Alkaline Foods for Acid Reflux: Do They Work?

Updated on January 10th, 2020
Acid Reflux

3Got a sour taste in your mouth or chest pain after a heavy meal? Do you feel heartburn and an uncomfortable sensation in your chest? Then it’s high time you tried alkaline foods for acid reflux.

GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is known by many names such as acid reflux, heartburn, and acid indigestion. People experience nausea, coughing, acid regurgitation, and dyspepsia.

Silent GERD is another common manifestation of this disorder more common among women, especially the elderly and pregnant. So, if you seek quick but lasting relief, alkaline water for acid reflux is the cure you need.

These types of alkaline foods and beverages are ideal for balancing the excess acidity in your body and warding off heartburn. Delving deeper into this will show you exactly why it is so. Read on to know more about alkaline waters, acid reflux and how acidity-lowering alkaline foods can be the solution for your problem.

[Also Read: Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux]

Benefits of Alkaline Foods for Acid Reflux

1. Lowers Acidity

The highest acidity in the human body is found in the stomach at values as large as pH 1.35 to 3.5. The reason for this is that the acidity aids in digestion and neutralizes microbial organisms. But when in excess, acidity triggers GERD symptoms such as heartburn, and this is why alkaline(1) foods are excellent for staving off acidity. Warding off acid reflux is especially crucial because the throat tissues are not geared to tolerate acid and pepsin regurgitating from the esophageal tube. Alkalizing foods reduce the amount of acid in the body and fend off heartburn resulting from this.

2. Balances pH Levels

Besides lowering excessive acidity, alkaline foods for acid reflux also balance pH levels and ensure the acidity to alkalinity ratio in the body is not skewed in favor of GERD. A pH(2) level of 0 is entirely acidic, while a pH level of 14 is alkaline. A balance results with pH levels at 7, counted as neutral. While the blood is acidic at pH levels between 7.35 and 7.45, the stomach is even more acidic. When calorie-rich foods are consumed, or a person suffers from conditions such as diabetes or obesity, blood glucose levels fluctuate, and there’s an imbalance of pH levels in the body. Alkaline foods are plant-based, so they neutralize the acidity and balance pH levels.

Similarly, pH8.8 alkaline waters are excellent for reducing the action of pepsin and hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

3. Prevents the Activation of Pepsin

At the cellular level, pepsin is tissue-bound, and standards of this chemical are related to reflux disease. Damage to the throat due to acid reflux is due to pepsin, which requires acid for activation. Human pepsin essentially remains stable at pH 7.4 levels and is reactivated by hydrogen ions from a source.  Water at pH levels of 6.7 to 7.4 does not impact pepsin stability. On the other hand, one study based on alkaline waters, acid reflux, and symptoms of GERD saw that ph 8.8 level alkalizing waters denature or inactivate human pepsin and establish acid buffering capacities.

Alkaline Foods & Alkaline Water Acid Reflux Cures

Alkaline Foods
Image:ShutterStock

Countering acid reflux using alkaline foods is exceptionally useful. A study compared alkaline waters and acidity-lowering plant-based alkaline diets to proton pump inhibitors commonly used to treat acid reflux. Researchers found plant-based alkaline diets and alkaline waters(3) for acid reflux were as useful as PPI treatments. Here’s why it works. Pepsin is active and reactivated up to pH levels of 8.

It damages the cellular structure of the tissue due to acid reflux in the throat. Exposure of pepsin to alkaline water with a pH greater than 8 has proven helpful in treating patients with acid reflux. Low acid diets serve to deactivate pepsin secreted from the stomach cells. Pepsinogen secretion depends on the amino acid concentration in the stomach. Foods high in animal protein increase the acidity of the body. On the other hand, a plant-based diet low in animal protein reduces the gastric load of amino acid proteins, decreasing pepsin activity.

How Can an Alkaline Diet Cure Your Acid Reflux?

Eating an alkaline diet is excellent for warding off acid reflux. Some of the alkaline foods you should try are listed below.

1. Bananas

Bananas are alkaline. They are also potassium-rich. Potassium is excellent for overall health. Bananas also contain vitamin B6 and are enriched with plenty of fiber, which makes the stomach expel toxins and avoid the buildup of slow-digesting food associated with acid reflux.

2.  Apples

Another acidity-lowering fruit that is also alkaline, apple is also fiber-rich, which induces satiety and prevents overeating-induced GERD symptoms. Fiber also lowers cholesterol and prevents blood-glucose spikes associated with acid reflux.

See Also
Avocado

3. Oatmeal

Another great alkaline food, oatmeal can be taken with milk or boiled on its own. Oatmeal stabilizes blood sugar levels and boosts the fiber constituent of your diet. As such, oatmeal is excellent for warding off blood-sugar spikes and diabetes or binge-eating induced acid reflux.

4. Almonds

Almonds
Image: Shutterstock

[Also Read: Home Remedies For Heart Burn]

Another alkaline food, these nuts are tremendous powerhouses containing rich nutrients like Omega 3 and monounsaturated fatty acids. Almonds also contain potassium, manganese and vitamin E, a natural antioxidant. It is beneficial for warding off acid reflux and revitalizing the body.

Alkaline foods for acid reflux are a fantastic option. Instead of medicating yourself with PPI treatments that don’t work sometimes, try alkaline waters and foods for acid reflux.  The first line of defense for protecting yourself from GERD is to resort to an alkaline diet and win the war on acid reflux. Combat heartburn by eating fiber-rich plant-based alkaline foods known for countering acid reflux through multiple mechanisms.

 


FAQ

1. When Coping With Acidity, Alkaline Foods Help In Which Ways?

Acidity happens due to a host of factors, prime among which is the secretion of acidity inducing chemicals like pepsin and the laxity of the LES/lower esophageal sphincter caused by rich, fatty foods. Alkaline foods are good at mitigating the effect of high calorie, fatty foods, and liquids-rich in calories.  Plant-based alkaline water and foods counter acidity by neutralizing the pH levels, combating acidosis and deactivating pepsin.

2. Which Alkaline Foods For Acid Reflux Should be Taken?

Some of the most alkaline foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes that are rich in fiber and induce satiety. By doing so, they lessen chances of acid reflux caused by calorie-dense, oily, or processed foods taken in excessive amounts. These alkaline foods are excellent for rejuvenating the body and inducing lower levels of acidity in the stomach, by deactivating chemicals like pepsin and buffering acidity.

3. Why Do Alkaline Water, Acid Reflux- Lowering Foods/Plant-Based Diets Help

Alkaline water or a Mediterranean diet rich in plant-based foods helps in 3 ways: 1). It counters acidity. 2). It induces satiety and prevents you from gorging on fatty foods that trigger acid reflux, and 3). It keeps the body pH levels balanced by countering pepsin and other acidity-inducing chemicals.

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