Friday, March 1, 2024

What To Eat If You Have Heartburn

Must read

What Is Acid Reflux

7 Foods to Avoid if you have Heartburn or GERD/GORD

Acid reflux occurs when the contents of your stomach move up into your esophagus. When this happens, you may feel a burning sensation in your chest, which can move into your throat. This is known as heartburn. If you experience acid reflux more than twice a week, you may have a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease , a condition that affects about 20% of people in the United States.;

  • An uncomfortable burning feeling in your chest, which may move up toward your throat
  • A sour taste at the back of your mouth
  • You may throw up some of the contents of your stomach into your mouth
  • If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, you may find it hard to swallow or breathe;

Acid reflux occurs because the lower esophageal sphincter is weak or doesnt close properly. Certain situations can trigger acid reflux such as:

  • Acidic foods

Best Foods To Eat When You Have Heartburn

The foods you eat affect how much acid is produced by the stomach. So, it is necessary to consume the right combination of food items and drinks so that you donât experience heartburn. You should eat foods that have low-acid content because the acid in the stomach combined with the acid in food can make the condition worse. Here is a list of the best foods to eat when you have heartburn.

Acid Reflux Diet And Lifestyle Pritikin Program

From this list, readers of our Pritikin Perspective newsletter can probably already discern the solution: Pritikin living. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, and reducing stress can prevent and treat more than just cardiovascular-related diseases. They are the solution to a whole host of health problems, including acid reflux and GERD.

Observes Dr. Fruge, MD, Our guests at the Pritikin Longevity Center are amazed that not only do problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol disappear with healthy Pritikin living, their acid reflux disappears, too.

Also Check: Heartburn Medicine Side Effects

Raise The Head Of Your Bed

Try elevating the head of your bed about 4 to 6 inches off the ground to prevent heartburn and reflux. When the upper body is elevated, gravity makes it less likely for stomach contents to come back up into the esophagus. Its important to note that you must actually raise the bed itself, not just your head. Propping yourself up with extra pillows puts your body into a bent position, which can increase pressure on your abdomen and aggravate heartburn and reflux symptoms.

You can raise your bed by placing 4- to 6-inch wood blocks securely under the two bedposts at the head of your bed. These blocks can also be inserted between your mattress and box spring to elevate your body from the waist up. You may be able to find elevating blocks in medical supply stores and some drugstores.

Sleeping on a special wedge-shaped pillow is another effective approach. A wedge pillow slightly elevates the head, shoulders, and torso to prevent reflux and heartburn. You can use a wedge pillow while sleeping on your side or on your back without causing any tension in the head or neck. Most pillows on the market are elevated between 30 to 45 degrees, or 6 to 8 inches at the top.

What Is The Gerd Diet

Tell Me What to Eat If I Have Acid Reflux: Nutrition You ...

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acids enter the lower portion of the esophagus. In some cases, according to AARP, acid reflux can progress into GERD. Symptoms of GERD can include chest pain, regurgitation of food, heartburn, wheezing and coughing.

Part of treating GERD involves changing your diet to help reduce acid reflux from occurring. Though you may have heard of a GERD diet, according to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, there is no single set of guidelines for a GERD diet.

Instead, a GERD diet has general rules about foods you should eat that may help your symptoms. It also has rules about what foods you might want to avoid. For example, foods you might want to avoid include high fat foods, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol and citrus.

According to International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, your diet should include foods such as lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. Some of the best fruits and vegetables to eat when you have GERD are listed below.

Read more:Apple Cider Benefits for Acid Reflux

You May Like: Tramadol And Constipation

The Effects Of Caffeine On Gerd

Caffeine a major component of many varieties of both coffee and tea has been identified as a possible trigger for heartburn in some people. Caffeine may trigger GERD symptoms because it can relax the LES.

Still, the problem isnt so clear-cut because of conflicting evidence and significant differences within both types of beverages. In fact, according to Gastroenterology and Hepatology , there are no large, well-designed studies that show that the elimination of coffee or caffeine consistently improves GERD symptoms or outcomes.

In fact, the current guidelines from the American College of Gastroenterology no longer recommend routine dietary changes for the treatment of reflux and GERD.

Eating Oatmeal And Whole Grains Can Help Reduce The Acid That Builds Up And Causes Heartburn

“Acid is the irritating factor in heartburn and the fiber in oatmeal and whole-grain products like whole-grain bread and pasta can help reduce it. The high fiber content of these foods helps to absorb and reduce the acid that builds up and causes heartburn,” registered dietitianEmily Wunder told INSIDER.

When cooking these whole grains, you may want to avoid pairing them with ingredients that are known to trigger heartburn, like tomato or garlic.

Recommended Reading: Can Align Probiotic Cause Nausea

Other Gerd Diet Variations: Low Fermentation Potential Low

The low fermentation potential diet reduces fiber and prebiotics, both of which can increase gas production. This diet restricts foods with a high FP . That means cutting out or reducing moderate- to high-FP foods, including:

  • Vegetables like green peas and Jerusalem artichokes
  • Fruits like bananas, blueberries, apples, cherries, and papaya
  • Starches like green plantains, taro roots, sweet potatoes, and basmati rice
  • Other items, like milk, fruit juice, and beer

You can figure out the FP of different foods using Dr. Robillards low-FP diet calculator.

The low-FODMAP diet is another option. This diet restricts FODMAPs, or short-chain carbohydrates that are not completely absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. FODMAPs can potentially linger in the gut, becoming food for bacteria. Some examples of high-FODMAP foods are:

  • Fruit, like apples, mangoes, pears, and watermelons
  • Sweeteners, including fructose and honey
  • Milk, ice cream, yogurt, and soft cheese
  • Legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans
  • Foods with high amounts of wheat or rye, like bread, crackers, and pasta
  • Vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, shallots, eggplant, bell peppers, and mushrooms

What Aggravates Acid Reflux

What Foods To Eat If You Have Acid Reflux/Heartburn ?

Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter at the base of the esophagus isnt working well, allowing fluid from the stomach to enter the esophagus. The worst foods for reflux can worsen painful symptoms, while other foods can soothe them, says UH gastrointestinal surgeon Leena Khaitan, MD

Diet changes;can significantly affect acid reflux and allow you to avoid other treatments, Dr. Khaitan says.

Also Check: Does Spicy Food Cause Heartburn

What The Research Says

No diet has been proven to prevent GERD. However, certain foods may ease symptoms in some people.

Research shows that increased fiber intake, specifically in the form of fruits and vegetables, may protect against GERD. But scientists arent yet certain how fiber prevents GERD symptoms.

Increasing your dietary fiber is generally a good idea. In addition to helping with GERD symptoms, fiber also reduces the risk of:

Talk to your doctor if you have questions about whether certain foods should be a part of your diet. Foods that help improve acid reflux for one person may be problematic for someone else.

Working with your doctor can help you develop a diet to control or lessen your symptoms.

Gerd Diet: Foods That Help With Acid Reflux

Getting a case of acid reflux once in a while isn’t unusual, but some people suffer from burning discomfort, bloating and belching almost every time they eat. About 20% of the population has gastroesophageal reflux disease , a chronic acid reflux condition that’s diagnosed by a doctor.

Normally, the esophageal sphincter protects the esophagus from stomach acid. However, if the sphincter relaxes, food can push upward through the loosened opening and cause acid reflux.

“Diet plays a major role in controlling acid reflux symptoms and is the first line of therapy used for people with GERD,” says Ekta Gupta, M.B.B.S., M.D., gastroenterologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Recommended Reading: Prenatal Vitamins Give Me Diarrhea

What Foods Help Heal The Esophagus

Some foods may provide relief from GERD symptoms. Your diet should include non-citrus fruits and vegetables, such as apples and carrots. Eating lean proteins, such as eggs and lean cuts of meat, can also help improve GERD symptoms for some people. Other foods to include in your diet are whole grains and other complex carbohydrates, as well as healthy fats, such as olive oil, peanut butter, flaxseed, and salmon.

Foods That Help With Heartburn

Tell Me What to Eat Ser.: If I Have Acid Reflux ...

While staying away from certain foods and changing habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol are a good start, the key to beating heartburn is to support your stomach with alkaline compounds and whole foods that are rich in essential micronutrients. Thus, we have prepared a list of what to eat when you have heartburn to make it easier on both you and your stomach.

Recommended Reading: What Does It Mean When You Keep Having Heartburn

Change Your Sleeping Position

Even if you didnt eat for a few hours before you laid down to sleep, you could start feeling heartburn once you lay down immediately.

Why does this happen if your body has already had ample time to digest?

Simply put, the position that you are in when you lay on your back puts extra pressure on the sphincter at the bottom of your esophagus.

This sphincter is the LES, the muscle separating your stomach from your esophagus and is the root of acid reflux disorders.

When the LES is pressed on when you lie down flat, it can cause reflux to occur.

To avoid this, make sure you are elevating your head and shoulders when you sleep and not simply laying flat.

This can easily be done by putting a few pillows behind you.

Eating Spinach Can Potentially Help Reduce Stomach Acidity

“Spinach is rich in calcium, which increases bone health, and it’s highly alkaline, which helps the stomach to reduce acidity levels,” Scabardi said. Spinach is a versatile ingredient that can be added to recipes or smoothies in order to get the most out of its potentially soothing impact on heartburn.;

Read Also: Can Align Probiotic Cause Nausea

Foods To Avoid When Suffering From Heartburn

As the Heartburn No More website states, there are more than a few things that you will want to stay away from when suffering from heartburn.

First and foremost is spicy foods including pepper, curry and onions, which are all common acid reflux triggers. You should also avoid overeating and stay away from large fatty meals.

Greasy foods are a common trigger for acid reflux, which is why you should focus on whole grains, fruits and vegetables. While many fruits can help, you should avoid citrus fruits if you are suffering from acute or chronic heartburn.

Along with this, a couple of other ingredients such as chocolate, tomatoes, peppermint and heavy cheeses are all known triggers for excessive acid.

Apart from the foods mentioned above, you should completely exclude alcohol and cigarettes from your daily routine. Smoking is not only bad for your overall health, but will directly affect the condition of your stomach, esophagus and pancreas.

Drinking alcohol is known to interfere with stomach acid levels, which is one of the main reasons why people vomit after or during excessive drinking.

Key Lifestyle Solutions For Acid Reflux


To prevent or reduce acid reflux, start an acid reflux diet and lifestyle like the Pritikin Program. Here are 13 key lifestyle-based solutions:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Employ stress-reducing skills like meditation and yoga. Even something as simple as 10 minutes daily of deep breathing can be hugely beneficial.

    A recliner set at a 45-degree angle or higher can help prevent reflux in the evening after dinner .

  • Enjoy a full nights sleep, every night.
  • Eat plenty of whole foods naturally low in fat and sugar, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nonfat dairy, and fish.
  • Steer clear of fatty meat, sugary drinks , processed foods, and fatty, sugary desserts.
  • Drink little or no alcohol and caffeine.
  • If spicy foods or acidic fruits like oranges, lemons, and tomatoes seem to lead to symptoms of acid reflux, avoid them.
  • Play detective. Keep a diary of eating and activities to see what exacerbates acid reflux symptoms; then eliminate the culprits.
  • Eat dinner earlier in the evening, preferably before 7 PM.

    Before falling asleep at night, raise your body so that your esophagus is more upright, at a 45-degree angle, using a wedge or bed. .

  • Dont lie down or go to sleep after eating.;Sit upright for at least three hours after a meal, recommends Dr. Fruge. ;A recliner set at a 45-degree angle or higher is a good option for preventing reflux in the evening after dinner. Even better, take an after-dinner walk before reclining.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Recommended Reading: Prenatal Vitamins Causing Diarrhea

    The Gerd Diet: What To Eat

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease is an incredibly common digestive disorder, affecting almost 30 percent of North Americans.

    The distressing symptoms of GERDheartburn, problems swallowing, regurgitation, sore throat, and morehave led many to turn to acid-blocking drugs, which dont solve the underlying problems and can trigger their own set of troubling health issues. However, adopting a GERD diet that supports digestive health and addresses the root causes of GERD can help to heal your gut.

    I dont believe theres a one-size-fits-all approach to any diet, but when it comes to heartburn and GERD, there are some foods that will exacerbate symptoms and others that will alleviate them. Find out what to eat and what to avoid as part of a GERD-friendly diet.

    Which foods improve GERD symptoms ? Check out this article to find out. #nutrition #chriskresser

    Find What Works For You

    There’s no single recommended diet for people with acid reflux, because trigger foods differ from one person to another. Keep a journal of what foods you can eat without symptoms and those that aggravate or trigger your reflux symptoms.

    If your reflux symptoms are severe or frequent, it’s important that you see your doctor. Left untreated, frequent reflux can damage your esophagus, causing problems such as difficulty swallowing or esophageal cancer.

    Read more:The 10 Worst Foods for Acid Reflux

    Recommended Reading: What Does It Mean When You Keep Having Heartburn

    Diet Changes For Gerd

    Proper treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease always begins with a visit to a healthcare professional to obtain an accurate diagnosis. It is important to recognize that chronic reflux does not get better on its own. Over-the-counter remedies may provide short-term symptom relief, but can mask an underlying disease if used long-term.

    Symptoms of GERD

    Just about everyone has had heartburn that uncomfortable burning feeling in the chest after eating a heavy meal at some point in their life. But, while occasional heartburn is nothing to worry about, heartburn that occurs more than once a week, becomes more severe, or occurs at night and wakes you from sleep may indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease . And, a visit to the doctor is advised.

    Treatment for GERD may include medications advised by your doctor and certain diet and lifestyle changes. A combination of approaches, and some trial and error, may be necessary.

    Diet and lifestyle changes often begin with what to avoid. These include things that can trigger or worsen symptoms.

    Examples of things to reduce or steer clear of in your diet include:

    • High fat foods
    • Alcohol
    • Citrus and tomato products

    While no proven GERD diet exists, the following foods may help you ease or avoid symptoms.

    List Of Best Foods For Preventing Pregnancy Heartburn

    Tell Me What to Eat If I Have Acid Reflux: Nutrition You ...

    Usually, your specialist might prescribe antacids that promote a soothing and cool feel.

    Besides, you might need to alter your lifestyle to reduce the acid-burning sensation.

    This includes changing the frequency and times of your meals. You may have to ditch spicy stuff and incorporate more clean and natural foods.;

    Dont know where to start? No worries!

    Begin with these 25 must-have foods to prevent pregnancy heartburn. Plus, Ive included tips on how to consume each food safely.

    Don’t Miss: Do Bananas Help With Bloating

    Eating Bananas May Help To Settle Your Stomach

    A portable healthy snack, bananas can sometimes aid in reducing the frequency of heartburn. Dr. Nusbaum told INSIDER that a banana’s natural pH can help settle the stomach and he said he recommends them to those who suffer from acid reflux.;

    However, Dr. Nusbaum said about 1% of patients with acid reflux find that their condition is actually worsened by bananas. So before using bananas as your go-to solution to acid reflux symptoms, you may want to test how your body reacts to them first.;

    Is It Possible To Get Heartburn When You Havent Eaten

    As noted earlier, yes, it is possible to get heartburn when you havent eaten.

    While eating food is often a triggering factor for heartburn symptoms to begin manifesting, it is not always that direct of a relationship.

    Remember that the systems in our body are always working even when we arent actively moving or eating something.

    Since these systems are always in motion, the potential for negative symptoms, like heartburn, is possible at any time.

    Still, there are some specific reasons why you might be experiencing heartburn even when you didnt just eat a meal or drank a certain beverage, and were going to go into some of them and how to address them in more detail.

    Read Also: Why Does Lettuce Give Me Diarrhea

    More articles

    Popular Articles