Whether you’re at work, out on the town, or trying to settle into bed for the evening, nothing can ruin a perfectly good day like heartburn. Maybe you only experience acid reflux once in a while, or maybe you “feel the burn” several times a week—either way, it’s not at all pleasant. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent and treat heartburn, including eating and drinking the numerous foods and drinks that help neutralize stomach acid and ease all of your symptoms.
The foods and beverages you’ll learn about in this article tend to have properties that are naturally neutralizing and are highly recommended for those who experience acid reflux. If that’s you, make sure you have your grocery list and a pen handy.
But first, you’re probably wondering: Why do people experience acid reflux in the first place?
A number of things can cause acid reflux—a type of indigestion that occurs when acid travels from the stomach upward and inflames the esophagus—but more often than not, it occurs after you eat certain foods and beverages. For example, spicy foods like hot wings or jalapeños and alcoholic beverages can frequently lead to symptoms, especially when consumed in large amounts and/or on a regular basis.
Other foods and drinks that can lead to you not feeling so great include:
If these foods or beverages are part of your regular diet, start paying attention to which ones you’re eating or drinking before symptoms kick in—it’ll help you figure out exactly what’s causing your acid reflux.
While acid reflux can be caused by these beverages or foods, there are also plenty of drinks and foods that reduce your symptoms.
Heartburn, indigestion, burping and other acid reflux symptoms can be a real appetite-killer—and when you feel that sting in your chest it’s hard to imagine enjoying even your favorite foods. Still, there are a lot of types of foods that help prevent or treat acid reflux, including:
Read more about the best type of diet for acid reflux.
If you (understandably) find yourself unable, or just don’t want, to eat while experiencing acid reflux, here are some suggestions for what to drink for heartburn relief:
Each of these foods and drinks can help prevent or treat heartburn for different reasons. Overeating is a common cause of acid reflux, and foods such as oatmeal, brown rice, broccoli, and asparagus are all high in fiber, which make you feel full and less likely to eat too much. Making sure you’re getting enough fiber in your daily diet can be an easy way to fend off symptoms.
Bananas, melons, and ginger, meanwhile, all have a high pH, which can help neutralize the stomach acid that causes heartburn. Ginger is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Water is key for preventing and treating acid reflux because it helps dilute the amount of stomach acid. While it’s always crucial to make sure you’re drinking enough water, it’s particularly important for those who experience acid reflux because dehydration can lead to indigestion. You can increase your water intake with water-heavy foods, or just make sure you’re drinking enough water. If you want to add a little kick to your drinking water, throw a couple cucumber slices or blueberries into your glass.
As for non-fat milk, it can act as a buffer—albeit a temporary one—between the stomach lining and stomach acid. If you only have whole, 2% or 1% milk, you can still try it, but keep in mind that the fat can potentially make your acid reflux worse.
Keep in mind that everyone’s bodies are different. While two people might both experience acid reflux, they could need to take two entirely different paths to help relieve it. In some cases it could be as simple as cutting back on the amount of dairy you consume; in other cases you might need to adopt a new diet, such as a gluten-free diet or the Mediterranean diet, altogether. You might even need to do extensive trial-and-error to figure out the best course of action.
However you decide to go about treating your acid reflux, whether by cutting out foods and/or incorporating new ones, you need to pay close attention to how these decisions are impacting your health. Start a food diary so you can make note of what you’re eating and drinking and whether it helps prevent or improve your symptoms.
Evens also offers a variety of treatments for gastrointestinal issues—be sure to take the Evens quiz to find out if you should consider taking advantage of our prescription and over-the-counter medication, all-natural supplements, and clinical nutrition support.
The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
Photo by Matt Dune via Death to Stock