Can an Alkaline Diet Bring Acid Reflux Relief?
If each day you emphasize eating grapefruit with breakfast, carrots and almonds for a snack, and broccoli or green beans with dinner, not only are you probably very healthy, you are adhering to an alkaline diet and you don't even know it. And if you suffer from acid reflux, this can be a very good thing
While there are no large and comprehensive trial studies on the benefits of adapting the alkaline diet for general health, many proponents of alternative medicine believe the diet can work well for those with acid reflux. To ensure health, the body must maintain a balance of alkalinity and acidity-in other words, your body's pH must be balanced. When people eat a diet that is high in protein, acid residue is left in the body, and too much acid buildup can lead to acid refluxing back up into the esophagus. For the approximately 60 million Americans who suffer from heartburn, and the approximately 19 million who suffer from GERD, getting rid of acid reflux symptoms really means balancing your body's pH.
Organizations like the National Heartburn Alliance and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggest that people suffer from acid reflux change their diets. Often this starts with reducing the amount of fatty and starchy foods, like meat and poultry cooked in heavy oils. Switching all refined grains to whole grains can help as well.
Since the goal is to continually balance an acidic food with an alkaline food, making a chart and keeping it on the refrigerator is an easy way to structure a diet. On one side list alkaline foods, on the other acidic foods. As mentioned, the list tends to begin with fruits and vegetables versus meats and dairies. But there are other categories as well, such as:
- Alkaline: Fresh vegetable juice, vegetable broth, water with lemon, herbal tea
- Acidic: Carbonated drinks, coffee, milk, traditional tea
Fats and oils:
- Alkaline: Flax, avocado, coconut oil
- Acidic: Saturated fats, corn oil, vegetable oil
- Alkaline: Sprouts, hummus, almonds, lentils, sesame
- Acidic: Peanuts, cashews, pistachios, chocolates, sweets
As these short lists show, an alkaline diet includes many foods typically found in the grocery store and is easy implement. But an important thing to remember is that to help eliminate acid reflux you need not cut acidic foods out of your diet, you just have to balance them with alkaline foods.
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