Acid reflux is an uncomfortable condition that is often exacerbated by eating the wrong foods. So rather than eating badly and then taking antacids and other medications to alleviate the problem, you can prevent it in the first place by eating foods that are the least likely to cause you to suffer from acid reflux and eliminating the ones that are the most likely to cause the problem.
Foods to Eat
You should eat foods that are easy to digest. Some include cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, fruits, steamed vegetables, vegetable juices, rice, beans that are cooked well, sprouted seeds and grains. Foods loaded with digestive enzymes—fresh pineapple, dried figs, and dried or fresh papaya—help, too. Other recommended foods that have proven beneficial are almonds, apple cider vinegar, as well as omega-3 fatty acids from fish and fish oil.
Foods to Avoid
Stay away from fried foods and reduce the amount of meat you eat. Try to completely avoid meats that are known to cause acid reflux, including pepperoni, pastrami, ham, cold cuts and deli meats. Some other things that can cause the condition to flare up are tomatoes, coffee, soda, beer, wine, other alcoholic beverages, chocolate, high fructose corn syrups, and trans-fats. While milk does sometimes temporarily lessen the symptoms of acid reflux, in the long run it can make the condition worse when the body releases the acid it takes to digest it. If you are having trouble at bedtime, try eating some crackers instead of drinking milk.
Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day. By doing so, you will keep your stomach from having to produce excessive amounts of acid to digest your food. Make either breakfast or lunch your biggest meal of the day, and avoid eating anything after dinner—which you should try to eat early (before 6 pm if at all possible). Chew your food well, since this is really the first step in the digestive process. Avoid high-fat foods since they will stay in your stomach longer and will require more stomach acid to digest them. Also, don’t overeat, since this will stimulate the production of large amounts of stomach acid.
It’s also helpful to raise your head as much as possible when you sleep. Sometimes getting chiropractic adjustments or homeopathic remedies such as Schuessler Cell Salt or Natrum Phos 6X can help. Reducing your stress through yoga, meditation, soothing music, reading or other relaxation techniques may also be beneficial. If nothing else works, try a juice-only diet for three to seven days and see your doctor.