Acid reflux is a condition which impacts huge numbers of people across the UK and around the world. In fact, it is estimated that anywhere between 10 and 20% of the UK population suffer from regular incidents of acid reflux.
But what you eat can determine the severity of your symptoms. From oatmeal to onions, we’re going to take a look at some of the foods that can commonly impact the condition, for better or worse.
What is acid reflux?
When stomach acid travels up towards the throat, it can create an unpleasant burning sensation, resulting in both heartburn and acid reflux. This can leave a nasty taste and can even cause pain. When acid reflux occurs frequently, it is known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease or GORD.
There are several factors which can cause acid reflux, including certain foods, smoking, heavy alcohol use, pregnancy, smoking and genetics.
Does oatmeal reduce acid reflux symptoms?
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but for acid reflux sufferers it can be even more vital. Healthy breakfast options like oatmeal and porridge have been shown to help relieve the symptoms associated with acid reflux, including the unpleasant taste and burning pain.
Oatmeal is a whole grain and therefore is high in fibre, which promotes healthy digestion and movement. What’s more, oatmeal can help to absorb acid in the stomach and reduce symptoms of acid reflux.
Oatmeal is also high in selenium, which can help to coat and protect the oesophagus from painful acids.
Foods that can cause acid reflux
There are many foods which trigger heartburn and acid reflux symptoms, increasing your discomfort. These include:
- Spicy foods like curries
- Citrus fruits and juices
- Garlic and onions
- Fried foods with high levels of fat
Foods that can help acid reflux
However, other foods are thought to help reduce your symptoms of acid reflux, rather than aggravating them.
Fresh, cool, creamy and mild foods can help ease the intensity and frequency of your acid reflux. Switch up your diet to include higher quantities of foods like fresh tomato, cucumber, basil, low-fat yoghurts, eggs, fruit and nuts, wholegrain bread and lunchtime salads with chicken or beans.
Treating acid reflux
Changing your dietary habits can be a helpful way of managing your acid reflux symptoms, but there are also other things you can do alongside these changes, such as seeking out safe and effective acid reflux medication. Omeprazole is one such treatment; the generic alternative to branded medications like Losec and Prilosec. In clinical trials, Omeprazole has been found to be significantly effective in relieving acid reflux symptoms in chronic sufferers.