Alkaline Foods List For Acid Reflux

Alkaline Foods List For Acid Reflux

Alkaline Foods List For Acid Reflux: Your Guide to Soothing Relief

If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from acid reflux, you know how uncomfortable and disruptive it can be. That burning sensation in your chest, the sour taste in your mouth, the bloating and belching – it’s no fun! But what if I told you that making some simple changes to your diet could help ease your reflux symptoms and get you feeling better? In this comprehensive guide to the alkaline foods list for acid reflux, we’ll dive deep into the science behind why alkaline eating can be so beneficial for managing acid reflux, and give you plenty of practical tips and tasty recipe ideas to help you start incorporating more alkaline foods into your daily routine.

Takeaways: What You’ll Learn in This Guide

  • The basics of acid reflux and how it can impact your quality of life
  • The science behind why alkaline foods may help reduce reflux symptoms
  • A comprehensive list of the best alkaline foods to incorporate into your diet
  • Acidic foods and other triggers to limit or avoid
  • Practical tips and lifestyle changes for managing acid reflux alongside dietary changes
  • Answers to common questions about the alkaline diet for acid reflux
  • Tasty recipe ideas and resources to help you stay inspired on your alkaline journey

So if you’re ready to take control of your acid reflux and start feeling your best, grab a glass of alkaline water (just kidding – regular water is fine!) and let’s dive in.

What is Acid Reflux, Anyway?

First, let’s do a quick recap on what acid reflux actually is. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux happens when the acidic contents of your stomach flow back up into your esophagus, causing that infamous burning sensation.

This backflow can happen for a few reasons:

  • Your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) – the valve between your stomach and esophagus – is weak or relaxed
  • Your stomach produces too much acid
  • You have a hiatal hernia, which can cause your LES to function improperly

Certain lifestyle factors can also contribute to acid reflux, like being overweight, smoking, eating large meals, lying down after eating, and consuming trigger foods (more on those later).

Symptoms of Acid Reflux

So how do you know if you have acid reflux? Some common symptoms include:

  • A burning sensation in your chest (heartburn) – this is the most classic symptom of acid reflux and can range from mild to severe
  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquid – this happens when stomach acid flows all the way back up into your mouth, leaving a sour or bitter taste
  • Difficulty swallowing – you may feel like food is getting stuck in your throat or chest, or you may experience pain or discomfort when swallowing
  • Chest pain – this can sometimes be mistaken for a heart attack, but is often described as a burning, pressure, or tightness in the chest
  • The feeling of a lump in your throat – this is known as globus sensation and can make it feel like you constantly need to clear your throat
  • Chronic cough or wheezing – acid reflux can sometimes trigger respiratory symptoms, especially if stomach acid is flowing all the way up into your throat or airways

If you experience these symptoms more than twice a week, you may have GERD. But even occasional acid reflux can be a real pain (pun intended) and can significantly impact your quality of life.

How Can Alkaline Foods Help with Acid Reflux?

Okay, so where do alkaline foods come into play? The idea behind eating alkaline for acid reflux is that these foods can help neutralize stomach acid and reduce the likelihood of it flowing back up into your esophagus.

See, the foods we eat can either be acid-forming or alkaline-forming in the body. Acid-forming foods – like meat, dairy, processed foods, snacks, and alcohol – can cause your body to produce more acid, which can aggravate reflux symptoms.

On the flip side, alkaline foods – mostly fruits, veggies, nuts, and legumes – are thought to have a neutralizing effect on stomach acid. By filling your plate with more alkaline foods and limiting acidic ones, the theory is that you can find relief from acid reflux and get back to feeling your best.

Now, it’s important to note that the science on this is still a bit mixed. While some studies have found that an alkaline diet may help reduce reflux symptoms, more research is needed to say for sure. However, there’s no denying that loading up on nutrient-dense, alkaline foods is a smart move for your overall health – reflux or not!

The pH Scale and Acid Reflux

To understand how alkaline foods can help with acid reflux, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of the pH scale. pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is, on a scale from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, while anything below 7 is acidic and anything above 7 is alkaline (or basic).

Your stomach is naturally very acidic, with a pH between 1.5 and 3.5. This acidity is important for breaking down food and killing harmful bacteria. However, problems can arise when this acidic environment extends beyond the stomach lining and into the esophagus, which is much more sensitive to acid.

By eating more alkaline foods, the idea is that you can help neutralize some of that excess stomach acid and create a more balanced, less irritating environment for your digestive system.

The Best Alkaline Foods for Acid Reflux

Ready to start stocking your fridge and pantry with alkaline foods that help you? Here are some of the best options to help prevent acid reflux and soothe your symptoms:


Veggies are the foundation of an alkaline diet – they’re packed with nutrients and fiber, and most of them are alkaline-forming. Some of the best alkaline veggies for acid reflux include:

  • Leafy greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard, etc.) – these nutrient powerhouses are highly alkaline and can help soothe inflammation in the digestive tract
  • Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.) – these sulfur-rich veggies can help promote detoxification and support healthy digestion
  • Root veggies (sweet potatoes, beets, carrots) – these starchy veggies are gentle on the digestive system and can help absorb excess acid
  • Squash and zucchini – these mild veggies are easy to digest and can help bulk up your meals without triggering reflux
  • Green beans – these legumes are a good source of fiber and protein, and their alkaline nature can help soothe the stomach
  • Celery – this crunchy veggie is highly alkaline and can help neutralize stomach acid, plus it’s a good source of gut-friendly fiber
  • Cucumber – this refreshing veggie is cooling and soothing to the digestive tract, and can help reduce inflammation

When it comes to cooking your veggies, steaming, roasting, and sautéing are all good options. Just go easy on the oil and butter, as high-fat foods can trigger reflux symptoms in some people. You can also try incorporating more raw veggies into your diet, as they tend to be even more alkaline-forming than cooked ones.


Most fruits are also alkaline-forming and can be a delicious addition to your acid reflux diet. However, some fruits are more acidic than others, so it’s important to choose wisely. Some of the best low-acid fruits for managing frequent acid reflux include:

  • Melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew) – these refreshing fruits are highly alkaline and can help soothe the digestive tract
  • Bananas – this portable fruit is a good source of fiber and potassium, and can help neutralize stomach acid
  • Pears – these sweet fruits are easy to digest and can help soothe an irritated esophagus
  • Apples (go for sweeter varieties like Fuji or Honeycrisp) – these fiber-rich fruits can help absorb excess acid and promote regularity
  • Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) – these antioxidant-rich fruits are generally well-tolerated by people with acid reflux, but go easy on portion sizes as they do contain some natural acids
  • Peaches and nectarines – these stone fruits are alkaline-forming and can help promote healthy digestion
  • Mango and papaya – these tropical fruits contain digestive enzymes that can help break down food and soothe the stomach

Just be mindful of citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons – these are all highly acidic foods and can trigger reflux in many people. If you do choose to eat citrus, pair it with more alkaline foods to help balance out the acidity.

Whole Grains

While most grains are slightly acidic, some are considered more alkaline than others. The most alkaline grains include:

  • Brown rice – this whole grain is a good source of fiber and B vitamins, and can help absorb excess acid in the stomach
  • Quinoa – this protein-rich grain is actually a seed, and is highly alkaline-forming in the body
  • Millet – this gluten-free grain is easy to digest and can help soothe the digestive tract
  • Buckwheat – despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and is actually a highly alkaline seed
  • Amaranth – this ancient grain is a complete protein and is highly alkaline-forming

These whole grains are also packed with fiber, which can help keep things moving along smoothly in your digestive system and reduce the likelihood of acid reflux. Just be sure to choose whole grains over refined ones like white rice and bread, as the refining process strips away much of the fiber and nutrients.

Healthy Fats

Yes, you read that right – some fats can actually be good for acid reflux! The key is to focus on healthy, unsaturated fats rather than greasy, fried fatty foods. Some good options include:

  • Avocados – these creamy fruits are highly alkaline and can help soothe the digestive tract
  • Olive oil – this heart-healthy oil is rich in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation in the body
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds) – these nutrient-dense foods are a good source of fiber and healthy fats, and can help promote regularity
  • Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) – these omega-3-rich fish can help reduce inflammation and support healthy digestion

Just remember to enjoy these foods in moderation – even healthy fats are still high in calories and can contribute to weight gain if you overdo it. Stick to small portions and choose minimally processed options whenever possible.

Other Alkaline Foods

Some other tasty alkaline foods to add to your acid reflux diet:

  • Almond milk – this non-dairy milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin E, and can be a soothing alternative to cow’s milk for people with reflux
  • Coconut water – this electrolyte-rich beverage can help soothe the digestive tract and reduce inflammation
  • Bone broth – this nutrient-dense broth can help heal the gut lining and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract
  • Herbal teas (ginger, chamomile, licorice root) – these soothing teas can help calm the digestive system and reduce acid reflux symptoms
  • Fermented foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, miso) – these probiotic-rich foods can help support healthy gut bacteria and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract

These foods can help soothe your digestive system, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy gut bacteria – all good things for keeping acid reflux at bay! Just be sure to choose minimally processed, organic options whenever possible to get the most benefit.

Foods to Avoid with Acid Reflux

Now that we’ve covered what to eat more of, let’s talk about what to limit or avoid to help prevent acid reflux. Some of the biggest culprits include:

  • Fatty and fried foods (french fries, fried chicken, bacon, etc.) – these high-fat foods can relax the LES and trigger reflux symptoms
  • Spicy foods – while not inherently acidic, spicy foods can irritate the lining of the esophagus and stomach and worsen reflux symptoms for some people
  • Tomatoes and tomato products (pasta sauce, salsa, etc.) – these acidic foods can trigger reflux symptoms in many people
  • Garlic and onions – while nutritious, these pungent veggies can relax the LES and worsen reflux symptoms for some people
  • Chocolate – this sweet treat contains caffeine and other compounds that can relax the LES and trigger reflux
  • Mint and peppermint – while soothing for some digestive issues, mint can actually relax the LES and worsen reflux symptoms
  • Alcohol – alcohol can relax the LES, increase acid production in the stomach, and irritate the lining of the esophagus
  • Caffeinated drinks like coffee and soda – caffeine can relax the LES and increase acid production in the stomach
  • Carbonated beverages – the bubbles in these drinks can expand in the stomach and push stomach acid back up into the esophagus

These foods can relax your LES and increase acid production in your stomach, making you more prone to acid reflux. If you notice that certain foods consistently trigger your symptoms, it’s best to steer clear or enjoy them only in moderation.

The Role of Food Sensitivities in Acid Reflux

In addition to the common trigger foods listed above, it’s important to pay attention to your own body and how it reacts to different foods. Some people with acid reflux may have sensitivities or intolerances to certain foods that aren’t typically considered acidic or reflux-triggering.

For example, some people may find that dairy products, gluten, or certain types of fruits or vegetables worsen their reflux symptoms, even though these foods are generally considered safe for people with acid reflux.

If you suspect that a particular food may be triggering your reflux symptoms, try keeping a food diary for a few weeks to track your intake and symptoms. This can help you identify patterns and pinpoint problem foods that you may need to limit or avoid.

Other Tips for Managing Acid Reflux

In addition to tweaking your diet, there are a few other lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent acid reflux and ease your symptoms:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals rather than large, heavy ones – this can help reduce pressure on the LES and prevent reflux
  • Don’t lie down for at least 3 hours after eating – gravity helps keep stomach acid where it belongs, so lying down too soon after eating can allow acid to flow back up into the esophagus
  • Elevate the head of your bed by 6-8 inches – this can help prevent stomach acid from flowing back up into the esophagus while you sleep
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing – tight clothing can put pressure on the stomach and increase the likelihood of reflux
  • Maintain a healthy weight – excess weight can put pressure on the stomach and LES, increasing the risk of reflux
  • Quit smoking – smoking can relax the LES and increase acid production in the stomach
  • Manage stress with relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga – stress can increase acid production in the stomach and worsen reflux symptoms
  • Chew gum after meals – this can help stimulate saliva production and neutralize stomach acid

And of course, if your reflux symptoms are severe or don’t improve with dietary and lifestyle changes, be sure to talk to your doctor. They may recommend over-the-counter medications like antacids or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to help manage your symptoms, or they may want to do additional testing to rule out other underlying health issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? I’ve got answers!

Can apple cider vinegar help with acid reflux?

Some people swear by taking a shot of apple cider vinegar to help neutralize stomach acid and soothe reflux symptoms. The idea is that the acetic acid in ACV can help balance the pH of the stomach and improve digestion. However, the science on this is still pretty limited, and ACV is highly acidic, so it may actually worsen symptoms of gerd in some people. If you want to give it a try, start with a small amount (1 tsp mixed with water) and see how your body reacts. It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor before adding ACV to your routine, especially if you have a history of digestive issues.

What about baking soda for acid reflux?

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a natural antacid thatcan help neutralize stomach acid and provide quick relief from heartburn and indigestion. It works by raising the pH level of the stomach, making it less acidic. To try it, mix 1/2 tsp of baking soda with 4 oz of water and drink it slowly. You can repeat this every two hours as needed, but be sure not to exceed 7 doses in a 24-hour period. Keep in mind that baking soda is high in sodium, so it’s not recommended for people on a low-sodium diet or those with high blood pressure. It can also cause side effects like bloating, nausea, and diarrhea if you take too much. As with any new remedy, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor first.

Are there any supplements that can help with acid reflux?

Some studies suggest that certain supplements may be helpful for managing acid reflux, like:

  • Digestive enzymes – these supplements can help break down food more efficiently and reduce the amount of acid needed for digestion
  • Probiotics – these beneficial bacteria can help support healthy gut function and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract
  • DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) – this herbal supplement can help soothe and protect the lining of the esophagus and stomach
  • Aloe vera juice – this soothing beverage can help reduce inflammation and heal damaged tissue in the digestive tract

However, it’s important to note that supplements can interact with medications and may not be safe for everyone. It’s always best to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement, especially if you have a preexisting health condition or take medications.

Can an alkaline diet cure acid reflux?

While eating more alkaline foods may help reduce acid reflux symptoms in some people, it’s not a guaranteed cure-all. Acid reflux is a complex condition that can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, anatomy, and lifestyle habits. What works for one person may not work for another.

That said, there’s no harm in giving an alkaline diet a try – even if it doesn’t completely eliminate your reflux symptoms, it can still have big benefits for your overall health and well-being. Plus, focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods is never a bad idea! Just be sure to work with your doctor or a registered dietitian to make sure you’re meeting all your nutritional needs.

What if I can’t give up my favorite acidic foods?

I get it – sometimes you just really want that slice of pizza or mug of coffee, reflux symptoms be damned. The good news is, you don’t have to completely eliminate all acidic foods from your diet to find relief.

The key is moderation – if you know that certain foods trigger your reflux, try enjoying them in smaller amounts or less often. You can also experiment with different preparation methods (like grilling instead of frying) or pairing acidic foods with more alkaline ones to help balance things out.

And if you do indulge in a trigger food, just be prepared for the possibility of some discomfort afterwards. Keep some antacids on hand and listen to your body – if you start to feel that telltale burning sensation, take a break and give your digestive system a chance to recover.

Can exercise help with acid reflux?

Absolutely! Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, and improve digestive function – all good things for keeping acid reflux in check.

Just be mindful of the types of exercise you choose – high-impact activities like running or jumping can actually trigger reflux symptoms in some people, especially if done on a full stomach. Instead, opt for gentler forms of movement like walking, swimming, or cycling. And avoid exercising right after a meal – give your body at least a few hours to digest before breaking a sweat.

Some good exercise options for people with acid reflux include:

  • Yoga – this mind-body practice can help reduce stress, improve digestion, and strengthen the muscles of the digestive tract
  • Tai chi – this gentle, flowing form of exercise can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being
  • Walking – this low-impact activity can help with weight management and stress reduction, and can be done almost anywhere
  • Swimming – this non-weight-bearing exercise is easy on the joints and can help strengthen the core muscles that support the digestive tract

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, and listen to your body – if something feels uncomfortable or triggers your reflux symptoms, back off and try something else.

How long does it take to see results from an alkaline diet for acid reflux?

This is a great question, and unfortunately there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Every body is different, so the timeline for seeing results from an alkaline diet for acid reflux can vary quite a bit from person to person.

Some people may start to notice improvements in their reflux symptoms within a few days of making dietary changes, while others may take several weeks or even months to see significant improvements. It really depends on the individual and the severity of their symptoms.

In general, the more consistent you are with following an alkaline diet and making other lifestyle changes (like avoiding trigger foods, eating smaller meals, and managing stress), the more likely you are to see positive results. It’s also important to remember that an alkaline diet is not a quick fix – it’s a long-term approach to supporting digestive health and overall well-being.

If you’re not seeing any improvements in your reflux symptoms after several weeks or months of following an alkaline diet, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you troubleshoot and make sure you’re not missing any key nutrients or inadvertently triggering your symptoms with certain foods.

It’s also worth noting that while an alkaline diet can be helpful for managing acid reflux, it may not be enough on its own for everyone. Some people may need additional support from medications, lifestyle changes, or other treatments to fully control their symptoms. Working closely with your healthcare team can help you find the right combination of approaches for your individual needs.

Any other tips for making the alkaline diet for acid reflux work for me?

Absolutely! Here are a few more pieces of wisdom to help you thrive on an alkaline diet for acid reflux:

  • Keep a food diary to help you identify your personal trigger foods and track your progress over time. Our Alkaline Foods List can be a helpful starting point!
  • Plan ahead and meal prep when possible – having alkaline-friendly foods ready to go can help you stay on track and avoid reflux-triggering temptations.
  • Get creative in the kitchen! Try new alkaline recipes, experiment with different herbs and spices, and find new ways to enjoy your favorite alkaline foods. For inspo, check out our Our Favorite Alkaline Diet Recipes.
  • Stay hydrated by sipping on water, herbal tea, or low-fat milk throughout the day. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses total – staying well-hydrated can help keep your digestive system running smoothly and may even help dilute stomach acid.
  • Remember that acid reflux is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to your overall health. Be sure to also prioritize other healthy habits like regular exercise, stress management, and getting enough sleep – these can all have a big impact on your digestive health and overall well-being.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for support! Whether it’s enlisting the help of a registered dietitian, joining an online support group, or simply sharing your journey with loved ones, having a strong support system can make all the difference in sticking with your alkaline diet for the long haul.

For a deeper dive into the potential perks of going alkaline, scope out our guides on Alkaline Diet Benefits and Breakfast Alkaline Foods – your body (and taste buds) will thank you!

The Bottom Line on the Alkaline Foods List for Acid Reflux

Alright, friend – we covered a lot of ground in this guide to the alkaline foods list for acid reflux! To recap, filling your plate with more alkaline foods like veggies, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats may help soothe your acid reflux symptoms and get you feeling better.

However, it’s important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another – we all have unique bodies and digestive needs. The key is to listen to your own body, pay attention to how different foods make you feel, and work with your healthcare team to find an acid reflux management plan that fits your individual needs and preferences.

And remember – you don’t have to be perfect! The alkaline diet is meant to be a sustainable, long-term approach to nourishing your body, not a short-term quick fix. If you slip up and eat something acidic or have a bad reflux day, don’t beat yourself up about it. Just get right back on that alkaline horse and keep moving forward.

As with any major dietary change, it’s always a good idea to chat with your doctor before diving into the alkaline life, especially if you have a preexisting health condition. They can help you figure out if an alkaline diet is right for you and offer personalized guidance to help you get your acid reflux under control.

I hope this guide has given you a little extra pep in your step and some new tools for your acid reflux-fighting toolkit! Remember – your health is worth investing in, and even small changes can add up to big results over time.

Happy (alkaline) eating, my friend! You’ve got this.



Molly Winter

About the author

Molly Winter, RDN & CPT, is passionate about helping you achieve optimal health through balanced nutrition and enjoyable exercise. With years of experience and a wealth of knowledge, she provides practical advice and delicious recipes to make healthy living sustainable. Join her on this journey to a healthier, happier you!

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