Experiencing chest pain after eating once in a while is common. Eating too much, fatty, spicy, or sugary foods are the most obvious reasons.
However some individuals suffer from bloating, belching, and burning sensations in the chest whenever they eat. These are the most common symptoms of acid reflux.
Research says that about 20% of the population suffers from acid reflux.
What is acid reflux?
The so-called lower esophageal sphincter between your esophagus and stomach protects your esophagus from stomach acid. But, when this sphincter relaxes, food contents can pull upwards through the loose opening and cause acid reflux.
Diet plays an essential role in controlling acid reflux symptoms.
Some foods such as pizza, red meat, fried foods, and citrus fruits may worsen reflux symptoms. Therefore, avoiding these trigger foods is best for someone who has this condition.
Let’s look at some vegetables that may help control the uncomfortable reflux symptoms.
Sweet potatoes are a type of root vegetables known for supporting strong and healthy bones.
However, they contain alkalizing vitamins and minerals which are good for people with reflux qlso, they don’t contain any typical acid reflux triggers.
The alkaline vitamins help neutralize the acid in the stomach which causes heartburn.
Sweet potatoes are not high in fat and are also not acidic. Therefore, they’re healthy additions to your reflux diet.
However, make sure that you use sweet potatoes recipes that don’t require added sugar.
Many people think that potatoes can cause acid reflux and heartburn, but potatoes, like all root vegetables – except onion -, are good for your gut.
Potato contains resistant starch, which is prebiotic and is beneficial for your gut flora. This study has found that a high intake of potato correlates with a reduced risk for acid reflux.
However, many people complain about chest and stomach pain after eating potatoes. In such cases, it is usually not the potato that is causing the problem, but the way it is prepared.
French fries contain a lot of oil, and potato chips can be very salty. Both can trigger acid reflux symptoms. However, if you eat boiled or baked potatoes in moderation, you are not likely to have heartburn.
Bonus tip: try to eat unpeeled potatoes. The skin contains a lot of nutrition and fiber.
Like sweet potatoes, carrots contain alkaline nutrients that help with acid neutralization in the stomach.
Although eating them doesn’t provide instant relief for reflux symptoms, it’s a healthy vegetable for those who’re on a reflux diet.
You can eat raw or cooked carrots or you can juice them.
If you’re prone to acid reflux, you may want to opt for green beans.
Not only are they excellent sources of magnesium, a mineral that’s responsible for nerve contraction, but they’re also low in acids.
You can roast them with lemon using olive oil for a simple side dish.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy veggies like kale, asparagus, and spinach are recommended for people with reflux.
That’s because they contain lower acidic levels hence are unlikely to trigger heartburn.
These vegetables also are great for your overall digestive health.
Other recommended vegetables include lettuce, sweet peppers, and celery because they go easy on the stomach.
Doctors also recommend ginger for acid reflux, because it helps in digestion. It is alkaline and contains inflammatory properties that ease irritation in your digestive tract. Try drinking ginger tea whenever you feel heartburn symptoms for quick relief.
If you suffer from reflux the key is to opt for foods that have a low pH value. Note that, acidic foods are likely to cause overproduction of acid which causes acid reflux.
Therefore, opting for alkaline foods can help offset strong stomach acid. Other alkaline foods include nuts, fennel, melons, and bananas.
It is also wise that you eat foods that contain high water content to help weaken stomach acid. These include watermelon, herbal tea, cucumber, and lettuce.
Using the vegetables listed above, you can also make vegetable juices that help acid reflux.
Not all vegetables relieve reflux symptoms. E.g. tomatoes or onions are known for triggering acid reflux.
Apart from these vegetables, lifestyle changes can also help manage symptoms of reflux.
This includes taking antacids, avoiding alcohol, remaining upright after eating, and not over-eating.
Please speak to your doctor if you have questions on the foods to eat to reduce your symptoms. Also depending on how severe your condition in, your doctor may recommend medications or surgery, but the first thing should be fixing your diet.