Acid reflux can become very serious if it is not appropriately treated and can even lead to severe complications. The factors responsible for causing acid reflux are multiple: low pressure in the region of the esophagus, inappropriate activity of the lower esophageal sphincter (a muscular valve at the union between the esophagus and the stomach), excessive production of digestive acid or physiological abnormalities of the esophagus.
Acid reflux may also occur due to inappropriate diet, stress and unhealthy lifestyle. The best way of controlling the condition is through the means of a good acid reflux diet. An appropriate acid reflux diet greatly contributes in preventing and controlling the condition. Due to the fact that excessive production of stomach digestive fluids aggravates the condition, an appropriate acid reflux diet should contain only foods that don’t add to the stomach’s acidity. A good acid reflux diet should exclude: foods that are rich in fat, citrus foods, tomato products, milk, caffeine-based products, spicy foods, fried foods, peppermint, alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.
First of all, avoid eating large amounts of foods that contain fat. By restricting the amount of fat in your acid reflux diet, you help normalize the activity of the stomach. When large amounts of fat-rich foods are ingested at once, the stomach can’t manage to digest it properly and attempts to dissolve it by secreting more digestive acids. Exclude spices and other irritants (preservatives, colorants) from your acid reflux diet and replace fast food with home-cooked meals. Although it is believed that dairy products have a calming effect on the stomach, milk can eventually increase the amount of gastric acid. Milk has a rebound action on the stomach, neutralizing the levels of digestive acid at first, only to increase the amount of digestive acid further on.
It is very important to avoid smoking and the consumption of alcohol. These factors are proved to increase the production of gastric acids inside the stomach and therefore can aggravate acid reflux. Also, try to reduce the consumption of foods and beverages that contain caffeine (coffee, cola, black tea, cocoa, chocolate). Although it is not exactly known how caffeine affects the normal activity of the stomach, it is best to exclude it from your acid reflux diet.
Foods considered to be appropriate for people who suffer from acid reflux are: apples, bananas, cabbage, carrots, beans, peas, potatoes, rice, low-fat meat, bread, pasta and cereals. Include more foods that are rich in carbohydrates in your acid reflux diet (price, pasta, bread, cereals, potatoes) and try to reduce the intake of protein. You may eat light meats such as chicken or fish, but try to place meat products on a secondary level in your acid reflux diet.
Follow a good acid reflux diet and you will quickly improve your condition. In some cases, an appropriate acid reflux diet can even be a substitute for medication.