Feeling Fruity? Low Acid Fruits for Your Heartburn Diet
Summer is a time filled with sweet treats in the form of favorite seasonal fruits, but if you are coping with chronic heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) then you might not be enjoying these summer fruits as much as everyone else.
After undergoing minimally or non-invasive GERD surgery like fundoplication with Dr. John Bagnato you will get to enjoy a lot of your favorite foods again without experiencing so much pain as a result. In the meantime, you can enjoy your summer by indulging in healthy summer fruits and veggies that are low in acid content and won’t leave you under the weather for hours on end.
Fruit and Heartburn
It’s hard for a lot of GERD patients to wrap their heads around the idea that eating healthy foods can be bad for them. While having tomato on your sandwich might not add to your waist line, it sure can add to your acid reflux.
The stomach is naturally acidic. Our bodies produce stomach acid to aid in digestion, and these digestive juices are natural and serve a purpose. However, when the lower esophageal sphincter or LES becomes damaged these digestive juices can work their way up and out of the stomach, causing a lot of irritation and potential damage to the esophageal lining, which isn’t equipped for such harsh contact.
Acidity is measured with a pH scale. The lower an item is on the pH scale, the more acid it contains. Our stomachs are naturally between a one and four on the pH scale, which means that there is already a lot of acid there without any additional help. When you eat foods that are low on the pH scale, this acid level increases. While fruits are filled with nutrients and are generally regarded a low-calorie healthy snack, a lot of favorite fruits are low on the pH scale, meaning they can wreak havoc on your heartburn.
Fruits to avoid with acid reflux include:
- Lemons and Limes
- Plums and Prunes
While many apples and grapes are regarded as OK for someone with acid reflux to eat, it is wise to avoid particularly sour varieties of these fruits as well.
Low Acid Fruits
Don’t worry: you don’t need to avoid all of your favorite fruits to find relief from your heartburn. There are plenty of non-acidic and low-acid fruits out there that can make for a healthy snack.
Fruits that are generally OK to eat include:
Of course, nothing with diet or heartburn is black and white. There are plenty of fruits that will aggravate some heartburn sufferers while barely bothering others. In addition, a lot of fruits have different acid content depending on where and how they are grown. For example, plums and berries are often regarded as highly acidic fruits that should be avoided entirely, but sometimes they are also considered low-acid fruits that are actually beneficial for digestive health.
When it comes to eating a healthy diet, it is best to learn what aggravates you and what doesn’t. Use these guidelines as a starting ground and be wary when indulging in any fruit that you are not sure of. Pay close attention to your heartburn and keep a food journal so you can refer back and determine what fruits prompt your reflux symptoms and which ones don’t.