Best Food For Heartburn

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The best food for heartburn is food that can help you manage your symptoms, reduce the chances of heartburn happening again, and help your body heal after it does happen. This includes eating foods that have anti-inflammatory properties and contain high levels of calcium.

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Best Food For Heartburn

Many people experience occasional heartburn or acid reflux. Heartburn is the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus, and it’s often caused by what you eat. Thankfully, there are certain foods that are known to reduce, relieve, and help heartburn.

If you experience acid reflux more than twice a week, you may have a more serious condition called GERD.

Foods that can help heartburn:

1. Whole Grains

They are grains that retain all parts of the seed (bran, germ, and endosperm). Whole grains can be consumed in their whole form or ground. Compared to other grains, they are better sources of fiber, B vitamins, iron, folate, selenium, potassium, magnesium, and other important nutrients. Whole grains can be complete foods, like popcorn or quinoa, or ingredients in other foods, like whole-wheat flour in bread. The amount of fiber found in whole-grain foods may help absorb stomach acid.

Eat these whole grains: Brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-grain bread

2. Ginger

Ginger has medicinal properties and anti-inflammatory properties that make it one of the best digestive aids. It’s alkaline, which means that it falls on the opposite side of the pH scale than acidic foods. The low level of acid eases irritation in the gastrointestinal tract. Ginger has been used throughout history for digestive issues.

Add ginger to: Smoothies, soups, and stir fry

3. Fruits and Vegetables

Almost all fruits and vegetables reduce stomach acid. Root vegetables and green vegetables are high in fiber. Foods that are fibrous make you feel full, cutting down on overeating that may contribute to heartburn.

However, some fruits and vegetables can cause heartburn. Garlic can cause heartburn and upset stomach in those who don’t regularly experience gastrointestinal issues. Those who do may have increased symptoms when eating garlic. Onions stimulate acid production which can lead to heartburn. Both garlic and onions are stronger when raw, but some still experience heartburn after eating them cooked.

Citrus fruits, like grapefruit and orange, are high acidity foods. This acid can relax the esophageal sphincter and cause heartburn. Tomato-based foods, like marinara sauce and ketchup, are also high in acid.

Eat these fruits and vegetables: Sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, asparagus, broccoli, and green beans

4. Yogurt

There are many benefits of yogurt. It soothes an irritated esophagus and is a good source of protein. Yogurt is also a probiotic, a class of foods that contain live microorganisms that maintain the good bacteria in the body. Probiotics usually contain bacteria that add to the healthy microbes in your gut.

Add yogurt to: Fresh fruit, a smoothie, and baked goods

5. Lean proteins

Eating lean proteins can reduce symptoms. According to the USDA, a lean protein has fewer than 10 grams of total fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol in a 3.5-ounce serving. The healthiest ways to prepare lean proteins are baked, broiled, poached, or grilled. High-fat meals and fried foods can lead to reflux by decreasing lower esophageal sphincter pressure and delaying stomach emptying.

Eat these lean proteins: Chicken, seafood, tofu, and egg whites

6. Legumes

Legumes are a group of vegetables that include beans, peas, and lentils. They’re usually low in fat, have no cholesterol, and are high in nutrients like folate, potassium, iron, and magnesium. Legumes also have beneficial fats and fiber. They’re a good source of protein and a substitute for meat, which has more fat and cholesterol.

Try these recipes: Three-bean salad, couscous with peas and lemon, and lentil soup

7. Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds add fiber, nutrients, and healthy monounsaturated fats to your diet. They may also help absorb stomach acid, reducing heartburn.

Eat these nuts and seeds: Almonds, peanuts, chia, pomegranate, and flaxseeds

8. Healthy fats

Though eating too many fatty foods can trigger acid reflux, fat is a necessary nutrient. It’s essential for heart and brain health, but there are different types of fat. Replacing unhealthy fats with healthy fats may help. In addition, healthy fats also promote heart health because they can reduce the amounts of bad cholesterol in the body.

Eat these healthy fats: Avocado, olive oil, walnuts, and soy products.

Foods That Help with Acid Reflux

Foods commonly known to be heartburn triggers cause the esophageal sphincter to relax and delay the digestive process, letting food sit in the stomach longer, says Gupta. The worst culprits? Foods that are high in fat, salt or spice such as:

  • Fried food
  • Fast food
  • Pizza
  • Potato chips and other processed snacks
  • Chili powder and pepper (white, black, cayenne)
  • Fatty meats such as bacon and sausage
  • Cheese

Other foods that can cause the same problem include:

  • Tomato-based sauces
  • Citrus fruits
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Carbonated beverages

“Moderation is key since many people may not be able to or want to completely eliminate these foods,” says Gupta. “But try to avoid eating problem foods late in the evening closer to bedtime, so they’re not sitting in your stomach and then coming up your esophagus when you lay down at night. It’s also a good idea to eat small frequent meals instead of bigger, heavier meals and avoid late-night dinners and bedtime snacks.”

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Foods That Help Prevent Acid Reflux

Good news: There are plenty of things you can eat to help prevent acid reflux. Stock your kitchen with foods from these three categories:

a bowl of banana oatmeal

High-fiber foods

Fibrous foods make you feel full so you’re less likely to overeat, which may contribute to heartburn. So, load up on healthy fiber from these foods:

  • Whole grains such as oatmeal, couscous and brown rice.
  • Root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots and beets.
  • Green vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli and green beans.
a bowl of mixed nuts

Alkaline foods

Foods fall somewhere along the pH scale (an indicator of acid levels). Those that have a low pH are acidic and more likely to cause reflux. Those with higher pH are alkaline and can help offset strong stomach acid. Alkaline foods include:

  • Bananas
  • Melons
  • Cauliflower
  • Fennel
  • Nuts
a bowl of cut watermelon

Watery foods

Eating foods that contain a lot of water can dilute and weaken stomach acid. Choose foods such as:

  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Watermelon
  • Broth-based soups
  • Herbal tea

Heartburn Home Remedies

People with heartburn commonly reach for antacids, over-the-counter medications that neutralize stomach acid. But eating certain foods may also offer relief from symptoms. Consider trying the following:

milk pouring from a pitcher into a glass

Milk

Does milk help with heartburn? “Milk is often thought to relieve heartburn,” says Gupta. “But you have to keep in mind that milk comes in different varieties — whole milk with the full amount of fat, 2% fat, and skim or nonfat milk. The fat in milk can aggravate acid reflux. But nonfat milk can act as a temporary buffer between the stomach lining and acidic stomach contents and provide immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.” Low-fat yogurt has the same soothing qualities along with a healthy dose of probiotics (good bacteria that enhance digestion).

a cup of ginger tea

Ginger

Ginger is one of the best digestive aids because of its medicinal properties. It’s alkaline in nature and anti-inflammatory, which eases irritation in the digestive tract. Try sipping ginger tea when you feel heartburn coming on.

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Apple cider vinegar and apples

Apple cider vinegar

While there isn’t enough research to prove that drinking apple cider vinegar works for acid reflux, many people swear that it helps. However, you should never drink it at full concentration because it’s a strong acid that can irritate the esophagus. Instead, put a small amount in warm water and drink it with meals.

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