Acid reflux, or heartburn, creates a burning, uncomfortable sensation that can make you downright miserable. Your stomach has an acidic liquid that activates enzymes to digest the foods you eat. When your stomach produces too much acid, it leaks into your esophagus creating a burning sensation near your heart. You can help alleviate this problem by choosing to eat foods with a low acid content, which will help reduce the acid in your stomach.
The best fruits to reduce stomach acid include bananas and melons. Both have low acid levels. Add banana to your cereal or oatmeal in the morning and cut up chunks of honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon for a snack. According to Drs. Jamie Koufman and Jordan Stern in their book “Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook and Cure,” between 1 and 2 percent of people find their acid levels increase after consuming these fruits. Take note if you experience heartburn after eating bananas or melons because you may be one of the unlucky few and should avoid these fruits instead.
Ginger has been used for centuries to treat a host of stomach ailments. This spice is considered one of the best foods for reducing acid, as long as you eat it in moderation. Peel, slice or dice fresh ginger or add powdered ginger to just about any meal you’re making. Parsley is another excellent spice to calm the acid in your stomach. Best of all, parsley is cheap and found in most grocery stores. It adds wonderful flavor and color to any dish.
Poultry and Fish
If you’re looking to add additional protein to your diet that will help bring your acid levels down, opt for lean sources of chicken, turkey and fish. Be sure you bake, grill, broil or sauté them. When you fry these foods, you are adding fat to them, which will aggravate your reflux. Shellfish are also fine if you want to indulge in shrimp or lobster.
Salad is an excellent meal if you suffer from acid reflux. Leave off the tomato and onion and opt for 1 tablespoon of low-fat dressing. Fennel is a crunchy vegetable with a mild, licorice flavor that reduces acid and improves stomach function. Slice it thin and add it to salads and chicken, turkey and fish dishes, or munch on fennel as a snack. You can also snack on celery. It’s high water content keeps your stomach acid at bay. Other acid-reducing vegetables include roots and greens, such as cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus and green beans.
Michelle Fisk began writing professionally in 2011. She has been published in the "Physician and Sports Medicine Journal." Her expertise lies in the fields of exercise physiology and nutrition. Fisk holds a Master of Science in kinesiology from Marywood University.