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Acid Reflux: Symptoms, Foods to Eat (and Avoid), and Recipes

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Ardilla is an online writer who loves to share her research on health topics.

How to identify acid reflux and start feeling better.

How to identify acid reflux and start feeling better.

Do You Have Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is uncomfortable, annoying, and inconvenient. Think you have it? You've come to the right place. Here, we will discuss the symptoms of acid reflux, as well as some ways to ease the irritation it causes. Spoiler alert: It has a lot to do with your diet!

Common Symptoms of Acid Reflux

  • Regurgitation: You feel undigested food being brought back to your mouth or throat shortly after you've consumed your meal.
  • Heartburn: A painful burning sensation coming from your lower chest up to your throat. It usually occurs after eating. It's also more prominent and can be exacerbated while you're lying down.
  • Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing: Difficulty and pain experienced while swallowing. Food may feel as though it's trapped in your neck area.
  • Chest pain: Sometimes it feels like something is heavily pressing against your chest, making it more difficult to breathe.
  • Asthma, dental erosion, and hoarseness: All of these conditions may be provoked by the strong acids that get to the throat and mouth from your stomach.
Low-fat foods are recommended to relieve acid reflux symptoms.

Low-fat foods are recommended to relieve acid reflux symptoms.

Best Foods for Acid Reflux

Look for foods that are low in acid and fat

BeveragesFruitsProteins / GrainsVegetables

Water

Bananas

Fresh fish (with no additional fat)

Cucumbers

Lemon water

Apples

Skinless chicken breast

Lettuce

Apple cider vinegar

Watermelon

Turkey

Celery

Mineral water

Papaya

Nuts

Cauliflower

Non-caffeinated herbal tea

Berries

Brown rice

Fennel

Plant-based milk

Coconut

Oatmeal

Asparagus

Vegetable juice

Cantaloupe

Beans

Broccoli

Consuming things like soda, ice cream, and fried foods can worsen your acid reflux symptoms.

Consuming things like soda, ice cream, and fried foods can worsen your acid reflux symptoms.

Worst Foods for Acid Reflux

Foods high in caffeine, acid, and fat can make acid reflux symptoms worse.

BeveragesDairyFruitsVegetablesMiscellaneous

Caffeinated sodas

Whole milk

Pineapples

Potatoes (in any form)

Fried foods

Alcohol

Ice cream

Grapefruits

Tomatoes

Spicy foods

Coffee

Butter

Oranges

Onions

Processed foods

Energy drinks

Cheese

Lemons / Limes

Garlic

Chocolate

Eating Tips to Stop Acid Reflux

  • Eat small meals. Don’t eat three primary/large meals a day. Instead, frequently eat small amounts of food. This way, you’re not putting too much effort and strain on your stomach. Don’t overeat.
  • Avoid fats. Do not eat anything with too much fat—these foods cause the stomach to produce lots of acids to digest it. Avoid fast food at all costs! The same goes for too much oil or too many toppings, condiments, sauces, and dressings on your meals.
  • Stay seated. Make sure that you're seated in an upright position while eating and that you maintain this 45 minutes after your meal, as well.
  • Elevate your head while sleeping. When you're in bed or lying down, make sure you elevate your head up and maintain it by six to eight inches. There are special pillows available especially to help you fight acid reflux, as well.
  • Eat lots of fiber. Eat a lot of foods and meals high in fiber—they are great for relieving acid reflux symptoms.
Try this smoothie for breakfast or as a tasty snack.

Try this smoothie for breakfast or as a tasty snack.

Recipes to Stop or Relieve Reflux Symptoms

Here are two delicious recipes that feature ingredients known to help aid uncomfortable acid reflux symptoms.

Fruit and Ginger Smoothie

Prep time: 10 minutes
Yields: One serving

Scroll to Continue

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of ice
  • 2 cups of plant-based milk
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup of low-fat yogurt
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated finely

Instructions

  1. Add ice, milk, yogurt, bananas, and ginger to a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
Try this soup recipe for a delicious lunch or dinner meal.

Try this soup recipe for a delicious lunch or dinner meal.

Chicken and Black Bean Soup Recipe

Prep time: 60 minutes or less
Yields: 1–2 servings (depending on your appetite)

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. of canned black beans
  • 1 pint of chicken stock
  • ½ cup of fresh cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. of nonfat sour cream

Instructions

  1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil.
  2. Add the beans, cilantro, and salt to taste.
  3. Cook for 30 minutes on low heat.
  4. Pour carefully into a blender and blend. Note: This step is optional if you prefer whole beans.
  5. Serve in a soup bowl and garnish with the nonfat sour cream and a sprig of cilantro.

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments

ana on April 29, 2020:

Hello, i need an advice please. With acid reflux can i eat canned tuna and salmon? Thanks

Ruben on January 13, 2019:

Thank you for this

Angela on December 09, 2018:

I am waiting for surgery for hernia,trying to find foods i can eat without it killing me.The best ive found is crackers,it seems to soak up the bad junk in my stomach.Have found some good ideas here.Thanks all.

Ronda on September 12, 2018:

I’m doing the camera Friday to see what’s going on

Lordcary on June 18, 2018:

I can't do milk or yogurt, sometimes cheese is OK. But sometimes I crave an ice cream rather a Drum stick which has chocolate....I think I finally realize this makes me feel so sick. I seem to be OK with pineapple, frozen. I never drink coffee only herbal teas. I like ginger tea but the other day I wondered if it set my stomach off. I have a hiatus hernia, "Nutcracker" esophagus - (sometime I choke on a mouthful of water, as well as silent reflux. I pain in my stomach right now is unreal other times it's OK. I find it hard to know what to eat if I just eat small amounts, not that I eat a huge meal but it's a bother to fix something other than 3 times a day. I am usually starving at bed time and I may have just had supper a couple of hours before. I will have a Frozen Banana Ice Cream (I make) or a Pumpkin chia pudding (I make). I just wish could get rid of this pain, I took two different meds. for high acid and was worse. I take a remedy my Naturopath makes....it usually helps.

Joanna on May 22, 2018:

Hi

I have acid reflux and am following some diet plans wrtiten by an AMerican Dr called Jonathan Aviv in his book'The ACid WATcher's Diet' it is very thorough and he explains everything very well. It has alot of biological explanations.

Sumit on May 11, 2018:

Please help me l am suffering from this the foods that l can eat different in many websites

Tina on May 04, 2018:

God help us

Choco on March 23, 2018:

I'm addicted to coffee and I have gerd

Sean on February 27, 2018:

I'm confused, coffee and pineapple are both on the list to AVOID! Have they changed the page since you comments? Coffee kills my stomach, so unfortunately does tea :-(

Hue on January 28, 2018:

You're in for a world of pain if you drink coffee with gerd. Listen to the list not the comments.

Anne on January 24, 2018:

I cant do pinapple or anything that has tomato in it. I am finding it varies on each list of what not to eat. I think I am finding by trial and error. I also, have been following the alkaline diet somewhat. seems to help.

ph. on December 29, 2017:

Pineapple and coffee is safe food to consume with acid reflux and GERD ? You gotta be kidding me, i think pineapple is the worst for acid reflex. Apple or applesauce is way much better to be on the list.

Margaret bennett on December 15, 2017:

I'm trying to eat healthy I love salads that's my favourite meal and it's got to be low fat I like pure orange juice and I'm aways drinking water because I talk tablets but I'm looking for somethink I can have for breakfast I'm sick of wholemeal toast any ideas the i cant stand any oil or sugar and I hate chips

Linda on October 29, 2017:

I would never attempt fresh pineapple and would hesitate trying to eat canned or cooked pineapple. Many years ago I had the worst acid reflux after eating tuna salad with canned pineapple. Also can't eat garlic or onion while my GERD is active. Also NO coffee for me, or ANY fried food. I can tolerate small amount of garlic powder. I find seasoning with tumeric and ginger soothing. I would strongly recommend keeping a food log. Stick with limited diet, adding one food at a time back. If you get acid reflux, remove last food from your list.

Danny on July 04, 2017:

Yeah coffee is the best when u have acid reflux it stops it right away

V on April 18, 2015:

I agree with the last comment...Coffee & caffeine are out as told by many doctors..even pineapples are to be avoided by most....

Bill on January 12, 2015:

This info is way off. Coffee is listed as "Safe Foods to Consume When You Have Acid Reflux". Coffee and caffeine are universally recommended to AVOID when you have acid reflux. Look elsewhere.

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