Acid reflux is a medical condition in which the esophageal sphincter that normally separates stomach acids from entering the esophagus fails to remain closed. The digestive acids that enter the esophagus can cause severe heartburn, bloating and nausea. Foods containing high amounts of fat, spices, garlic, onions or citrus-containing ingredients can all cause the condition. Fortunately, a number of foods can help decrease the incidence of painful heartburn episodes for acid reflux sufferers.
Chamomile tea, a naturally uncaffeinated tea made from the flowers of the herb, chamomile, has been used for hundreds of years as a home remedy for stomach ailments. Drinking a lukewarm cup of the tea after finishing a meal or before bed can help dilute stomach acids, calm the digestive system and prevent flareups. Many acid reflux sufferers report their heartburn is at its worst, just before bed.
When an acid reflux attack begins, drinking a glass of milk–either whole, low-fat or skim–can decrease the severity of the heartburn substantially. The milk coats and soothes the lining of both the esophagus and the stomach and prevents the digestive acids from becoming too concentrated.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Eating a wide variety of vegetables and non-citrus fruits helps maintain the overall health of the digestive system, which, in turn, prevents the stomach from overproducing digestive enzymes. Nutritionists recommend apples, grapes, blueberries and fiber-rich, dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli or spinach.
Individuals with acid reflux who replace some of the meat in their diets with beans, such as black beans, lentils or navy beans, often report a decrease in the incidence of heartburn. Consuming beans appears to help in two ways. Beans introduce less fat–a known aggravator of acid reflux–into the diet; eating the increased amounts of fiber promotes digestive health.