Acidic Foods and Heartburn

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Acidic Foods and Heartburn

The connection between acidic foods and heartburn is well known to most of us. In this article, Dr. Bagnato explains the reasons why your acid reflux is made worse by some foods.

The acidity of a food is generally described using a scale called a pH level. Acidic foods are foods that have a pH level below the average 7.0. pH scales generally range from 0 to 14 with anything below 7 classified as acidic and anything above classified as either basic or alkaline. Over time and in excessive amounts, acidic foods can have damaging side effects on your body such as:

  • Causing your body to be more susceptible to bacteria and virus
  • Increase free radicals and cause damage to your cells
  • Deplete your calcium levels which can lead to bone damage
  • Headaches
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Poor digestion

If you struggle with heartburn and acid reflux there are certain foods you should try and avoid. Acidic foods are once such food type. They cause the levels of acids in your stomach to rise. For heartburn sufferers, this will irritate your esophagus and lead to the usual pain and discomfort of acid reflux.

Acidic Foods and Heartburn: The culprits

Here are some foods to avoid that are high in acidity and may agitate or initiate heartburn symptoms:

  • Citrusy foods such as oranges, lemons or grapefruits
  • Cranberries
  • Tomatoes and tomato juices
  • Blueberries
  • Processed grains like white bread or pasta
  • Yogurt
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Sodas
  • Coffee
  • Corn
  • Lentils

Not all of the above foods are guaranteed to cause heartburn or even irritate your acid reflux. However, limiting consumption of these foods could help if chronic acid reflux is a problem.
If you have acid reflux disease, you want to make sure that you are limiting these types of foods in your diet. The best approach to acidic foods is to ensure that you are maintaining a balanced diet filled with more alkaline foods than acidic ones.
Some Alkaline Foods that are also safe for those suffering from acid reflux are:

  • Ginger
  • Leafy greens
  • Bananas
  • Melon
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Parsley
  • Brown rice and couscous

To keep your acid reflux under control, it is a good idea to know which foods are your trigger foods and which you should avoid. Since acidic foods can often irritate heartburn try removing some of those from your diet. A well maintained diet and lifestyle can be a key treatment for heartburn and acid reflux.

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