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Knowing What Food to Eat And Avoid For Acid Reflux Disease

Oct 11, 2007
Acid reflux disease can be an extremely painful condition. For people who live a socially active life and attend frequent parties and gatherings, reflux is like a curse as they have to often miss out on the delicacies served because of fear of the acid reflux attacks.

Acid attacks, as the name suggests is the attack of the stomach acids on the esophageal lining. The frequency of such attacks can be extremely damaging for the esophagus because it leads to the formation of scar tissue. If this scar tissue is not able to heal, then it may lead to ulcers and in certain cases even the cancers of the esophagus. Of all the reasons, for acid reflux problem, bad eating habits contribute the most.

Hence, the first point to remember in the treatment of acid reflux is the knowledge of foods to eat and foods to avoid. It may require you to create a new meal plan for yourself, giving more places to healthy and nutritious food and say goodbye to some other.

Why Are Some Foods A Problem?

To answer this question, let us first consider what causes reflux problem. The food goes into the stomach via the esophagus. Inside the stomach the digestion process begins where the food is acted upon by the digestive enzymes and the hydrochloric acid present in the stomach. The food remains locked inside the stomach by the action of valves that is present at both the ends of the stomach. Due to the acidic environment inside the stomach, sometimes the excess pressure causes the valve to open. This causes the acidic content of the stomach to move out into the esophagus. This condition is known as acid reflux.

It is therefore clear that the more acidic the content of the stomach, the greater will be the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter valve and hence greater chances of acid reflux. So, to solve the problem of acid reflux, acid forming foods should be avoided.

Common Foods to Avoid

Having talked of acidic foods, let us list certain foods in this category that can trigger acid reflux problem. Red meat is one such food. Instead opt for fish that may be great nutrition wise and excellent from health point of view.

One also needs to stop consumption of dairy products. This not only includes milk but also creams, cheese, ice cream, shakes and any other food item that uses dairy. Apart from dairy, chocolates are also a prohibited for people having acid reflux. Food items such as pasta and macaroni should also be avoided. Instead whole grain bread can be used. Low fat yogurt however, seems to have relieved acid reflux in many people. Fruits and vegetables are generally alkaline forming and should be taken in adequate quantities. Tomatoes and tomato based products are yet another thing to be avoided. This includes tomato sauces and even tomato pickles.

It is important to use less oil and spices while preparation of food for acid reflux. There is a direct relation between reflux and obesity. People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from acid reflux problem. Hence foods rich in carbohydrate and fat content should also be avoided.

Picking the Right Food to Eat For Reflux

Picking the right food to eat for reflux can be bothering especially for people who are very choosy about their food habits. But where there is will, there's always a way. Using a little bit of imagination and creativity one can still find replacements for his/her favorite foods. For example, instead of opting for a scoopful of ice cream for dessert, one can go in for fruit salad combined with whipped low fat yogurt.

Not all foods can cause reflux problem to everyone. The condition varies from person to person. While some may get acid attack immediately after eating a bar of chocolate, the other person may not. One has to try and observe if a particular variety of food is causing acid reflux.

You may have to give up on your favorite hotdog or beef corn sandwich while dealing with problems of acid reflux. Choosing healthier means of cooking such as baking and grilling also is an advantage. Frying can not only destroy the nutritional value of the foods but can also be bad for reflux.

On the other hand fruits like pineapple, banana and apple are known to absorb the extra acid from the stomach and prevent acid reflux. Similarly vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower are alkaline forming and can prevent symptoms of acid reflux.
About the Author
Cindy Heller is a professional writer. Visit acid reflux explained to learn more about acid reflux stomach cramping and natural remedy for acid reflux.
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