diets for acid reflux

What is diets for acid reflux

When it comes to managing diets for acid reflux, making the right food choices can make a significant difference in reducing symptoms and promoting overall digestive health. The main goal is to minimize the amount of stomach acid that flows back into the esophagus, causing that unpleasant burning sensation.

One of the most important things to consider is avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux symptoms. These triggers can vary from person to person, but some common culprits include spicy foods, fatty or fried foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chocolate. It’s a good idea to keep a food diary to help identify your personal triggers.

Instead, you’ll want to focus on incorporating foods that are less likely to provoke acid reflux. Here are some recommendations:

Best diets for acid reflux

  1. Lean proteins:
    Opting for lean proteins such as skinless chicken, turkey, fish, and seafood is a wise choice for individuals with acid reflux. These proteins are generally easier to digest compared to red meats or fatty cuts, which can increase the risk of triggering reflux symptoms. By choosing lean options, you’re reducing the likelihood of excess stomach acid production and minimizing the chances of discomfort.
  2. Complex carbohydrates:
    Including whole grains in your diet can be beneficial for managing acid reflux symptoms. Foods like oats, brown rice, and whole wheat bread are considered complex carbohydrates that provide more fiber and nutrients compared to their refined counterparts. The fiber content in these foods helps absorb stomach acid, contributing to better digestion and potentially reducing reflux symptoms.
  3. Non-citrus fruits:
    While citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are known to exacerbate acid reflux, there are plenty of non-citrus fruits that you can enjoy. Bananas, apples, pears, melons, and berries are generally well-tolerated and can provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These fruits can be a refreshing and nutritious addition to your diet while minimizing the risk of triggering acid reflux symptoms.
  4. Vegetables:
    Most vegetables are excellent choices for individuals with acid reflux, as they are generally low in fat and easy to digest. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli are especially beneficial due to their high nutrient content. However, it’s important to avoid tomatoes and onions as they can be triggers for some individuals. By incorporating a variety of vegetables into your meals, you’ll be promoting overall digestive health while reducing the likelihood of acid reflux.
  5. Low-fat dairy products:
    When it comes to dairy, opting for low-fat or skim milk, yogurt, and cheese is advisable for those with acid reflux. These options provide essential nutrients like calcium without the added fat content that can stimulate excessive stomach acid production. Including these dairy products in moderation can be a part of a balanced diet while reducing the risk of reflux symptoms.
  6. Healthy fats:
    While it’s important to limit overall fat intake to manage acid reflux, incorporating healthy fats can still be beneficial. Sources like avocados, nuts, and olive oil are healthier alternatives to fried or fatty foods that can trigger reflux. These fats are less likely to stimulate excessive acid production and can provide valuable nutrients and antioxidants for overall well-being.
  7. Herbal teas:
    Herbal teas have been used for centuries to soothe various digestive issues, including acid reflux. Chamomile, ginger, and licorice root teas are known for their calming effects on the digestive system. Chamomile helps relax the muscles and reduce inflammation, while ginger aids in digestion and alleviates nausea. Licorice root tea has a soothing effect on the esophagus. Sipping on these herbal teas between meals can provide relief from acid reflux symptoms and create a comforting routine.
  8. Ginger:
    Ginger is a powerful natural remedy for acid reflux due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can help soothe the digestive system, reduce inflammation in the esophagus, and alleviate nausea. You can consume ginger in various forms, such as fresh ginger slices, ginger tea, or adding grated ginger to your meals. Including ginger in your diet can provide relief and a comforting feeling when dealing with acid reflux symptoms.
  9. Aloe Vera:
    Aloe vera has long been recognized for its healing properties, including its ability to soothe digestive discomfort. Drinking aloe vera juice before meals may help calm and cool the stomach, reducing the intensity of acid reflux symptoms. However, it’s important to choose aloe vera juice specifically made for consumption and consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating it into your diet.
  1. Slippery Elm:
    Slippery elm is an herb known for its mucilage content, which forms a protective layer along the esophagus and stomach lining. This can help alleviate irritation caused by stomach acid and reduce the discomfort associated with acid reflux. You can find slippery elm in the form of powder or lozenges. Mixing the powder with water and consuming it before meals can provide a soothing effect and emotional relief from acid reflux symptoms.
  2. Oatmeal:
    Oatmeal is a comforting and filling breakfast option that can be beneficial for acid reflux sufferers. It is a high-fiber food that helps absorb stomach acid, regulate digestion, and promote a feeling of fullness. Opt for plain oatmeal without added sugars or flavors, and consider adding non-citrus fruits or a sprinkle of cinnamon for flavor. Starting your day with a warm bowl of oatmeal can create a sense of nourishment and emotional well-being while minimizing acid reflux symptoms.
  3. Alkaline water:
    While water is generally beneficial for digestion, drinking alkaline water may provide additional relief for acid reflux. Alkaline water has a higher pH level, which can help neutralize excess stomach acid. This can reduce the intensity and frequency of acid reflux symptoms. Sipping on alkaline water throughout the day can create a soothing sensation and promote better hydration.
  4. Chewing gum:
    Chewing sugar-free gum can be a simple yet effective way to alleviate acid reflux symptoms. Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva, which can help neutralize stomach acid and promote better digestion. Additionally, it encourages swallowing, which pushes any acid that has refluxed back into the stomach. Opt for a non-mint flavored gum, as mint can relax the lower esophageal sphincter and potentially worsen reflux.
  5. Mindful eating:
    Practicing mindful eating techniques can have a positive impact on acid reflux symptoms. Take your time to chew your food thoroughly, savor each bite, and eat in a relaxed environment. Eating mindfully can help reduce overeating, prevent excessive pressure on the LES, and improve digestion. It can also create a sense of emotional well-being and connection with your body, which is essential when managing acid reflux.

Frequently asked questions

Does milk help heartburn?

Many people believe that milk can help alleviate heartburn due to its soothing properties. While milk might provide temporary relief for some individuals, it is not a long-term solution. In fact, milk can stimulate the production of stomach acid, potentially worsening heartburn symptoms in the long run. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice on managing your heartburn symptoms effectively.

Why do bananas give me heartburn?

Although bananas are generally considered a low-acid fruit, they can still trigger heartburn in some individuals. This could be due to several factors, including their natural sugars, high fiber content, or individual sensitivity. If you notice that bananas consistently trigger your heartburn symptoms, it’s best to limit or avoid them. Remember, acid reflux triggers can vary from person to person, so it’s essential to pay attention to your body’s unique responses.

What salad dressing is suitable for GERD?

When choosing salad dressings for individuals with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it’s best to opt for low-fat, non-acidic options. Some examples include vinegar-free dressings, like creamy Caesar or Ranch dressings, as well as olive oil and lemon juice-based dressings. However, it’s important to listen to your body as everyone’s triggers can differ. It may be helpful to start with small amounts of dressing and gradually increase based on your tolerance.

Is dark chocolate acidic?
Dark chocolate contains a natural compound called theobromine, which can relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and potentially contribute to acid reflux. Additionally, chocolate is often high in fat, which can further trigger symptoms. While dark chocolate has some potential health benefits, if you experience acid reflux, it’s best to consume it in moderation and pay attention to how your body reacts to it.

Is oatmeal acidic?
Oatmeal itself is not acidic. In fact, it is considered to be a low-acid food. Oatmeal is a great choice for individuals with acid reflux because it is high in fiber, which can help absorb stomach acid and promote healthy digestion. However, some people may experience discomfort if they add acidic fruits or sweeteners to their oatmeal. Opt for plain oatmeal and experiment with different toppings to find what works best for you.

Are sweet potatoes good for acid reflux?
Sweet potatoes are generally well-tolerated by individuals with acid reflux. They are a nutritious source of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Sweet potatoes are often recommended as a part of a balanced diet for managing acid reflux. However, as with any food, individual experiences may vary. It’s always a good idea to listen to your body and adjust your diet accordingly.

Can cabbage juice help with acid reflux?
Cabbage juice is known for its potential to help soothe the digestive system and reduce symptoms of acid reflux. It contains substances that may help protect the lining of the stomach and reduce inflammation. Some people find relief from drinking cabbage juice, but it’s important to note that individual responses can vary. If you’re considering cabbage juice or any other natural remedy, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

What are the ten worst foods for acid reflux?
While triggers can vary among individuals, some common foods that may worsen acid reflux symptoms include spicy foods, fatty or fried foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, garlic, mint, chocolate, coffee, and alcohol. These foods can relax the LES or stimulate excess stomach acid production, leading to increased reflux symptoms. It’s important to pay attention to your body’s response and identify your personal triggers through trial and error.

Is dairy-free white ice cream good for acid reflux?
Dairy-free white ice cream can be a suitable option for individuals with acid reflux, especially if they have lactose intolerance or find that dairy triggers their symptoms. However, it’s important to choose ice creams made with non-acidic ingredients and minimal additives. It’s always a good idea to read the labels and opt for products that are specifically formulated to be gentle on the digestive system.

Is white chocolate bad for acid reflux?
White chocolate, like other types of chocolate, can potentially worsen acid reflux symptoms due to its high-fat content. While it may not contain cocoa solids that are present in dark chocolate, it still contains significant amounts of sugar and fat. It’s best to consume white chocolate in moderation and pay attention to your body’s response. If you find that it triggers your acid reflux symptoms, it may be best to avoid it or enjoy it sparingly.


In conclusion, finding the best diet for acid reflux is a journey that requires patience, self-awareness, and a compassionate approach toward your own well-being. Dealing with acid reflux can be emotionally challenging, but by making informed choices and incorporating dietary modifications, you can take proactive steps toward managing your symptoms and finding relief.

Remember, each person’s experience with acid reflux is unique, and what works for one individual may not work for another. It’s crucial to listen to your body, pay attention to your triggers, and make adjustments accordingly. Keeping a food diary can be immensely helpful in identifying specific foods or beverages that worsen your symptoms.

Opting for lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, non-citrus fruits, and a variety of vegetables can contribute to a well-rounded and digestion-friendly diet. While some individuals may find relief from herbal teas, ginger, or slippery elm, others may prefer to avoid certain foods like bananas or chocolate. It’s about finding what works best for you and creating a sense of emotional comfort and balance in your eating habits.


The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider or a qualified professional regarding your specific condition and dietary needs.