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Avoid These Foods This Summer To Keep Acid Reflux At Bay

Heartburn is a common symptom of acid reflux. Other symptoms include bloating, upper chest pain, difficulty swallowing and more.

Avoid These Foods This Summer To Keep Acid Reflux At Bay

Several foods can trigger acid reflux

As the summer season approaches, many Indians will relish in seasonal fruits such as mangoes, watermelon, oranges, grapes, etc. During this season, our body loses lot of water and essential electrolytes through perspiration. Thus, hydration is one of the most important health factors to avoid conditions such as heat stroke, dehydration and overheating of the body. But summer season also witnesses a rise in acid reflux cases among Indians. As per a survey, the prevalence of acid reflux crisis ranges between 7-30% in India. One of the major triggers for such cases is in the food we eat.

What is acid reflux?

An acid reflux occurs when the lower end of the esophagus relaxes at the wrong time, allowing stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. This can lead to serious issues such as heartburn, regurgitation or a feeling of food stuck in your throat. Some other symptoms include bloating, upper chest pain, difficulty swallowing, ongoing cough and inflammation of vocal cords.

Food that triggers acid reflux

The following food should be avoided if anyone is experiencing an acid reflux or frequently experiences its symptoms:

  • Processed foods such as maida, bread, noodles, pasta, burger, and sandwich should be avoided during the summer season.
  • Sugar is one of the biggest culprits of acidity as it causes and aggravates it. Thus, Indian sweets such as gulab jamun, rasgulla, sheera, halwa, etc. should be avoided.
  • Spicy food leads to irritation in the lining of the digestive tract. This in turn leads to more acid reflux and thus should be avoided.
  • Drinks such as coffee, tea, alcohol, readymade juices and aerated drinks should be avoided during summers as they increase gastroesophageal reflux.
  • Toor dal is known to be very high to digest and it causes acidity as well as bloating. It should be avoided during dinner.
  • High fat foods or fried foods such as French fries, beef, bacon, whole milk, cheese, etc. should be avoided as they put one at a greater risk for reflux symptoms.
  • High acid foods such as oranges, grapes, lemons and pineapple should be avoided as they aggravate acidity and reflux symptoms.

Food to beat acid reflux

There are several medicines that can be recommended by a doctor for acid reflux. But the best way to avoid it is by having a healthy diet as well. Some of the food that can be eaten if one experiences frequent acid reflux include the following:

  • Brown rice that is cooked helps with acid reflux as it is a complex carbohydrate that is mild and filling. Only caution that needs to be kept in mind is that it shouldn't be served fried.
  • Green veggies such as lettuce, celery and sweet peppers are easy on the stomach and reduce bloating.
  • Melons such as watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew are low-acid fruits. You must add these to your summer diet.
  • Oatmeal is a filling, hearty and healthy breakfast food that can also be eaten for lunch.
  • Ginger added in caffeine-free tea or chewing on low-sugar dried ginger is a natural tummy tamer.
  • Fruits such as bananas are easy to digest and high on fiber. It is also one of the best food items for reflux prevention.
  • Cucumber is a hydrating vegetable that can dilute concentrated stomach acids. This prevents acid reflux and it is also a healthy snack item.

(Dr. Roopa Bhushan, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Apollo Clinics, JP Nagar, Bengaluru)

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