What to eat with acid reflux and 6 delicious acid reflux friendly recipes
There must be confusion about a GERD-friendly diet since we regularly get questions about what to eat with acid reflux. Each month, 1 in 3 Americans suffer from acid reflux symptoms and 1 in 5 experience daily symptoms.
That’s 60 million adults who periodically experience stomach acid burning their oesophagus, and they should be monitoring what they eat. For the most part, this means avoiding high-fat foods, spicy foods, caffeine, and specific acid reflux trigger foods.
Most of us look forward to our favourite lunch or dinner. Unfortunately, too many people find that recipes that are acid reflux friendly are bland and offer little dining enjoyment.
We’re here to tell you that doesn’t have to be the case! You can still enjoy delicious and healthy meals that won’t result in acid reflux symptoms. What to eat with acid reflux shouldn’t be a mystery.
Find out what triggers your acid reflux
As with any medical condition, each person has different responses to different stimuli. Since we are all different, one food might trigger symptoms in one person but not in another.
Heartburn, the burning sensation in your chest or oesophagus, is the most common symptom of acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux after eating certain foods. You might also experience vomiting or regurgitation from your trigger foods.
Some people don’t experience such extreme symptoms. Other symptoms can include:
- coughing or dry throat
- hiccupping or burping
- difficulty swallowing
- a sore throat
Because each person experiences different symptoms from different diets, there is no one size fits all diet solution for those with acid reflux.
To create a diet and backlog of recipes for acid reflux, you must determine exactly which foods trigger your acid reflux. Keeping a food diary is one of the easiest ways to figure out which foods are good and bad for your stomach.
Your food diary doesn’t need to be complicated; keep track of what you ate, when you ate it, and what symptoms you experienced, if any. From this, you’ll quickly see which foods to avoid. You can also ask your doctor for further recommendations from your food diary.
What to eat with acid reflux? Start by avoiding known acid reflux triggers
There are general food groups doctors recommend you avoid when you know you have acid reflux. Again, you may not react to each of these foods, but it is an excellent list to start with as you plan your meals.
Fatty foods can cause the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) to relax, causing acid to flow back into the oesophagus and cause heartburn. They can also slow down the emptying of the stomach, trapping those harmful foods for longer.
Fried foods are easy to identify, and you should avoid them or eat them sparingly. Also, avoid these high-fat foods:
- full-fat dairy products like whole milk, full-fat sour cream, butter, and ice cream
- meats with high-fat content like bacon and specific cuts of pork and beef
- bacon fat and lard
- creamy gravies, sauces, and salad dressings
Tomatoes and citrus fruits
Fruits have high levels of vitamins, and they are often recommended for a balanced diet by doctors. However, keep in mind certain fruits can trigger your acid reflux, so you should generally avoid specific fruits like tomatoes (highly acidic) and all types of citrus fruits, including their juices.
Caffeine, and mainly that found in coffee should be avoided to reduce acid reflux. Caffeine is a known acid reflux trigger.
Chocolate contains a compound called methylxanthine which acts similarly to caffeine in triggering acid reflux.
Garlic, onions, and spicy foods
Garlic and onions also cause the LES to relax, increasing the likelihood that acid will flow into the oesophagus. Although most adults find the fresh forms of garlic and onion to trigger GERD symptom, most adults can tolerate the dried version, in moderation, as a spice when cooking. However, if you are in the minority of adults that are sensitive to the dried version, please avoid that form as well.
Recipes for acid reflux
Perhaps you’re thinking, “but I love all those foods! How will I make something delicious when I’m so limited?”
If you are asking what to eat with acid reflux, look no further! There are still tons of tasty foods out there that won’t trigger and can even help with your acid reflux.
Here are six of our favourite recipes to get you started.
Icy Mango Smoothie
We love smoothies at RefluxMD. Our motto is “buy a smoothie maker and use it every day. Anything with mangos is going to taste delicious, and since they are high in fiber, antioxidants, and iron, it’s very healthy too!
- 2 cups 1% milk
- 4 TBSP frozen mango juice or 1 fresh-pitted mango
- 1 small banana
- 1/4 Tsp. ginger
- 2 ice cubes
- Put all ingredients into a blender.
- Blend until foamy. Serve immediately.
Split Pea Soup
Soups can make the best lunches or dinners, and Split pea soup is one of our “go to” meals. We highly recommend peas since they are packed with nutrients and vitamins.
- 1 ham bone
- 1-pound split peas
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 to 3 diced carrots
- 1 TBSP dried chopped onion*
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 Tsp. thyme
- 1/2 Tsp. ginger
- 1/2 Tsp. pepper
- 1/2 Tsp. marjoram
- 1/4 Tsp. dried mustard
- Rinse peas thoroughly and inspect and pick off all debris.
- In a large stockpot, bring chicken broth to a boil.
- Add ham bone and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Remove ham bone and allow to cool.
- Add cleaned peas, all seasonings, and remaining ingredients to the pan, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover the pan. Simmer on low for at least one hour or until the peas almost disintegrate.
- Stir often to avoid burning, and if the soup gets too thick, add more broth.
- When ready to serve, pick the meat off the ham bone and return to the pot, stir well, and ladle into soup bowls.
Sometimes it’s best to have a recipe that is easy to prepare and can be done in a hurry. This recipe is also a great meal to make in advance.
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 cup of water
- 1/2 cup sugar (or adjusted amount of sugar substitute)
- 1 Tsp. Kosher Salt
- 1/4 cup fresh or dried dill weed
- 4 large firm cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, scraped and thinly sliced
- The day before serving, bring vinegar, water, sugar, and dill to a boil.
- Meanwhile, layer the vegetables in a medium-sized bowl.
- Pour the boiling vinegar mixture over the vegetables.
- Cover, cool, and then refrigerate overnight.
- Serve cold in small fruit dishes.
Ahi Sandwich with pineapple mustard
This is a delicious GERD friendly sandwich that fish lovers will truly enjoy. Tuna is loaded with protein and vitamins, with a low-fat content. We suggest a whole wheat hamburger bun and be sure to use plenty of the pineapple mustard.
- Two 3 to 4 oz* portions ahi tuna steaks (washed and dried)
- 1/2 Tsp. dried thyme mixed with 1/2 tsp olive oil
- Two large romaine lettuce leaves
- Two whole wheat hamburger style buns
- 1 TBSP canned crushed pineapple (well drained)
- 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
- 1 Tsp. honey
- 1/8 Tsp. white pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare the “tropical” mustard by combining the pineapple, dijon mustard, honey, and white pepper. Mix well and set aside.
- Rub the tuna with the oil and thyme mixture.
- Place tuna in the oven (preferably on a glass dish) and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Check for desired (rare to medium) doneness.
- Spread on each bun the tropical mustard.
- Place the fish and lettuce on the prepared buns and serve immediately.
Chicken and Mushroom Cheese Bake
With low-fat ingredients, this is genuinely an acid reflux friendly recipe. With the taste of chicken, mushrooms, and low-fat cheddar cheese, your family will ask for seconds, and even thirds.
Serves 4 to 6
- 5 slices whole wheat bread
- 5 Tsp. low-fat margarine
- 4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts
- 1 4-ounce can of mushrooms, well drained
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups of reduced fat cheddar
- 1 1/2 cups skim milk
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook chicken and cut into small cubes.
- Cut crusts off bread and cube them.
- Lightly spread margarine on both sides of the bread.
- Cut each slice of bread diagonally into triangles and stand them around the edges of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
- Spread the cubed pieces of the crust around the bottom of the dish.
- Spread the cubed chicken and cheese over the bread cubes.
- Combine the milk, eggs, and salt in a small bowl and whisk. Pour the mixture over the chicken and place the mushrooms on top.
- Bake uncovered for 40 to 50 minutes until eggs look set and the top is golden and puffy.
We have found that all fish steamed in parchment paper is terrific, but this dish with ginger added is on the top of our list. We recommend any Asian vegetables on the side to create a well-balanced plate.
- 4 four-ounce tilapia filets
- 1 Tsp. olive oil or canola oil
- 1-inch slices of fresh ginger to cover the fish
- 1 Tsp. low sodium soy sauce
- 1 dash paprika
- 1 dash garlic powder*
- 1 sheet of parchment paper large enough to wrap the fish
- Place fish in the center of the parchment paper.
- Sprinkle the fish with paprika and garlic powder.
- Pour olive oil and soy sauce on top.
- Place thinly sliced ginger on top of fish covering most of the fish.
- Fold parchment paper by pulling each of the four corners into the center and folding edges carefully to seal. Place packets on a baking sheet.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook 15-20 minutes. The fish is done when it is white (not opaque or pink) and flakes easily with a fork.
*Dried garlic powder does not trigger GERD symptoms in most adults, especially with these portions. However, if you are sensitive to dried garlic powder, please leave it out of the recipe.
Are you still asking; What to eat with acid reflux?
I hope these recipes have proven to you that acid reflux friendly meals don’t need to be boring. Living with acid reflux doesn’t mean you eat only bland and tasteless foods. You just need to be careful. There are so many healthy and delicious foods that will not trigger your acid reflux symptoms and that you will enjoy.
For more recipes for acid reflux and more information about GERD, be sure you check out Recipe for Relief; A GERD friendly diet and meal plan.
This article is from RefluxMD – What to eat with acid reflux and 6 delicious acid reflux friendly recipes – RefluxMD