Acid reflux can be a big problem for those who appreciate the finer (greasier and fattier) foods in life. The good thing is that if you can change your diet and habits for the most part, you can still probably enjoy your favorite treats every so often. Here are some ideas to help combat your acid reflux with food.
Eat, Sleep and Stop the Drugs
The way you eat is just as important as what you eat. Since the digestive process begins in the mouth, it is best to chew your food slowly, allowing the enzymes in your saliva to predigest as much of the food as possible. Eat several small meals a day instead of overeating during two or three. Also, aid digestion by drinking water with your food. You should use an acid reflux pillow when sleeping or lying down. This will help to keep your body elevated at the proper angle to prevent stomach fluids from going back into the esophagus. Stop using all antacids and acid reducers, whether prescription or over the counter. Replace them with baking soda: Use ½ to ¼ teaspoon baking soda mixed with 8 ounces of water. This is a more natural method with fewer side effects (see Reference 1).
What to Eat
There are many foods you can continue to eat on an acid reflux diet, and there are even a few that may help to cure the condition. Acid reflux is often connected to a lack of digestive enzymes in the body. Eating raw fruits and vegetables will increase the amount of digestive enzymes in your stomach and will allow your food to be digested more completely. Because grains, seeds and nuts contain enzyme inhibitors, you should soak them before consuming to break down the enzyme inhibitors. A cup of raw vegetable juice every day can begin to replenish the digestive enzymes in your body. Drinking a concoction of 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and water, three times a day, is an often-praised folk remedy for acid reflux. After digestion, the byproduct of the apple cider vinegar is alkaline, which can help to diminish acid reflux. Other acid reflux folk remedies include pickle juice, apples, aloe vera and mustard (see References 1 and 2).
What to Avoid
Some of the foods you should avoid with acid reflux are more obvious than others. All processed foods, high-sugar foods and fast foods should be eaten very infrequently. Chocolate, alcohol, peppermint and garlic may weaken the lower esophageal sphincter muscle. Caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda can produce excess acid in the stomach. Since there are many contradictory claims made in books and on the Internet in regard to the food you should and shouldn't eat on an acid reflux diet, discuss your diet with your doctor first (see Reference 3).