- Diet & Weight Loss
The Best Acid Reflux Foods
The Top Foods for Balancing pH
If you've read my previous article The Acid Reflux Disease Diet, then you already know that an essential tool in overcoming acid reflux disease is a pH-balancing diet. I highlighted a few of the best pH-balancing foods in that article, but now I'm going to go more in-depth.
As always, I strongly urge you to go pick up your own copy of The Acid-Alkaline Food Guide for a very complete list as well as a wealth of information on this subject, but while you wait for your book to arrive in the mail (or if you decide to skip the book), here are some foods you can add into your diet to help overcome the heartburn from hell.
Keep in mind that there is a distinction to be made when choosing foods for an acid reflux disease diet--many foods that are acidic have an alkaline-inducing effect on your body. The thing that counts when balancing diet through pH is not how acidic or alkaline a food is to begin with, but the pH effect it actually has on your body.
In case the photo up top didn't give a strong enough hint, allow me to inform you that lemons are the most perfect pH-balancing food in existence. If you have acid reflux disease or even just frequent heartburn--add lemons to your diet--you won't regret it.
When I first picked up my copy of the Acid-Alkaline Food Guide (AKA the book that 'saved my life'), I was astounded at the power lemons have to help overcome imbalanced pH in our bodies. But when I tried to include them in my diet, I discovered that they weren't something I really wanted to eat.
Luckily the book had an answer for that--to squeeze fresh lemon juice into some mineral water and just drink it. It's delicious and healthy--not to mention pH-balancing--but keep in mind that the acid from citrus fruits can damage your teeth if consumed regularly, so make sure to rinse your mouth out with a bit of water when you're done to keep your teeth healthy.
Melons for Me, Melons for You
Watermelons are second only to lemons in their pH-balancing power. The great news about that fact is that pretty much everyone likes watermelons, so adding a slice here and there throughout your day is a snap. It doesn't matter whether you get them with seeds or without--just make sure you eat them.
Although most fruits are good for a pH-balancing diet, you should take special efforts to include lemons and watermelons into your daily routine since they have the most pH-balancing power.
TIP: when you buy a watermelon--have a plan for how you're going to 'trick' everyone you know into helping you finish it before it goes bad. It's pretty difficult to eat a large melon like this by yourself.
The pH workhorse
Sweet Potatoes boost pH Quickly
All root vegetables are good for pH, but the top of the taters is definitely sweet potatoes. Before I went on my pH diet years ago, I'd never really cared much about sweet potatoes, but now they're something I eat on a weekly basis. You can cook them any way you can cook a potato, and I've discovered that I actually prefer a 50/50 blend of mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes than either one alone.
One of my favorite food discoveries in life I owe to my pH diet--sweet potato fries. I had no idea that french fries could be so fantastic until I tried them myself. The fun of sweet potato fries is that you can pretend you're being 'healthy' while eating them because of their pH-balancing benefits. No more fry guilt! (NOTE: If you don't like to make your own fries, be aware that frozen sweet potato fries at the grocery store vary considerably in quality. I've had some fantastic frozen sweet potato fries before, and some disgusting ones. I recommend Alexia brand or any quality organic brand)
Two not-so-sweet things about sweet potatoes:
1) If you are diabetic, you should strongly limit or even avoid your intake of sweet potatoes and discuss diet changes with your doctor before implementing them.
2) Since sweet potatoes are so full of natural sugar, it's not a good idea to eat them more than once or twice a week.
Other than that, you're good to go. Sweet potato fries to the rescue!
Yeah, those things we all try to avoid as much as possible are a vital part of any pH-balancing diet: leafy green vegetables. We're not talking iceburg lettuce here (absolutely worthless both nutritionally and taste-wise), but the REAL leafy green vegetables like:
- Romaine Lettuce
- Swiss Chard
- Collard Greens
If you're like me, you can only eat about one salad a day before you get sick of the idea. The thing is, on a pH-balancing diet--you literally cannot over-do the leafy green vegetables. I've found that a great way to add massive amounts of leafy greens to my diet is to juice them with an apple or carrot.
If that idea doesn't appeal to you, then another quick way to add them into your diet is to simply crunch on a few leaves while you're making a meal, or make a small side-salad two or three times a day instead of having a large salad for a meal once a day.
Grain-ger Will Robinson, grain-ger!
As far as grains are concerned--the first thing is to avoid processed white flour as much as you can. Pizza, bagels, bread, and (most) noodles should be limited or removed completely from your diet until you have your acid reflux under control.
As for the grains you should include in your diet to help balance your pH, here are the top few:
- Wild Rice
I happen to love starting the day with a bowl of oatmeal, but unfortunately I have a mild allergy to oats. The good news for me was that I discovered a new love for wild rice when I was first trying my pH diet--and I still eat it often. The one thing I learned about preparing wild rice is that most commercial rice mixes like Uncle Ben's call for cooking times too short to fully cook the wild rice. The cooking times are based on the white rice portion of the mix, but wild rice takes longer to cook if you don't want it to be too tough or crunchy (ugh!)
Quinoa is also a great grain that is used for all sorts of things these days. One great tip for a pH diet is to look for organic quinoa noodles so you can have your carbs and eat them too!
One Final Note
In all cases, organic fruits and vegetables have more powerful pH-balancing properties than their chemically grown and processed counterparts--not to mention better flavor and no chemical cocktail of carcinogens.
PLEASE support organic farming practices when selecting produce because it's best for your health as well as the health of the planet.
Good luck on your pH-balancing journey!