Relieve acid reflux with yogurt
12/23/2021 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Relieve acid reflux with yogurt

Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux, occurs when stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus, irritating its lining. This action causes a burning sensation or discomfort that may move from your stomach to your chest and even up to your throat. If this occurs often, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Acid reflux can occur if you eat a large meal or if you lie down right after eating a large meal. It can also occur if you snack close to bedtime or eat certain foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, spicy foods and coffee.

The uncomfortable symptoms of acid reflux can last for two hours or longer, depending on the cause. If you need relief fast, eat yogurt.

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Yogurt contains live microorganisms called probiotics, which help keep the digestive system healthy. These beneficial microbes help improve digestion and may even reduce stomach acid build-up.

Probiotics can also reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Additionally, the sphincter muscle, which helps prevent the regurgitation of stomach acid, benefits from the calcium in yogurt. This mineral supports the muscles within your digestive system, including the sphincter muscle, by regulating contractions.

When eaten in moderation, yogurt can relieve symptoms of acid reflux. However, bear in mind that yogurt may trigger or aggravate symptoms of acid reflux in some people if it’s high in fat, particularly saturated fat, which can worsen GERD. This type of yogurt, being slightly acidic, can also irritate the esophagus.

How to eat yogurt

Yogurts vary in their fat content, ingredients and acidity. As such, some types of yogurt are better for easing acid reflux symptoms than others. Similarly, some types of yogurt are more likely to trigger acid reflux than others. Generally, experts recommend low-fat or fat-free yogurts for relieving acid reflux symptoms.

Plain yogurt that’s free of added sugars, artificial sweeteners and other additives is also safe for acid reflux. Stay away from flavored yogurts as those may trigger or worsen acid reflux because they are high in sugars and additives.

Yogurt is an incredibly versatile ingredient, so there are many ways to eat it. Here are a few:

  • Use it as a dip – Dip fresh fruit slices or raw vegetable sticks in yogurt for a healthy and tasty snack.
  • Sweeten it – Stir in raw honey or cinnamon powder into your yogurt for added sweetness.
  • Top it with fruits – Top your yogurt with berries and nuts for a healthy and satisfying breakfast.
  • Blend it – Add yogurt to your favorite smoothie recipes to boost your intake of gut-friendly probiotics.
  • Add it to dressings – Make creamy yogurt salad dressings or sauces.

How to manage acid reflux

Here are some of the ways you can prevent acid reflux from occurring in the first place:

  • Avoid foods that trigger acid reflux – In the absence of an underlying health problem, acid reflux usually occurs when you eat “trigger foods.” These foods differ from person to person, but the most common trigger foods include chocolate, coffee, fried foods, peppermint, spicy foods and soda.
  • Don’t lie down after a meal – Don’t lie down for at least two hours after a meal or after drinking soda. This helps prevent stomach contents from flowing back up into the esophagus.
  • Keep your head elevated while you sleep – Use an extra pillow to keep your head and neck elevated while you sleep to prevent acid reflux.
  • Eat small meals instead of large ones – Opt for small, more frequent meals instead of a few large ones. Eating like this promotes good digestion and can help prevent acid reflux.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes – Tight-fitting clothes can put pressure on the stomach, which can only worsen acid reflux.
  • Quit smoking – Smoking can increase the production of stomach acid. It can also weaken the sphincter muscle and decrease the amount of saliva, which neutralizes acid produced by the body.
  • Lose weight – Excess weight around the midsection can put pressure on your stomach as well. That pressure can force stomach contents to flow back up into the esophagus, so try to lose excess weight.

Acid reflux can cause uncomfortable symptoms, which can be easily managed by eating yogurt. To prevent acid reflux from occurring in the first place, avoid trigger foods, eat smaller meals and maintain a healthy weight.

Sources:

MayoClinic.org

FoodsForBetterHealth.com

EatRight.org

NYULangone.org

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