Before turning to harsh medications, most doctors suggest that people with acid reflux problems make some lifestyle changes. Adopting a diet that reduces acid reflux is one very useful and simple change that people can make.
Here are some ideas for a diet to reduce acid reflux.
If you are overweight, you are much more vulnerable to acid reflux than if your weight is normal. If you can reduce your weight even as little as 10%, you may be able to improve your symptoms noticeably. Eating fewer calories and trying to get a little exercise every day should quickly get your weight under control.
Avoid Large Meals, Especially Right Before Bedtime
Most acid reflux diets call for eating several small meals per day instead of three big ones. Eating a lot of food just before bedtime is especially apt to cause reflux problems, since the stomach must manufacture large amounts of acid to digest the meal. The unused acid is then apt to back up into the esophagus when you lie down.
Remain Upright For At Least An Hour After Meals
Gravity is a powerful weapon in the war against acid reflux. If you are lying flat it is much easier for the contents of the stomach to flow back into the esophagus than if you are sitting or standing.
Eat Foods High In Complex Carbohydrates
After years of being told to avoid carbs, you may be surprised to learn that this is one case where a diet rich in complex carbohydrates can actually help you. Breads and pastas can help bind with the acid in your stomach so there is less to reflux back into the esophagus.
Avoid Fast Foods
Most fast foods are high in fat and will encourage your stomach to produce more acid. Fast foods can also lead to weight gain, which will increase problems with acid reflux.
Limit Or Abstain From Alcohol
Alcohol will increase the production of acid in the stomach. It may also inhibit the contractions esophageal sphincter. The esophageal sphincter is a rim of tough muscles at the bottom of the esophagus. It is the failure of this muscle to contract tightly that leads to acid reflux, or stomach acid being drawn back into the esophagus.
Avoid Foods That Stimulate Acid Production
An acid reflux diet aims to avoid foods that increase acid in the stomach. These foods include coffee, tomatoes, citrus fruits, spicy foods, chocolate, and alcohol.
These tips are only intended to get you started. For more detailed information on the acid reflux diet that is right for you, talk to your physician.