Keeping Acid Reflux at Bay with a Plant-Based Diet

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Most health practitioners and scientists agree that acid reflux is brought on by an imbalance of acid-producing enzymes in the stomach or throat. 

These enzymes are supposed to break down the food and drink that we consume and begin the process of digestion. If these enzymes are too powerful, they begin to break down food too soon and excess acid and enzymes are released into the esophagus.

With that in mind, it makes sense how switching to a plant-based diet can manage acid reflux symptoms as it supports a healthy balance of acid-producing enzymes while avoiding acidic foods and drinks.

What Causes Acid Reflux (GERD) in the First Place?

Acid reflux often happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) fails to close when it should. When it remains open, the acids from your stomach tend to shoot up and enter your esophagus. This might feel like a burning sensation in your throat and chest.

How Does a Plant-Based Lifestyle Mitigate GERD?

Plant-based diets have been found to improve acid reflux symptoms for many for a few different reasons. For one, it reduces your intake of animal fats, junk food, and carbonated beverages. While there is not enough evidence to suggest that a plant-based diet is a complete cure for acid reflux, it might be a great way to manage the symptoms.

What are Examples of a Healthy Food Group You Should Try for Your GERD Management?

A healthy, plant-based lifestyle is characterized by high levels of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. These foods might benefit acid reflux or GERD as they are rich in fiber and antioxidants, which speed up the elimination of acids in the stomach.

It can be tough to remember that you shouldn’t just focus on eliminating animal products from your diet, but also on the quality of your food choices such as the following:

Fruits and Vegetables

Low-acidity fruits, especially pears, apples, and berries, contain a lot of fiber and can be a great addition to your GERD management plan. On the other hand, leafy greens such as spinach and lettuce are also high in fiber and can be a good way to get more fiber in your diet.

Lean Proteins

Focus on eating lean proteins like fish, tofu, chicken, and eggs, and it’ll be easier for your body to digest. This can help reduce the amount of acid that is produced in the stomach.

Complex Carbohydrates 

Wheat, oats, whole grains, and legumes are great sources of complex carbs that can keep you full for longer than simple carbs like sugar.

If you experience acid reflux at night, try eating some apples or pears before bed. These fruits contain complex carbohydrates that are digested slowly, which means that the fruit takes longer to digest and the sugars don’t travel too quickly into your gut.

The Bottom Line: Indulging in a Plant-Based Diet to Soothe Your Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a condition that is difficult to manage, and the best way to go about it is by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The best way to manage acid reflux symptoms is by choosing foods that are low in acid, dairy-free, and nutritious. So go ahead and try adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet and take note of the health improvements you notice.

How Can We Help?

Many people experience heartburn daily, and for this reason, it’s important to know the different at-home remedies you can try to ease your discomfort as conveniently as possible. Reflux Away can help you with your acid reflux woes and guide you through dealing with heartburn and acid reflux. 

For instance, we can help you answer questions about whether mustard is good for acid reflux as a natural home remedy. To that end, you’ll get to learn what heartburn does to your body and detailed guides to help you feel at ease. Browse our articles today!