What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, the tube that connects the stomach to the mouth. While swallowing, your lower esophageal sphincter relaxes or opens to allow food and liquid to flow into your stomach, and then contracts or closes when finished.
If the sphincter weakens or opens spontaneously, stomach acid can flow back up to your esophagus. This backflow causes irritation to the lining of your esophagus, causing inflammation and discomfort.
Signs and symptoms:
Heartburn: A burning sensation in the chest that feels like food it’s moving upward towards the throat.
Pain after eating and while resting: You may feel pain after eating and want to lie down, but then end up feeling worse! This is because laying horizontally is when acid is most likely to escape up into the esophagus. When seated upright or standing, gravity helps keep food stay down in the stomach. Pain may occur directly after eating. When the stomach is full, it is very easy for the food to travel upwards.
Sore throat: The feeling of having a constant lump in your throat that won’t clear.
Chronic dry cough: Coughing and wheezing can occur if stomach acid gets into the lungs
Nausea and vomiting
Bad breath/bitter taste in the mouth: Acid flows up from the stomach and stays in the oral cavity.
Reducing Acid Reflux Symptoms:
Foods to Avoid:
Dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, cream)
Citrus fruits/juices (grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, etc.)
Onion and garlic
Tomato and tomato products
Processed foods (packaged cookies, crackers, chocolates, candy)
Carbonated drinks and sodas
Foods that Help Reduce Acid Buildup:
Lean meat and seafood
Oatmeal and whole grains
Nuts and seeds
Apple cider vinegar (perfect for salad dressings!)
Whole wheat bread with mashed avocado or nut butter
Coconut yogurt (dairy-free) with granola
Carrots with hummus
Smoothie (even better if you add spinach or chia seeds!)
Protein shakes (dairy-free brands: Orgain, Owyn, Ripple)
Protein bars: (cleaner brands: Kind, GoMacro, RXBar)
Make sure to eat breakfast within the first hour of waking up
Eat slowly and chew thoroughly. Try to make each meal last at least 20 minutes. Try not to eat in front of the T.V. or while distracted as this might lead you to eat quickly and cause indigestion.
Finish your last meal of the day at least 3 hours before bed.
If you feel acid reflux symptoms while sleeping, try to elevate your head about 5 inches higher
Don’t lie down after a meal. If possible, try to go for a short walk after a meal.
Try drinking ginger tea after a meal, especially if the ginger tea contains turmeric
If you struggle with acid reflux symptoms, we are here to help! At NextGeneration Nutrition we offer personalized nutrition programs including nutrition and lifestyle recommendations, meal plans, and supplementation plans to help ease symptoms! Contact us for more information and book a FREE 15 minute consultation today!
Jessica Mantell M.S., C.N.S., L.D.N.
CEO & Founder of NextGeneration Nutrition
NextGeneration Nutrition believes that better health should be accessible to everyone and that we all are able to improve our health through good nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle change. We do not support setting shame-based goals but encourages embracing our bodies, genetics, and personality. Our philosophy is abandoning the “One Size Fits All” mentality to create a personalized wellness plan based on your biological makeup and your lifestyle.
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