Before you learn about foods that reduce stomach acid, you need to first know about the ones that cause it. Why do you come across stomach acidity? What gastroesophageal reflux (GER) or acid reflux? What happens when acid reflux leads to gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD? How dangerous is GERD? The solution to all the questions is a simple peek into your biological system. You need to know what happens to your body when you eat something.
GERD is both gastroesophageal and gastrointestinal reflux disease as it concerns the whole of your digestive system. A large portion of the GERD cause depends on the type of diet you follow every day. Biological malfunctions are another big cause behind the formation of acid reflux. When food enters down the esophagus (food pipe), it first crosses the lower esophageal sphincter or LES before reaching the stomach.
The LES is a band of circular muscles responsible for opening on the entry of food and closing right after it. Problems start ticking when the LES fails to close after the passage of food down the food tube. Such a mishap may happen for a damaged esophageal sphincter, which might be a result of certain foods you eat. Spicy and fried food items often cause damage to the soft lining of sphincter muscles around the esophagus.
When the LES doesn’t function properly, the food sometimes reverses on its way from the stomach back to the esophagus. This is the primary cause behind acid reflux. When experience acid reflux at frequent intervals in a week, it is indicative of gastroesophageal reflux disease. GERD is a severe form of acid reflux. To avoid the incidence of GERD, you need to focus on foods that reduce stomach acid instead of aggravating it.
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Which eating habits can combat acid reflux?
You must choose the right kind of foods that reduce stomach acid. However, your gastroenterologist may also ask you to alter the way you consume food. This article discusses some of the common recommendations from health professionals on the way you should consume food.
Always eat small portions of food. While administering a healthy diet, always focus on the intervals of consumption than the amount of food. If you eat large portions of a meal at long intervals throughout the day, it does not reflect complete digestion.
It is always preferable to consume little portions of a meal at frequent yet regular intervals all day. Such type of a diet routine helps in easy digestion, as well as facilitates a healthier mode of eating. The chances of indigestion or partial digestion is low when you eat small parts of food at a time. Therefore, the probability of stomach acidity and acid reflux also reduces.
Always sit upright after eating. It would help if you never lay down right away after finishing your meals. It does not support healthy digestion of food, and increases your risks of acid reflux. Sit upright for at least 2 to 3 hours after having your meal to ensure proper digestion.
When you sit straight after eating, natural gravity does its work in bringing all the food down to your stomach. Therefore, the chances of the backwash of gastric acid on indigestion become almost nil. You may take a quick stroll down the street after dinner. It helps in boosting your digestion and reduces the formation of acids and gas in your tummy.
Foods that reduce stomach acid
When you search on the internet on the types of foods that reduce stomach acid, you will get multiple search results. Some unique food options that can help in reducing the chances of GERD and linked symptoms are as follows:
- Agave and honey- Honey works as a beautiful soother for acidity related problems. Out of all the honey varieties, Manuka honey especially holds the property of having enzymes that facilitate easy digestion. You can add honey or agave to cereal bowls as a natural sweetening agent for a perfect GERD friendly diet.
- Herbs- Apart from citrus, pepper, mustard, and garlic, you can add herbs to your meals instead of oils or other additives. Herbs help in relaxing your stomach muscles and help in easy digestion of food.
- Chamomile tea- Instead of having a cup of black tea or green tea, try having chamomile tea before going to bed. Green or black tea has caffeine content that usually triggers acid reflux in your system. Chamomile tea is an excellent soothing substitute that has properties ease stress levels and improve digestion.
- Olive oil- Do you know that olive oil can benefit your digestion process? Using other forms of oils and fats can often give rise to acid reflux. Try adding two tablespoons of olive oil in your meals every day to see the difference.
- Unbuttered and unsalted popcorn- Being a whole grain item, simple popcorn is a light snack for a low-calorie diet that promotes healthy digestion.
Simple lifestyle tips to avoid acid reflux
Avoid wearing tight pants while eating. When the waist region is tight, it creates added pressure on your tummy. Such pressure can easily cause acid reflux by compromising the function of the lower esophageal sphincter.
Smoking is a crucial factor when the functioning of the LES is concerned. The nicotine present in cigarettes rapidly damages the lining of esophageal muscles, thereby injuring the esophageal sphincter.
Do not eat unless you feel hungry. Sometimes you might not be starving but have the urge to snack a little. Avoid overeating when you do not have to. When your appetite is already full, eating excess creates extra pressure on the stomach walls, causing food to flow upwards.
Have a healthy diet regime to ensure not gaining additional bodyweight that can lead to obesity-related health complications. Obese factors can put extra pounds on your lower abdomen, making it difficult for digestive processes. A balanced diet of green veggies, non-fat dairy items and hydrating fruits can alleviate chances of GERD and other associated complexities.