People with acid reflux often deal with bloating, a burning sensation, and belching after eating. Normally, your esophageal sphincter prevents stomach acid from damaging your esophagus. This muscular tube also allows the food to pass into your stomach and block it from pushing upward. However, once it relaxes, it may loosen the opening, causing the food to move upward and resulting in acid reflux.
The good news is that medications similar to alginate antacid may help manage your stomach acid. However, if you don’t want to rely on medicines, a few tweaks to your diet and lifestyle can play a vital role in controlling the symptoms.
To experience relief, here are some food and other proven remedies for acid reflux:
1. Manage Your Weight
Acid reflux may happen to anybody, but it’s more prevalent in obese or overweight adults. Extra pounds may put pressure on your stomach. Once it happens, it may increase your stomach acid from working back into your esophagus, causing acid reflux.
If you don’t want to suffer from acid reflux symptoms all the time, one of the best remedies you may consider is keeping a healthy weight. You can do this by exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet. If you don’t know where to start, consult your doctor for recommendations.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Although there’s insufficient research to prove that apple cider vinegar is effective for acid reflux, some people may experience relief from drinking it. However, you might want to avoid drinking entirely concentrated apple cider vinegar since it may irritate your esophagus. Instead of drinking it pure, you may combine a small amount of water.
3. Ginger Tea
Known for its health benefits, ginger tea may help beat acid reflux. Drinking ginger tea regularly may increase digestive enzymes, minimizing the time your food will sit in your stomach. As a result, it may help decrease reflux.
Ginger also has phenolic compounds, which may also be an excellent option to relieve gastric irritation. If you want to use ginger tea as a remedy for acid reflux, add thin slices of ginger to a liter of cold water. You may drink it throughout the day.
4. Avoid Overeating
Overeating may cause acid reflux, especially if you consume acidic food such as citrus fruits, coffee, and fried food. Luckily, you can avoid overeating using techniques including mindful eating.
Eating mindfully means paying attention to your body and the food you eat. It may also help you choose healthier foods and eat less. To start, here are some of the tips you can consider:
- Pause after every bite. Know whether you’re still hungry or already full. If you’re still craving more food yet feel full, stop eating.
- Avoid mealtime Distractions. Don’t check your phone, read, or watch television when eating to be more aware of what you eat.
- Pause before meals. Whether you’re sad, stressed, bored, or angry, always take a moment to notice what you’re feeling when eating. If you think you’re not that hungry, you might want to avoid eating and wait until you get starving.
These are some of the tips you can practice to avoid overeating. Applying these tips to your daily life can make a difference in managing acid reflux symptoms effectively.
An insufficient amount of beneficial bacteria in your stomach may trigger acid reflux. Consider adding probiotics to your diet to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in your gut. However, before you do this, talk to your healthcare provider to learn more about acid reflux and use probiotics as a remedy, especially if you’re dealing with other health conditions.
6. Use Baking Soda
Another remedy for acid reflux is the use of baking soda, also referred to as sodium bicarbonate. To use this natural remedy, mix a few amounts of it with water and drink it. This works by neutralizing the acid.
If you’re on a sodium-restricted diet, it’s best to avoid baking soda since it contains sodium. Before you use it for acid reflux, you might also want to check with your healthcare provider to avoid any issues.
7. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol may numb your sphincter’s ability to close tightly as needed. If you’re suffering from acid reflux, you might want to reduce your alcohol consumption, especially around mealtime. This way, your sphincter may function well and keep the food from pushing upward.
8. Lean Protein
Protein can be a crucial part of a balanced diet. But some protein sources include high-fat content, which may exacerbate acid reflux, slowing the digestive process and increasing acid buildup. The typical fatty protein sources are fatty meats like red meats. The meat’s cut is also another factor since some animal parts contain more fat than others. For the best options, you can include skinless poultry and fish as lean protein in your diet.
9. Adjust Your Sleep Position
See to it that your chest and head higher than your feet when sleeping. Doing so will help ease and prevent acid reflux. You may do this with a foam wedge placed under your mattress or by raising your bed using wood blocks.
You should also avoid piling pillows as it may not help adjust your sleep position and could worsen the symptoms. Moreover, sleeping on the left side may help reduce acid reflux and improve your digestion.
10. Eat High-Fiber Food
Fiber absorbs liquid in your digestive system, reducing stomach acid. With this in mind, fiber-rich foods are beneficial and may help lessen acid reflux symptoms. You can enjoy high-fiber foods—whole grains, beets, carrots, and green vegetables. Fruits and nuts with high water content may also relieve acid reflux.
11. Quit Smoking
Countless chemicals in cigarette smoke may irritate your esophagus lining, causing acid reflux. In addition, smoke may relax your sphincter like alcohol. When it happens, your stomach acid may make its way up to your esophagus. If you can’t quit smoking yet you don’t want to deal with acid reflux, you can try reducing your smoking sessions, mainly around mealtimes when you have high volumes of stomach acid.
For most people, it can be stressful to deal with acid reflux. However, taking note of the above food and remedies may help keep your acid reflux symptoms in check. In case of severe symptoms, it’s essential to see your doctor to get proper treatments and relieve symptoms.