13 Foods That Fight Acid Reflux
In Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure, authors Jamie Koufman, MD, Jordan Stern, MD, and French master chef Marc Bauer take a healthy eating approach to reducing acid reflux. The book’s staple foods offer plenty of variety and are geared toward reducing acid reflux. Turn your body into a heartburn-free zone by sticking with the following ingredients, which are featured in the book's 75 original, low-fat recipes.
Oatmeal is just about the best breakfast and any-time-of-day snack recommended by The Reflux Diet. It’s filling and doesn’t cause reflux. Even instant oatmeal with raisins is “legal” because the oatmeal absorbs the acidity of the raisins.
In moderation, ginger is one of the best foods for acid reflux. It has been used throughout history as an anti-inflammatory and as a treatment for gastrointestinal conditions. Ginger root can easily be peeled, sliced, diced, or shaved using a grater. You can use it while cooking or add it to smoothies.
Chicken and Turkey
Poultry is a staple of The Reflux Diet. It can be boiled, baked, grilled, or sautéed (but not fried!), and you must remove the skin, which is high in fat.
Fish and Seafood
Seafood is another staple of The Reflux Diet. It should be baked, grilled, or sautéed, never fried. Shrimp, lobster, and other shellfish are also fine on this diet. Wild fish, not the farm-raised variety, is recommended.
Roots and Greens
Cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, and other greens are all great foods for the acid refluxer. Pretty much all of the green and the root vegetables are recommended for people following this diet.
Melon (pH 6.1) is good for acid reflux. However, as with bananas, a small percentage (1% to 2%) of those with acid reflux need to avoid it. Also included in the good-for-reflux category are honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon.
You could do worse than to eat a salad every day. Salad is a primary meal for acid refluxers, although tomatoes and onions should be avoided, as well as cheese and high-fat dressings. Dressings that have some acid or fat can be added, but only one tablespoon (or less)—as measured, not guesstimated!
Fennel (pH 6.9) is a great food for acid reflux and actually seems to improve stomach function. This crunchy vegetable has a unique taste—a mild licorice flavor. Sliced thin (the white bottom part), it makes a healthy salad with arugula and baby spinach. It’s also great in chicken dishes, and makes a fine snack if you love the taste.
Aloe vera is famous as a natural healing agent and also seems to treat acid reflux. It is available as a living plant, but the leaves or liquid form are sometimes sold separately in groceries and health-food stores. Aloe vera can be used in recipes as a thickener and for congealing liquids.
Bananas make a great snack, and at pH 5.6, they’re usually great for people with acid reflux. However, about 1% of acid refluxers find that their condition is worsened by bananas. So keep in mind that what works for most people may not work for you.
Celery has almost no calories because of its high water content, and is a good choice if you have acid reflux. It is also an appetite suppressant and excellent source of roughage.
Couscous and Rice
Couscous (semolina wheat), bulgur wheat, and rice (especially brown rice) are all outstanding foods for acid reflux.
A complex carbohydrate is a good carbohydrate!
For thousands of years, parsley has been used as a medicinal herb to settle the stomach and aid digestion. Flat-leaf and curly parsley are widely available, and they make a great seasoning and garnish.