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What foods can help with acid reflux?  RSS feed

 
Caroline Wallace
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Location: Helena, Montana
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I've had acid reflux disease since high school and have had to take medications such as Prilosec and Prevacid off and on since then, for years, which really scares me! I recently came across Aloe Vera Juice as a natural remedy but it only works for me part of the time. Are there any other foods out there that can help prevent acid reflux?
 
Joe Braxton
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Try vinegar. I've never had acid stomach (much to the detriment of my waistline ) but many who do swear by vinegar or pickle juice.
 
Jay Green
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Ditto that advice! Vinegar works every time. Try diluting it, though, as it's pretty rough taken straight if your esophagus is already excoriated with gastric acids. Red wine vinegar is even more mild and has a more pleasant flavor.
 
Sarah Pope
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Hi Inga, my husband suffered from severe acid reflux for years and he has now been in remission for 10+ years. Don't look for a silver bullet remedy as these will only help in the short run. You must address the root of the issue which is your overall diet.

I would recommend looking into Traditional Eating and the GAPS Diet in particular.
 
Sasha Baxter
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Location: WA
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Sarah Pope wrote:Hi Inga, my husband suffered from severe acid reflux for years and he has now been in remission for 10+ years. Don't look for a silver bullet remedy as these will only help in the short run. You must address the root of the issue which is your overall diet.

I would recommend looking into Traditional Eating and the GAPS Diet in particular.


I absolutely agree!

I've had similar issues with heartburn (and alas, diarrhea & stomach cramps). While changing my diet has helped tremendously, I also found Betaine HCL to be a very helpful supplement. I suggest checking out Why Stomach Acid is Good for You by Jonathan V. Wright, M.D. & Lane Lenard, Ph.D. It's been an extremely helpful book for me.
 
Becky Lynn
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Some have found relief with one teaspoon cider vinegar in a small glass of water. Use the one with "the mother" culture. Also, consider adding more fermented foods and probiotics to your diet.
 
Sarah Pope
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My husband had acid reflux for years and has been in complete remission for almost a decade now.

He recovered within weeks of introducing raw grassfed cream into his diet .. he would eat a small amount of raw cream with every single meal. The large amount of enzymes in raw cream is what is thought to have helped his digestion so much. Enzyme pills NEVER worked for him and I believe they are a complete waste of money.

He still eats a lot of raw cream but no need to eat with every meal anymore.
 
Caroline Wallace
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Location: Helena, Montana
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WOW. So helpful! I feel like I have some tools to start taking control of my condition now... Thank you!
 
Denise Lehtinen
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Location: Tampa, Florida zone 9A
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You might also want to try common ginger.
 
                            
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I recently finished a book called Wheat Belly, and it mentions how wheat & gluten will cause heart burn, acid reflux and GERD. (among other nasty things)
Try eliminating wheat and sugar for a while and see how it goes.
 
Scarlet Smith
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Just wanted to add that I've had success with arrowroot powder for acid reflux - a tsp of the former in a glass of water works wonders. And molasses is great, too.

 
Ollie Puddlemaker
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Location: Houston, Tesas
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Hi, Inga and other's with Acid Reflux symptoms...

I, too, have experienced the pain & suffering of Acid Reflux over the years and what I've learned is that you/we are not drug deficient. Some foods and beverages can aggravate our symptoms and make us feel most uncomfortable. However, the answer at least for me, was not to constantly chase the symptoms, but search for the cause(s)
of the labeled "Acid Reflux" and what I found was that I had 'trapped emotions' that needed to surface and be released by the body. Emotions/feelings from time spent in Viet Nam, my childhood growing up and many other numerous 'contributions' from other sources. For whatever reasons the terror, the fear, the abandonment was there and alive in my body.

However the body chose to attempt to expel/purge this 'energy' you would experience that way, if it went up you had acid reflux, if it went down you had cramps and diarrhea, etc. Anything, even water, could agitate these offending emotions, if they were active. Once released tho', you instantly have/had relief, until the next episode or wave. I experienced it over and over, each time letting go of a little more of something from my past or my grandparents lives (we can genetically carry these emotions from 7 generations back). Think about it...have you ever acted/felt in a way that didn't make any sense to you? We ask ourselves what happened? Or, why am I feeling this 'right out of the blue', with out provacation? If you are in awareness, you can see/notice these 'glimpses' and start to put some of it together. Each of us whether, self-imposed or inherited, carry thousands and thousands of referenced feelings or memories within us, whether we carry this burden for our whole lives or not is up to us.

So, if you'd like to look at addressing the cause of your symptoms, to explore and learn more about what the marvel the human body is and capable of, start educating yourself about Emotional Release. There are many ways to let this happen, some better than others, there are some people that can facilitate with you, again, some better than others. Best of all would be to learn to do the process yourself and then you can treat yourself, your family and more, maybe... It's not like you are going to ever stop feeling/or having feelings or stop making trapped emotions or no longer have the need to release them, this is something that you will continue to do the rest of your life. One way or another, it will happen, your ability to choose the method could make a big difference in your life experience and your quality would be a lot better. To me, people can live/exist or they can make a life, so your quality of life is pretty important. As I've worked with people and people's bodies over the years, I've learned that pretty much everything is emotionally caused and if we do not take care of things and continue to ignore and procrastinate, 'it' will manifest physically to get or really get our attention.
 
Josef Theisen
Posts: 236
Location: SE Wisconsin, USA zone 5b
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I use Aloe juice as well. My understanding is that it does not so much treat acid reflux, but can help the body repair the damage caused by it.

I still struggle with this, though I have made some major improvements and suffer much less than I used to. Quitting cigarettes and switching from coffee to herbal tea has made the biggest difference for me. (I know, huge suprise) I have also made an effort to include more fresh live, and fermented foods in my diet.

I used to take tums or rolaids like they were going out of syle, but on the advice of a pharmacist now avoid them. I still get attacks now and then, most often when I lay down for bed. I find that a shot of maple syrup provides instant symptom relief so I can sleep and get on with my routine.
 
Fred Morgan
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Numor Hatfield wrote:I recently finished a book called Wheat Belly, and it mentions how wheat & gluten will cause heart burn, acid reflux and GERD. (among other nasty things)
Try eliminating wheat and sugar for a while and see how it goes.


Totally agree. My father underwent the surgery for acid re-flux, it worked, but only for a few years. I lost weight (yeah, I know, no one wants to hear that) and then modified my diet to remove most wheat grains, most of the time.

No symptoms at all anymore, even when I do have the occasional chicken sandwich... (like once a month, or less)

It is said though, that 75% of the cases can be cured by weight loss. When you think about it, it makes sense, all the extra weight on your stomach doesn't help, if you have a big stomach.

I have actually figured out to within a few pounds where it starts to be a problem for me (losing weight is easy, keeping weight down, not so easy) and so I immediately reduce weight anytime I start to have a problem.

 
Matt Grantham
Posts: 78
Location: Napa CA
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It is also believed that some reflux sufferers have problems with no producing enough stomach acid. sounds counterintuitive but gogle hypochlorhydria and you will see a lot on the subject. There is an at home test you can do with betaine to try to determine if this might be your problem. DGL and marshmallow root powder are often suggested to help. Michael Murray, Martiw Whittiken, and Sherry Bresica are all people who have looked into the subject. Whittekin has a good book and Murray has a good on line article that i think you could find with a google search. Others believe reflux is often caused by parasitic or pathogenic infections, or that liver dysfunction is to blame. Pretty much everyone should be doing liver cleanses so I would consider starting there as well as some of the simpler suggestions
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Matt Grantham wrote: It is also believed that some reflux sufferers have problems with no producing enough stomach acid. sounds counterintuitive but ...


I agree, and that's why cider vinegar helps.
When your stomach is not enough acid, then the little "door" does not shut well enough!
...So, reflux!

Then sure, you must modify your diet, and all that has been said in the topic correspond to what I also think.
Sugar and grains are not good with this issue... Acidity is made to digest meat.

About vinegar: diluted to the taste of a nice drink, from cider AND raw, unpasteurised.
A glass before each meal.

My instinct also made me want oranges and tomatoes when I felt some acidity... I have my own ripe oranges for breakfast.
I eat a lot of raw and fermented foods.
 
S Bengi
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even distribution
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The best solution.
Drink a glass of water every waking hour or at least every other hour.
And by water I mean only water, not soda, juice, apple, milk, etc just plain water.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Might be 1 solution among others to be tried...
Not "the" best, did you experiment it yourself?
Do you mean it "rinses the pipe"?

Water did nothing to me, and I had a mild problem.
With vinegar in water (and just before meals, no more) it was great.

Too much water is not so good either...
 
Josef Theisen
Posts: 236
Location: SE Wisconsin, USA zone 5b
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I started brewing and drinking Kombucha about 2 weeks ago, and have already noticed a difference in my acid reflux. So the probiotics / fermented foods advice seems to be good stuff.

One book I read mentioned that any time we over eat and streatch our stomach it triggers extra acid production. This can happen with liquids too, even just water, or especially a combination of food and beverage. One suggestion was to avoid beverages with meals and drink them 15-30 min before or after to avoid expanding dry foods.
 
R Scott
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In typical US pharma there is more money in treating the symptoms than finding the cure mentality--there are lots of root causes lumped in to the same symptom set.

90% of the people I personally know that have beaten it have done so with 3 things: Lost weight, lowered stress, and one diet change (but that one thing was different for everybody). All of the ideas listed have worked for someone. There was either something missing or something they were allergic to or overfeeding that was triggering it. Get the gut flora/fauna in balance it just works again.
 
Mateo Chester
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Location: Zone 4b
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I find it to be more about what "foods" CAUSE acid reflux, than those used to help with it. My experience is as follows:

As preventative: Consider the pH of the foods you are consuming. Relying on the acids in your stomach to digest/break down other acids begs the question of: is this a good idea? Moderation here is key. Also, concentrating on WHEN one eats is a good thing to do as well. NOT eating prior to going to sleep is critical. Our bodies are not designed to digest horizontally. Also, giving a good amount of time between a meal and exercise of any kind is a great idea. Why "interrupt" your digestive system? These are just my opinions. But ones that have alleviated ten years of "acid reflux" (poor diet) in me. With this type of balance, I am able to drink coffee once or twice a week with no issues what so ever. Considering the volume of food consumed is also helpful. Try eating a little bit throughout day, instead of the westernized "3 big meals a day" approach. Lowering sugar intake has also seemed to have a positive effect.

And symptomatically: A glass of good clean water (NOT tap water). And not just when you feel it coming... Drinking water consistently throughout the day is crucial.

Hope this helps.
 
Anne Wright
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Avocados give me heartburn. I know two other people who have this same reaction to avocados
 
Perioxier Hfnmabt
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I have started to drink aloe vera juice and it really works, I have acid reflux more seldom now. I also quit smoking and drinking coffee, so probably it also helps. I don't know about foods that help with acid reflux but drinking milk always help me, or water with baking soda. But as far as I know they just cover up the symptoms and not treat the disease.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Has anyone tried chewing fennel seeds?
 
Tina Nixon
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Jocelyn Campbell wrote:Has anyone tried chewing fennel seeds?


I have and it does help, as does brewing fennel seeds as a tea.
I have a hiatal hernia, so some of this isn't that easy to control, and I've had to stay on Prevacid to deal with the symptoms.
That said, there's non-drug help which my doctor recommended, in addition to the great suggestions already in the thread above.

(I'm not a doctor myself, so I'd say use your best judgement with any advice below...it's not a fit for everyone)

1. Elevate the head of the bed. I found a full-length foam wedge that raises the head of the bed about 2 inches above the foot. That helps a lot.
2. Avoid eating/drinking near bedtime. I actually don't eat dinner. I eat two breakfasts & a lunch & then don't eat again until the next morning. I try not to drink anything but water, if I'm really thirsty.
3. Keep a list of the foods that always cause you problems - weed them out of your diet. Helps a ton.
4. As others have said, weight can be an issue.
5. Abdominal exercise can help, but avoid doing it on a full stomach as the excess pressure on the upper part of the stomach can be counterproductive.

Also:
There are some digestive enzymes that are supposed to be helpful, and there's a licorice DGL (Deglycyrrhized) supplement that others have tried & liked...it didn't really help me.
It's important to get the DGL form; standard licorice can elevate blood pressure.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Thanks, Ta - and everyone else - for the great suggestions!
 
allen lumley
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#1 in the " B.R.A.T. diet BANANAS ( If You don't know about the brat diet Ask any mother who has had a normal pre-teen in the last 40 years) ! Big Al !
 
Tina Nixon
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Some additional anec-data:

I quit eating simple wheat carbs a few weeks ago to see if it would help with a fungal infection....and my residual heartburn (that hangs around even when I am taking medication for it) got about 80%-90% better. It also seems to have helped with the fungal infection, but the unexpected bonus of having my heartburn improve so much was quite the pleasant surprise!
Since then, I've read that heartburn can be a symptom of a gluten-related sensitivity.

Thought this might be useful for others as well - I thought I knew exactly what my trigger foods were, but it turns out I was missing the biggest one!
 
Rick English
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I had a case of intermittent acid reflux over the course of several years. I tried a bunch of the nasty medicines and antacids, and nothing really seemed to do much. My outbreaks nearly always happened at night in bed, so I started drinking at least 16 ounces of water after every meal, and poof, symptoms have stayed away. Nothing in the water, no other diet or stress changes, just lots of H2O.
 
steve bossie
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as well as everything else recommended, try rhubarb. my grandmother use to prescribe this to people suffering from heartburn. its worth a try.
 
John Master
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I would suggest looking at the wapf guidelines as far as diet goes, especially sauerkraut, milk kefir, coconut oil, bone broth and raw milk. Sauerkraut (and other fermented veggies) are great to help get stomach/gut issues resolved naturally.
 
Casie Becker
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Here's a couple questions for those of you having good results with the apple cider vinegar. Could another high acid food be substituted? I didn't like the flavor of the vinegar, but I am fond of citrus. Lime juice is actually more acidic than stomach acid, so if the the vinegar works by increasing stomach acid content, I suspect lime water might be a good alternative.

Also, if I add honey, then I have limeade that will also help ameliorate my season allergies. That would be my second question, would adding honey destroy the good effect of the acid?
 
Craig Dobbson
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Try Switchel!   here's a thread about it.  I prefer switchel over just plain ACV.  As a matter of fact, my entire family really likes it.  The ginger is good for calming the stomach and the ACV does it's job at stopping the tummy acid evils.  plus it's pretty similar to ginger ale.  Mixed with seltzer  and put on ice... super good.  
 
Casie Becker
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Jocelyn actually served some to us when we visited wheaton labs. It met with universal approval for everyone but me. Thanks for the reminder about the drink, though. I need to hunt down that thread for the use of the rest of the family.

I'm just very sensitive to something about the taste of most fermented foods. I can't stand sourkrauts or most pickled vegetables or alcohol. The cider vinegar wasn't as bad as those, it might even be palatable with some sweetener.

I bought some key limes and cut one into a glass of hot water with honey. My stomach was upset I kept burping. After drinking the water (and eating the flesh of the lime) my stomach has settled and I've stopped burping. I say lime was a success and honey didn't seem to hurt.

edit: And now I feel silly, the link was actually in your post. Seeing that it is basically a sweetened ACV and I've already tried it, I'm going to stick with the lime juice but recognize that it is a palatable medicine. I'm also probably going to start keeping a batch in the fridge since it is so healthy and everyone else liked it so much. Who knows, maybe I'll develop a taste for it over time.
 
Moti Inbar
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I recommend down-vegetables : Beets, carrots and the best fennel . Live to eat or juice form . Those vegetables fix the problem for good.
 
Dale Hibard
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Switchel is so tasty ))

I'll add slippery elm and turmeric tincture to the list. Work like a charm
 
Alexandra Clark
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The main issue with acid reflux is a lax pyloric sphincter. This is basically the valve that closes off the stomach when the acid is released so that the delicate esophageal tissues do not get burned. Sometimes this issue is hereditary and you will see a number of parents and siblings and grandkids with related issues.

The ACV does work because the acid going down triggers the pyloric that acid is present and it tightens up--wish we could do "kegels" for this sphincter, but alas, no control--all involuntary muscles.

One thing that works really well for me is to take a teaspoon of good old fashioned yellow mustard after dinner and a shot of water. It keeps the acid reflux down to nothing most of the time.

Raw dairy also helps tremendously. I have been blessed to be able to obtain it for many many years, starting at first when I was a traditional and real foods blogger and found it addressed any issues that were lumped together as lactose intolerance and mucous reactions. I don't have those things with raw dairy because of the enzymes.

Anyway, feel better everyone!
 
Maureen Atsali
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I don't know what switchel or ACV is, I'll have to check out the link.  But I am with Casie... I really don't like fermented foods, particularly drinks.  I feel bad that I miss out on all that probiotic goodness, but the only ferment I like is yogurt.  Casie, thanks for making me feel less weird!

This past new years I tried to cut out wheat and sugar, and I found it helped a lot with my digestive issues.  When I have a cheat day, it comes right back, especially at night time.  I still use baking soda in water to get some relief - which seems exactly the opposite of most of the acidic remedies on this thread!
 
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