Acid reflux is a condition in which acid from the stomach flows right back into the Oesophagus. This often results in symptoms like belching, heartburn, nausea, and regurgitation. One of the major causes of acid reflux is a weakened or lower Oesophageal sphincter. A normal LES functions as a buffer that protects the Oesophagus by preventing food in the stomach from moving up into it. However, when this LES has been damaged or weakened, the food in the stomach is able to move freely into the Oesophagus thus, sometimes, resulting in acid reflux.
Acid reflux can be quite troublesome for sufferers as it tends to affect their quality of life and in some cases result in more serious conditions. This is why it is important to manage and treat Acid reflux as soon as symptoms first arise.
Apart from medication, changes in lifestyle habits especially diet are key to reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces, thus mitigating acid reflux symptoms.
Here are foods you should consider introducing into your diet to help you manage your reflux symptoms. However, it is important to pay attention to how these foods affect your body as they are not one-size-fits-all.
Vegetables are generally known for the plethora of health benefits they provide to the body and when it comes to acid reflux, they are no different. They help in reducing stomach acid due to the low amount of fat and sugar they contain. Some good examples include beans, broccoli, potatoes, ugwu (pumpkin leaves), cucumbers, and potatoes.
A very healthy choice for breakfast, Oatmeal is rich in Fiber. It is not only filling but can also help in alleviating reflux by absorbing acid in the stomach.
Although some fruits are acidic, Banana falls within a category of fruits that are not. This makes it ideal for acid reflux. Melon is another fruit that is not acidic and can help relieve symptoms. One form of melon that is found as a staple food in Nigeria is watermelon.
Lean Poultry and Meat
Chicken and Turkey are staple examples of lean poultry. They are great options for acid reflux as long as they are boiled, grilled, and baked but not fried. Their skin should also be removed before cooking due to the high amount of fat they contain.
Fish and Seafood
Seafood is another great option for the reflux diet. Like poultry, it can be eaten boiled, grilled, or baked, never fried. Examples include the staple Tilapia.
For centuries, Ginger has been known for its health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties. It is also effective in soothing heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems. Rather than eating it raw which may be too harsh for some people, you can use it while cooking or add it as an ingredient to smoothies.