When considering the question, “What are the best foods for acid reflux,” it is best to break the answer into several parts.
By doing so, you get a clear and practical information you can put into action right away.
Picking the best foods for acid reflux
It is true that different foods cause acid reflux in different people and to varying degrees.
However, there are certain foods that almost never cause acid reflux issues.
They are safe to eat for almost all acid reflux sufferers. These foods qualify as best foods for acid reflux.
The best foods for acid reflux include oatmeal (no sugar), rice, quinoa, wild fish (not fried) and green leafy vegetables.
Other foods good for acid reflux are other green vegetables like celery and broccoli, melon fruit, bananas, and root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets.
If you are having a bad acid reflux day or week, you can always fall back on these “safe acid reflux foods”. You know that you are not going to agitate your acid reflux anymore.
In fact, oatmeal and rice are both known to soothe acid reflux.
1. Baked versus fried foods
Fried foods are not the best foods for acid reflux.
Fried foods, particularly those you buy at a restaurant or deli, are usually cooked in very low-quality oils such as GMO soy, corn, and canola oil. These oils also contain trans-fat because of the way they are processed.
Furthermore, fried foods are usually deep fried in oil that is reused many times which create more trans-fat. Fried foods are also encrusted with a coating that makes them soak up a lot of this inferior oil.
High quantities of fat, especially the inferior fats listed above, have been shown to cause the esophageal sphincter to loosen up. This causes acid reflux.
These inferior oils also take a long time to digest. This causes your stomach to swell with extra acid. It also lowers the pH of this acid resulting in a more acidic content in your stomach.
Therefore, the acid reflux diet should eliminate fried foods entirely! One of the most effective ways to reduce your acid reflux symptoms is to switch from fried foods to baked foods across the board.
Here are a few acid reflux diet tips:
- Instead of adding fried chicken strips to your salads for protein, try adding strips of baked chicken instead.
You could also add baked salmon, tuna, or hardboiled egg.
- Instead of beer battered deep fried fish, try baking your fish with herbs and lemon juice. You could also poach your fish in water or coconut milk.
Serve your fish over a bed of rice or quinoa. Add a side of greens or salad for the “perfect acid reflux meal!”
- Instead of French fries, make a side of roasted potatoes tossed in a little olive oil or unrefined coconut oil.
You could also substitute other roasted vegetables such as roasted beets and roasted turnips.
- Instead of a fried beef cutlet, try pounding this meat to tenderize it even more.
Then stir fry it with a teaspoon of coconut oil and a variety of chopped fresh vegetables.
2. Eating fresh versus processed foods
Processed foods contain many ingredients that cause acid reflux. They are not the best foods for acid reflux.
Additionally, otherwise healthy ingredients become much more likely to cause acid reflux. A good example of this is canned tomatoes compared to fresh tomatoes.
Canned tomatoes will almost always cause acid reflux in someone who is prone to this. However, fresh tomatoes may not cause these same symptoms.
Here are a couple of acid reflux diet plan tips:
- Instead of highly processed can soup, make a big pot of homemade soup. Freeze individual servings for super quick healthy meals that will not cause acid reflux.
Don't add tomatoes if they make your acid reflux flare up! With homemade soup, you control all of the ingredients. You can add only ingredients that do not cause you to have acid reflux.
- Instead of buying highly processed salad dressings that contain inferior oils and other ingredients that cause acid reflux, make your own!
It's quite easy to do! For a quick vinaigrette dressing, all you need to remember is the basic recipe: one part acid whisked with two parts oil.
For the acid, use an acid that is actually alkalizing to the body. These include apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.
For your oil, choose a healthy oil. You have a few options such as cold pressed olive oil, cold pressed avocado oil, or walnut oil.
For flavoring, you can add any herbs you like or a little fish sauce. Homemade dressings are much more flavorful. You can use a lot less with a pleasant impact.
3. Probiotic foods
Having a healthy thriving colony of gut flora is imperative to curing acid reflux once and for all! Most people think this means eating more yogurt. But American yogurt does not contain many probiotic species.
Further, it often contains so much sugar, it may actually produce acid reflux symptoms after you eat it.
An even better choice is traditionally made Kimchi or other lacto-fermented vegetables. To find these, go to a natural food store or an oriental market.
4. Raw milk
Many people are afraid to drink raw milk, i.e. unpasteurized milk. If you can get certified raw milk in your area, it actually has a much higher safety record than pasteurized organic milk.
In raw milk, you'll get somewhere between 50 to 120 species of probiotics. American yogurt has only 2 to 5 species.
Further, the enzymes, proteins, and fat molecules in pasteurized milk become so denatured by the high temperatures they use. This can actually interfere with digestion.
The opposite is true for raw milk which can help you digest your food more easily and lessen your acid reflux. You can add a little raw milk to your morning coffee or tea. It makes these drinks less likely to cause acid reflux.
Details make a world of difference
One of the hardest things to give up for many people who suffer from acid reflux is coffee.
Especially that first cup when you wake up in the morning! However, as it turns out, not every coffee bean is the same nor is every coffee roast the same!
Dark roast coffees are far less acidic than light roast coffees. Therefore, they are less likely to cause acid reflux symptoms, especially if you drink your coffee in moderation (one or two cups a day).
Sumatran beans are the least acidic coffee bean. If you get dark roast Sumatran coffee, you should have a coffee that will not affect your acid reflux much, unless you have a severe case or over indulge.
Orange juice is another example where the details matter.
Freshly squeezed orange juice is not usually as acidic as the highly processed frozen concentrates or the processed orange juice you buy in the carton.
Some people who suffer from acid reflux can't drink processed orange juice. However, they are able to tolerate a small glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.
This is especially useful if you are one of those people who needs an OJ fix in the morning.