Foods for Acid Reflux
Apple Cider Vinegar
Vitamin U regulates acid and digestive enzyme production in the stomach.
Another property of vitamin U makes it an important aid for people afflicted with acid reflux – it can help regenerate mucous membrane such as the lining of the esophagus, which can be damaged by acid reflux.
This is certainly not usually considered one of the foods for acid reflux. Peppers are more often on the list of foods to avoid, so it may be surprising to see it here.
However, there is evidence, both anecdotal and formal which suggests for some people hot peppers actually alleviate heartburn and acid reflux.
The reason for this lies in the capsaicin (the hot stuff in jalapeno peppers) which may protect the stomach lining (Journal of Physiology, Paris, Jan-Dec, 2001).
Also, regular use appears to decrease reflux symptoms (Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, April, 2010), possibly because regular use of capsaicin can reduce pain, by depleting the chemical that transmits pain.
A small randomised study published in 2010 found that long term consumption of chili improved functional dyspepsia and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) symptoms, ref 2 below.
Here’s one supporter of the use of peppers to alleviate the discomfort of acid reflux from http://www.peoplespharmacy.com :
“I was on reflux drugs like omeprazole (PPIs) for over ten years and even had surgery for severe reflux. ..
Feeling discouraged, I ate some jalapeno-topped snacks even though my doctor had warned me to avoid anything hot. My reflux is now kept in check by jalapenos every few days without needing anything else! The reflux pain only returns if I go a week without eating any jalapenos.
I have been PPI-free for over 18 months now and feel so much better. Why would jalapenos make such a difference so quickly? The pain eases within an hour of eating them and lasts for several days.”
Papaya has been used for a very long time for a wide variety of conditions, including intestinal issues, stomach problems and heartburn, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
One of the key ingredients is papain, a digestive enzyme which breaks down hard to digest protein, as well as carbohydrates and wheat gluton.
There is some anecdotal evidence that papaya is effective against acid reflux in some people:
“I’ve had the worst heartburn for months now, like the kind that keeps you up all night till you drag yourself to sleep in the recliner. Anyway a friend recently told me about papaya and it’s been working! I’ve just been snacking on dried papya several times a day (along with not drinking water close to bed time) and I’ve been doing great. So just wanted to share in case anyone else was having that kind that there’s not enough tums in the world for. http://forums.thebump.com/discussion/12621440/heartburn-relief
Take fresh papaya with or after meals. It’s also available in tablet form, here.
Whilst papaya is widely taken in all its forms and considered very safe, you would be advised to check with your health professional before taking papaya if you are pregnant, or have a pre-existing ulcer.
Fennel seed has been revered for centuries in folk medicine for its ability to calm the digestive system. Its active ingredient, anethole, has antimicrobial properties that can impede or even kill harmful bacteria, yeast and fungi, as well as slow the growth of cancer tumors in small trials.
Anecdotally, fennel could be regarded as one of the foods for acid reflux.
“Several years ago, a reader wrote about her success getting off the medicine by taking fennel seeds. I had the same problem and tried the fennel seeds.
I also was able to come off PPIs. For the past three years, I’ve been drug-free, with only occasional mild heartburn symptoms. I hope you will continue to recommend this to readers who don’t know how to stop esomeprazole and similar medicines.”
Fennel seed, like cinnamon, has a naturally sweet flavour that works well in a wide variety of uses as a topping for roast chicken or pork, added to cooked vegetables or tossed into olive oil-based dressings in place of vinegar or citrus. Or try fennel tea, here.
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