Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux

September 08, 2010

Dietary changes are one of the most important elements to help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux –

Dietary changes are one of the most important elements to help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux – from ditching the junk food to cutting back on alcoholic beverages. 

Acid reflux, also known as "reflux esophagitis", is an inflammation of the esophagus caused by regurgitation of the contents of the stomach. Acid reflux is most often recognized by its symptom of "heartburn" which reportedly affects 1 out of every 10 adults in the U.S. on a daily basis. 

Certain foods can trigger acid reflux either by stimulating acid production or by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle, which usually stays tight to keep acid in the stomach and out of the esophagus. Foods that can relax the LES include fried foods, caffeinated beverages, mayonnaise, creamy sauces, and whole-milk dairy products. Foods that may stimulate acid production include coffee, chocolate, fried foods, dairy, tomato-based products, carbonated beverages, raw onion, mint, and citrus fruits/beverages. Fermented beverages, like wine and beer, also can increase the production of stomach acid.  Do keep in mind that food triggers vary person to person.

So what should an acid reflux diet look like? Experts recommend drinking plenty of water, and choosing lean meats, whole grains, and simple vegetables and starches such as potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, and green beans. Low-acidic fruits such as apples and bananas are good choices, as well as easy-to-digest dairy products such as goat, feta and low-fat cottage cheese.

Additional lifestyle changes that can benefit those suffering from acid reflux include eating smaller meals and eating your last meal or snack at least three hours before bedtime. Keeping a food journal can help determine which foods affect you most. You can track foods that spark acid reflux and use your journal notes to reintroduce foods that have been cut from the diet to see if they were in fact acid reflux triggers.

As always, Supermarket Guru recommends you consult a registerd dietician or your personal physician before making any dietary changes.