One in two Americans suffers from acid reflux.
Can you believe that half of us are suffering from that burning feeling in our chests on a regular basis?
What’s even more unacceptable is that there is a huge misconception, even by medical doctors, about what causes acid reflux— also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or peptic ulcer disease.
If you’re one of the many Americans who deal with pain from symptoms like heartburn, burping, tightness in the throat, nausea, bad breath, and even tooth decay… you owe it to yourself to give the foods on this list try to improve your symptoms.
But before we get to the foods themselves, let’s talk about why these foods work, because they’re definitely not the foods most of the medical establishment will tell you to eat if you have reflux. In fact, a few of them are the exact foods those folks will tell you to avoid at all costs.
But I’m here to tell you that eating this way works. I’ve seen it with countless patients in my wellness clinic who followed these recommendations, along with avoiding the WORST foods for acid reflux, which we covered last week.
Let’s talk about why these foods help…
It’s All About the RIGHT Acids!
Most of us think too much acid in the stomach causes reflux. It’s easy to assume that’s the case because hydrochloric acid, or stomach acid, creeps up the esophagus. You can literally feel it.
On the contrary, reflux is actually caused by too little acid in the stomach.
As we get older, our bodies, in general, tend to become weaker instead of stronger and slower instead of faster, and when it comes to our stomachs, we tend to produce LESS stomach acid instead of more.
Typically, this begins in makes over the age of 30, and females, over the age of 40, but it certainly can happen BEFORE those ages.
This lack of adequate stomach acid is commonly misunderstood and can have devastating consequences on our health. And yes, this is the good kind of acid that we actually want in our bodies for proper digestion – unlike acid-forming foods or acid from carbon dioxide.
The lack of adequate stomach acid is compounded by the acidic lifestyle most of us are already living. When pH balance is off because of poor food choices such as fast foods, processed foods, and sugar, it sets off a chain reaction that leads to inflammation, illness, and acid reflux.
I’ll go into this in more detail next week when I discuss why drugs like Prevacid and Zantac are actually making your reflux worse, not better! For now, what you need to know is that the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which separates the esophagus from the stomach relaxes inappropriately, allowing acid from your stomach to flow (reflux) backward into the esophagus.
So the foods you want to eat that will help cure your reflux for good are the alkaline-forming ones that actually help the body produce MORE stomach acid.
The Best Foods to Fight Reflux
- Water – This is so simple but so effective. Instead of sugary juices and sodas, carbonated drinks, or caffeinated beverages, stick to water to wash stomach acid out of the esophagus, soothing the burning sensation, and as long as it’s alkaline water, alkalize the body.
- Lemons – You’ve been led to believe that citrus fruits will make acid reflux worse, right? Not so! Adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drinking water will actually improve your stomach’s ability to keep the LES valve closed, sealing the acid in tight.
Now, this may work for some, and not for others (I spoke about this in my article last week The 10 Worst Foods That Make Acid Reflux MORE Severe). Assuming the damage from acid is not severe, then drinking lemon water will help tremendously.
- Dark, leafy greens – Kale, spinach, and other greens are rich in magnesium and other minerals that fight acid along the GI tract and elsewhere in the body.
- Coconut – All coconut products help sooth inflammation in the esophagus. Drink coconut water (ideally raw), especially at bedtime, and enjoy coconut oil or butter by the spoonful or in your favorite dishes.
- Artichokes – All vegetables are safe to eat if you suffer from reflux, but artichokes in particular are rich in fibers that selectively grow good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Apple cider vinegar – Another shocker, right? It actually balances stomach acid and helps alleviate symptoms of reflux when taken before a meal. Mix a tablespoon of ACV with 8 ounces of water to dilute it. Now, there is a lot of yeast in ACV, but if you have reflux, the damage that reflux can cause supersedes any potential downside to yeast in the ACV.
- Wild salmon – As one of the healthiest sources of fat around, wild salmon is probably the best animal-based protein source for acid reflux sufferers. But be sure this is wild-caught, because if not, it is fed with corn and soy, and will create INFLAMMATION in your body, completely the opposite intention for why you ate the salmon in the first place.
- Almonds and walnuts (raw) – Healthy fats like these two raw nuts help most patients with reflux.
- Aloe – The aloe plant naturally helps soothe inflammation, so many people find it helps with the symptoms of acid reflux. Drink a half cup of aloe vera juice before meals.
- Fennel – This alkaline vegetable actually seems to improve stomach function.
- Parsley – All herbs, but especially parsley, soothe and settle the stomach.
- Avocados – These super sources of healthy fat are a low sugar fruit that are a great source of fiber – all factors that help reflux sufferers alleviate symptoms. Have an avocado, or what I call ‘God’s Butter’ for breakfast every day!
- Herbal tea – This is the only drink other than water that can help reflux, rather than hurt it. Chamomile, ginger tea, and other herbal teas (no caffeine) can reduce inflammation in the upper GI tract. Stay away from caffeine, coffee, and caffeinated teas as they will make your reflux worse.
- Grapefruit – Just like lemons and limes, grapefruits are alkaline-forming in the body, so they help the stomach’s LES valve properly function.
- Salt – But only the good kind! Alkaline mineral salts will supply your stomach with the chloride it needs to produce hydrochloric acid. You’ll also benefit from the minerals in Celtic Grey salt, Himalayan salt, or Redmond Real Salt.
Trace minerals are crucial, so be sure to add these EVERY day. In addition to adding to your food, you can literally take 1 tbsp. of coconut oil, and add some Himalayan salt to that, and eat it every morning. Not only will this help your reflux, but it will also suppress your hunger, and curb your cravings for sugar.
And if you are dealing with reflux in ANY form, the MOST important recommendation I am going to give you is this – have at least 1 scoop of Alkamind Daily Minerals every day on an empty stomach for MILD cases, and for more severe, go up to 2 and even 3 scoops a day. This gets to the TRUE CAUSE of why you have reflux, and will accelerate your healing time, and help to get you off any meds, if you happen to be on them.
I share a lot more about acid reflux in my book – the causes, the cures, and the problem with the drugs that most people use to treat GERD. Plus, I outline a simple, at-home test you can take to determine if low stomach acid is causing your reflux symptoms.
Get your copy of my best-selling book, Get Off Your Acid: 7 Steps in 7 Days to Lose Weight, Fight Inflammation, and Reclaim Your Health and Energy, that’s full of recipes, tips, and ideas to take you from sluggish and in pain to healthy, energetic, and slim.
GET OFF YOUR ACID!