, as are green beans and peas. Remember: these are “undressed” vegetables;
add a cream or butter-based sauce, pepper, or other spicy or oily seasonings and your chances of experiencing acid reflux are greatly increased.
Most fruits are also fine, although some individuals may be sensitive to citrus fruits. Apples and bananas are ideal.
Meat and dairy
Most extra-lean meats and cuts are good choices. Skinless chicken breasts, extra-lean ground beef, and lean cuts of beef like London broil are good options. Egg whites and egg substitutes can be consumed safely, as can most fish – just don’t fry it. Feta cheese and soy-based cheeses, and fat-free versions of sour cream and cream cheese, are also good choices.
Most grains are safe to eat, including multi-grain bread, white bread, and corn bread, and other grain products, including white and brown rice, rice cakes, pretzels, and pastas. Again, the danger for acid reflux in this group generally lies in the condiments and sauces that are traditionally served with these products; butter, tomato sauce, mayonnaise, and peanut butter are all potential irritants that can cause acid reflux to occur.
When it’s time for a snack, reach for baked potato chips and other baked snacks – but leave the heavily seasoned ones, or those seasoned with peppery spices or fatty cheese products on the shelf. As noted, pretzels are another good snack food. Hard candies and other non-fatty sweets, like jelly beans and licorice, are fine, too, as are most of the fat-free cookies and snack cakes available today. If you’re looking for a beverage, skip wine and beer, and reach for a mineral water. Both wine and beer are noted for their causal effects with acid reflux – especially beer.
Going out to eat
Being vigilant about the foods you eat doesn’t stop at your own kitchen. When dining out, there are a few principles to bear in mind:
- Avoid burgers, which may not use extra-lean beef
- Skip French fries and other side dishes which are fried or heavily laden in sauces, butter, or spices
- Look for items like chicken and fish that can be grilled instead of fried
- Skip the chili and cream soups
- Ask your server to hold the onion
- Ask to have any sandwich prepared without condiments
- Choose an egg white omelet or other egg dish made with egg substitutes
- Ask for fat-free salad dressing, and have it served on the side
- Skip the gravy and other high-fat sauces
It’s also worth noting that individual sensitivities to certain foods may vary, and what causes acid reflux in one person may not necessarily cause it in another. One of the best ways to discover your own, personal “trigger” foods is to keep a diary of when you experience acid reflux. Not only can this type of journaling help you determine which foods you should avoid, but it can also help you identify other lifestyle habits, such as smoking or nighttime eating, which may also be contributing to your flare-ups. By understanding the underlying causes of your acid reflux, you can take steps to alter your behavior in ways that ill help limit acid reflux from recurring.