Foods that Fight Series-Acid Reflux and Heartburn
Gut health is a really big deal! This is something that I am realizing more and more as I am getting older and becoming more educated and involved with nutrition coaching. Being active contributes a lot to good gut health but, since experiencing Acid Reflux and Heartburn, I have realized that this issue can affect your everyday activities.
There are a lot of medications on the market boasting that they combat acid reflux and heartburn but I am seeing some of those being pulled due to the possibility of causing even greater health risks than the one they were supposed to treat. So, in true Foods That Fight Series fashion, I am going to define the issue (Acid Reflux and Heartburn), give you some research based information about natural foods that may combat this issue, and tell you how I eat these foods. Lets get to it!
What is Acid Reflux and Heartburn?
Google acid reflux definition and you may find that it is a condition in which acidic gastric fluid flows backward into the esophagus resulting in heartburn. There, now you don’t have to google it because I just gave you the definition. Acid reflux is just one of the many issues that may be related to an unhealthy gut.
The one symptom of acid reflux is usually heartburn but heartburn symptoms may include a dry and persistent cough, wheezing, nausea, vomiting, throat problems (such as soreness, hoarseness, or laryngitis aka voice box inflammation), difficulty or pain when swallowing, chest or upper abdominal pain, dental erosion, bad breath, asthma, and even recurrent pneumonia. Heartburn can also cause a pain that may move up to the neck and throat resulting in pain in those areas and/or a sour and bitter taste in your mouth. When acid reflux occurs more than twice a week, it is diagnosed as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Food and eating habits tend to be the main triggers for Acid Reflux and Heartburn episodes. I have chosen three foods that I believe are more commonly acceptable by the mass majority, foods that I eat, and foods that research shows can have a positive effect on combating your Acid Reflux and Heartburn.
I chose oatmeal out of the list of potential foods that can help fight acid reflux for several different reasons but one of the main reasons is because I am a big believer in breakfast. Oatmeal is a high-fiber food which will help you feel fuller with smaller portions. Feeling fuller with smaller portions may reduce the likelihood of overeating which also is a trigger for acid reflux.
Bananas are one of those fruits with many possible cures associated. For acid reflux, bananas are considered an alkaline food and not acidic. They also contain an awesome soluble fiber called pectin which gets things moving in your gut. Pectin making things move is a good thing because the longer food sticks around in the gut, the more acid it can produce. Bananas also have a coating property that may coat an irritated esophagus which may help with the discomfort of acid reflux symptoms. Monkeys approve of this recommendation!
Melons have two main characteristics that help combat acid reflux; they are a low-acid, Alkaline fruit and they contain a lot of water which may dilute your stomach acid. Melons are also a good source of magnesium which is included in acid reflux medications. In a 2011 National Institutes of Health study, they found that magnesium did provide healing to the esophagus.
What can you do with this great information I just gave you? Well, I’m so glad you asked. Provided you don’t have any allergies or health related issues with the three foods mentioned here and your doctor is okay with you eating these, your mission is to find exciting and healthy ways to eat these foods. Here are some of my favorite ways:
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast. I like mine with a dash of salt, some coconut oil (butter substitute), and sweetened with honey. I will also add some raisins and walnuts from time to time. Make sure you don’t add items that will trigger your acid reflux symptoms.
Bananas: I eat my bananas as is, usually twice a day. You can add them to your oatmeal if that appeals to you.
Melon: I like melons as a good snack or desert food. Sometimes I will have some honeydew, cantaloupe, and/or watermelon for breakfast. Watermelon is somewhat of a seasonal treat where I eat a lot more in warmer months.
I hope this information has enlightened and helped you. Please “heart” this blog and feel free to comment with other ways you eat the foods listed here and other helpful information.
Brian "B-Rob" Robinson is a Certified Sports Nutrition Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Youtuber, and co-founder of LEANWellonline. His YouTube channel is called thisisb-rob.
Gerd Diet: Foods That Help with Acid Reflux (heartburn)
Foods That Fight Gerd
Comparison Of the Efficacy and Safety Of Pantoprazole Magnesium and Pantoprazole Sodium in the Treatment Of Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease: a Randomized, Double-blind, Controlled, Multicentre Trial
Jasper Hein - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21819161