Medically reviewed by Darshita Thakkar, Nutrition Training and Quality Manager for PAN India
You may be suffering from temporary hyperacidity conditions or you may also be diagnosed with an underlying medical condition that causes chronic acidity. You may also be among those more susceptible to acidity due to a delicate abdomen.
In all cases, it is best to avoid foods that produce unwanted acids after digestion and lowers the pH of the stomach below the normal levels.
Table Of Contents
- Acid Reflux Diet Menu
- Avoid eating stale Foods
- The digestive juices are acidic in nature
- Foods and Drinks That Help Acid Reflux
Regularly eating foods that lower stomach pH abnormally can also be harmful to people with normal abdominal functioning.
Getting regular hyperacidity problems can harm the abdominal organs and impair their functioning.
Acid Reflux Diet Menu
People who tend to suffer from acidity or acid reflux in the oesophagus should avoid overeating as well as empty stomachs. You can get acidity even with an empty stomach as when the stomach is not judiciously filled the acid secreted by the stomach glands remain unused.
Overeating, especially fried and overcooked or over-processed foods can also cause acidity as the food substances may produce excessive acids in the stomach after breakdown.
Avoid eating stale foods
By all means, as these can produce painful acidity condition and bloat of the abdomen. Fresh and rightly cooked balanced meals with sufficient fiber content are best for the digestive system. Sometimes people may get acidity problems due to overactive stomach glands that secrete the acids.
People with overactive stomach glands need to avoid foods that cause acidity as much as possible and they also need to seek medical counselling to correct the overactiveness of the stomach glands.
In some cases, the reason for acid reflux may not be excessive acid production in the stomach. Acid reflux is the reflux of the digestive juices into the oesophagus.
The digestive juices are acidic in nature
their reflux causes a sensation of chest burn or sourness in the throat.
Sometimes the stomach may have normal pH and still, there may be acid reflux due to weak oesophagal valve, weak inner abdominal and bowel muscles, irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, poor upper and lower abdomen muscle coordination and poor gastrointestinal motility.
Small quantities of simple foods
People who suffer from acid reflux due to weak abdominal functioning should seek medical consultation. They need to put in small quantities of simple foods inside their digestive systems so that their stomachs can easily digest the food.
The meals can be broken down into smaller portions and instead of the regular four meals, six or eight smaller meals can be consumed.
Foods and Drinks That Help Acid Reflux
People who suffer from high acid levels in their stomach should include in their diet foods that produce a greater pH than stomach pH upon breakdown or in other words foods that reduce stomach acid.
If you are suffering from high levels of stomach acidity and are looking for something to drink then you may have freshly prepared sweetened and slightly salted lime water or even plain water.
Other drinks that soothe an acidic stomach include coconut water, low-fat milk, and milkshakes with banana or almonds, buttermilk, aloe vera juice, watermelon juice, herbal tea among other high pH drinks.
Make sure to avoid the low pH drinks
- Like alcohol, coffee, chocolate, highly citrus juices, soda drinks as these can aggravate an acidic stomach by producing even more acid upon breakdown.
- Low acid cereals n comprise foods like oats, quinoa, brown unprocessed rice, whole grain wheat, bran cereals, and low gluten cereals.
- The low acid cereals can be consumed with freshly and simply cooked low acid vegetables.
Include most fresh vegetables like peas, beans, carrots, potatoes, spinach among others.
If you are a non-vegetarian and cannot do without animal protein then it is better to consume fish and marine food than red meat.
Herbs like ginger, cumin, and turmeric can be added for the garnishing as this aid the digestive process and relieve acidity.
Q. What are low acid and high acid foods?
A. Acidity is measured by pH value. A pH less than 7 is considered acidic whereas a pH greater than 7 is considered alkaline. Low acid foods produce high pH substances upon breakdown and decrease overall acidity.
High acid foods produce low pH substances upon breakdown and increase overall acidity. Our body parts have different pH. Our stomach has an acidic medium with pH 3.5. Foods that break down to produce pH more than 3.5 can reduce stomach acidity.
Q. Lime water is acidic then how can its intake provide relief in acidity?
A. Lemon contains citric acid yet lime water is a recommended relief for acidity. Though lime water is sour to taste and may seem acidic but when digested it yields alkaline output hence its intake is known to relieve acidity in the stomach.
Q. Does fasting cause acidity?
A. Planned fasting actually strengthens and cleanses the digestive system. Planned fasting rituals include a method of breaking the fast usually at dusk by consuming low acid simple foods. Haphazard and unplanned fasting, on the other hand, is bad for the digestive system and can cause acidity.
Q. What is the best medicine for acidity in the stomach?
A. Doctors may prescribe proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers for patients with chronic acidity problems due to underlying medical causes. These medicines may be prescribed as a combination therapy with main medicines for curing the underlying medical cause.
Over the counter antacid medicines also provide relief for acidity due to overeating or wrong eating. You may be surprised to know that your body can also reduce stomach acidity on its own with the help of your pancreas.
The pancreas is an organ linked to your stomach which releases bicarbonates besides other enzymes and hormones. Bicarbonate is alkaline and neutralizes the excess acid.
Q. How to cure acidity permanently?
A. If you are among the lucky people who don’t have a major gastrointestinal problem then there is no need to suffer from regular acidity. You can cure your acidity permanently by eating regular balanced meals, taking enough exercise and sleep.
Make sure that you intake sufficient clean water throughout the day and avoid alcohol as far as possible.