Natural remedies for acid reflux start with healthy eating.
The information on this site is not a substitute
for the advice of your own health care provider
Natural remedies for acid reflux are safer than drugs used to cure the problem
Natural remedies for acid reflux, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) surpass the effectiveness of prescription medicines for this disorder for several reasons. Antacid drugs of all types, from Rolaids or Tums, to the stronger H2 blockers or PPIs like Zantac or Nexium, reduce the amount of acid in the stomach either by neutralizing it or preventing it's production. This is only treating the symptom, NOT the cause of acid reflux.
Acid in the stomach isn't the problem in GERD. Acid coming up into the esophagus because of a malfunction of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter valve (LES) is the problem. This valve is designed to close when your stomach is full to prevent food and acid from coming up into the esophagus. If the LES opens when the stomach is too full the partially digested food comes back up into the throat causing a burning sensation and damage to the lining.
Your stomach needs acid to digest
food. If your body cannot properly digest food, it also cannot absorb
the vitamins and minerals from the foods or break down the proteins into
amino acids to be used for healthy brain function. Those taking
prescription drugs for acid reflux disease are at risk for depression,
dementia, cardiovascular problems and osteoporosis among other things
from nutrition deficiencies.
is also important to help kill bad bacteria that gets into the
stomach.Too much bad bacteria in the digestive system often feeds on the
undigested carbohydrates, producing gas, which sometimes causes enough
pressure to make the LES valve open, releasing pressure and contents up
into the esophagus.
Studies also show PPI antacid drugs increase risk of infections, bone fractures and vitamin B12 deficiency
Eating right is one of the best natural remedies for acid reflux
What you eat and how you eat is the primary way to prevent any digestive problem from occurring, including Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Loose weight- Dr Jorge Rodriguez, a leader in natural remedies for acid reflux, has noticed most of his patients with the disorder are over weight. He emphasizes lowering body weight. Even if weight loss doesn't take away all symptoms of acid reflux, if you do lose 5-10% of your body weight, you should at least feel some improvement in symptoms since you don't have as much body mass to push stomach contents upward.
Eat smaller meals- Many nutrition experts, including Dr. Rodriguez say four to five smaller meals each day is better than three larger meals. The more you eat at one time, the more your stomach expands, causing the LES valve to open to release the pressure so your stomach doesn't explode. When this happens, the acidic contents of the stomach come back up into the esophagus where it wasn't meant to be.
Consume liquids before or after meals- Anything you drink will cause your stomach to expand, especially with food already in it, it may stretch 2-3 times it's size, Causing the LES valve to open more, releasing food and acid into the esophagus. Sodas are even worse since they trigger acid reflux and cause more bloating with the carbon dioxide. Drink your liquids at least 1/2 before or after a meal.
Eat slow and chew well-Eating slow not only gives your stomach time to digest food you have already eaten, but taking time to chew your food helps the digestion process begin, making it easier for the stomach acid to break down the food you eat.
Exercise after you eat- Taking a walk after eating will help move the food through your digestive system.
Eat plenty of fiber-Fiber will also help add bulk and push food through the intestines so it doesn't remain long in the stomach where it's more likely to cause gas and bloating.
Limit or eliminate wheat and dairy- Many people are intolerant to or are at least sensitive to either or both of these foods, causing reflux problems when they consume them. Also certain bacteria in the digestive tract feed on undigested carbohydrates, leading to gas produced in the stomach, which makes it expand, often sending partially digested contents back up into the esophagus.
Common trigger foods to limit or eliminate for acid reflux- fried foods, any processed foods, high fat foods, soda, alcohol
Foods that help natural remedies for acid reflux
Parsley- This herb has long been used as a digestive aid, as many natural-health doctors including Dr. Josh Axe and Joseph Mercola attest. It's high anti-oxidant content and vitamin content (C, A, K) and several B vitamins, as well as the oils it contains all help with reducing inflammation in the intestines, digesting fats and proteins, and allowing for smooth bowel movements, all which help eliminate acid reflux problems.
celery-The Phenolic acids and pectin-based polysaccharides are largely responsible for the anti-inflammatory and other health benefits to the digestive system in celery. Another added benefit is the crunchy texture of the plant causes a person to chew it a while before it's swallowed, producing saliva which also aids digestion to prevent acid reflux.
green leafy vegetables (raw)- Not only are leafy greens low fat and low carbohydrate, (avoid creamy dressing, stick with olive oil and vinegar) they have lots of nutrients and fiber to help push food through you digestive tract. These raw vegetables also have more enzymes available to help digest other food, like meat in your meal.
wild caught fish - Fish is an excellent source of protein normally well tolerated by those with acid reflux. For the healthiest and most nutrient dense fish, choose wild caught rather than farmed fish. Salmon, Sable, halibut, mackrel and trout are good choices that have a lot of omega3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation with acid reflux. Salmon is also high in astaxanthin, an antioxident shown to help the symptoms of acid reflux.
Chicken or turkey breast- Because the skinless breast of poultry is low in fat it is easier to digest than fattier cuts of beef and other red meat. People with acid reflux generally can tolerate poultry breast well. Greasier leg meat, not so much.
Fennel - These seed are rich with nutrients and antioxidants. The oils in fennel help with digestion. Add about a teaspoonful with your meal or after your meal to prevent and reduce gas from AR.
Bananas - Even though bananas are near a 5 on the PH scale, making them a little acidic they have a chemical, Leucocyanidi, that promotes mucous secretion in the stomach, protecting it from acidic contents. The high fiber and pectin content help move food through the bowels. Bananas also contain a good amount of potassium and magnesium that also aid in digestion.
Fish oil and acid reflux
Fish oil is one of the helpful natural remedies for acid reflux. With the large amount of omega-3s, it reduces inflammation in the digestive tract, and helps alleviate constipation, both of which make acid reflux symptoms worse. When choosing a brand of fish oil it's important to make sure it is fresh, has at least 200-300 mg of EPA and DHA, it should also be in a form that your body can easily digest and absorb.
Some people find that their fish oil supplements cause acid reflux or compound the problem of heartburn and indigestion. If this has happened to you with the brand of fish oil you use, it is likely that the supplements you took were not fresh and became rancid.
The molecular composition of fish oil makes it vulnerable to spoil easy. This is why it is important to know the supplier of your fish oil supplements processes it for high quality and freshness.
Rancid fish oil can actually cause the problems you are trying to fix by taking it. Spoiled fish oil will cause inflammation and can increase plaque build up in the arteries. Studies show rancid fish oil won't activate enzymes for digestion as fresh fish oil will, causing digestive problems.
A higher concentration of the Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA is important for several reasons. First, you need a high enough amount of the omega-3s for the desired health benefits, second, you will have to consume more fish oil pills if the level of EPA and DHA is too low. Third, the higher the concentration of fatty acids, the less room there is for impurities that often cause bloating and stomach upset.
The way the fish oil is processed greatly affects how much of the EPA/DHA is absorbed in your body. The less it is processed, the higher the percentage of fatty acids that will absorbed in the body, often 2-4 times more than highly processed brands. Lower temperatures used during the extraction process also preserves molecular integrity of omega-3s
Vital Choice Wild Seafood and Organics Has a reputation for some of the highest quality, fresh fish and fish oil supplements.Their wild Alaskan salmon is naturally low in pollutants as fish in the waters around Alaska have consistently tested far lower in PCBs and other contaminants than fish in other parts of the world.
Because of the high purity of their fish, they don't need to use high heat distilling as many other fish oil manufactures do, which destroys the fatty acid molecules.
The fact that they catch their own fish and process it right after it is caught, makes their supplements fresher than those fish oil suppliers who don't catch their own fish. Vital Choice products have a consistent five star rating by their customers who testify to the freshness and purity of their products.