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Acid Reflux Explained: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments


If you have an acid reflux problem, making changes to your diet should be your first defensive play, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. The good news there is that you have lots of options.

A number of foods are known to worsen acid reflux symptoms. Common offenders include fried and fatty foods; chili pepper; fatty meats like sausage and bacon; cheese; tomato and citrus fruits; chocolate; peppermint; and carbonated beverages. However, foods that trigger heartburn can differ from one person to the next (via Harvard Medical School). Keeping a diary of what you eat can help you figure out your particular triggers. It also helps to break up your meals into smaller portions throughout the day to keep your stomach from getting too full.

Likewise, there are foods that seem to put out the fire. High-fiber foods help you feel full, so you’re less prone to over-eat and produce extra stomach acid. Some foods can reduce acidity, including bananas, melons, cauliflower, fennel, and nuts. Foods with lots of water, like watermelon, lettuce, celery, and cucumber, can dilute stomach acids. Ginger tea is also alkaline in nature and anti-inflammatory (via Johns Hopkins Medicine).

A 2017 study found that people who followed a plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet reduced their reflux symptoms as much as a group who took medication.

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