Implementing the use of certain foods like probiotics for acid reflux is a fundamental part of the treatment.
This allows the digestive system to “rest,” preventing symptoms from worsening.
For this, it is recommended that people living with acid reflux adopt a diet rich in legumes (fiber), fruits, vegetables, white meats, and fish. All must be prepared with natural seasonings and without sauces.
Probiotics for acid reflux (Helicobacter pylori)
On the other hand, we know that probiotics are living microorganisms that, administered in adequate amounts, can confer beneficial health effects.
Currently, some of its indications are the treatment of acute gastroenteritis and diarrhea by antibiotics.
The most commonly used microorganisms in probiotic formulations are:
- Lactobacillus spp
- Escherichia coli
Its beneficial effects include regulation of the intestinal microbiota, stimulation of the immune system response.
One of the effects of probiotics is the ability to inhibit Helicobacter pylori both in experimental (in vitro) and in vivo studies.
Multiple studies have shown the use of different probiotic formulations (Lactobacillus combined with Bifidobacterium, bovine lactoferrin, milk ferment, Saccharomyces boulardii, and other probiotic formulations) to reduce adverse effects and, to a lesser extent, improve cure rates with eradicating treatments.
However, negative results have also been published with the use of probiotics associated with triple therapy.
These discordant results are likely related to the use of different strains and combinations thereof, as well as different concentrations, doses, and duration of treatment.
Probiotics, in adequate amounts, can confer beneficial health effects.
Nevertheless, the vast majority of published studies about using probiotics for acid reflux have evaluated its impact on classic triple therapy, a well-tolerated remedy with insufficient efficacy and that is no longer recommended as a first-line treatment.
No studies are currently evaluating the usefulness of probiotics associated with concomitant quadruple treatment, which the U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends as the first choice.
Since quadruple treatment is more effective, adding the probiotic would not benefit and make it much more complex (5 drugs).
Despite this, Doctors know that many (but not all) patients experience side effects from antibiotics.
As Doctors cannot previously identify which patients will present adverse effects, they may consider associating a probiotic with the eradicating treatment of H. pylori in those patients who don’t tolerate antibiotics or who have previously presented side effects.
Today, there is a need for more evidence about the benefit of probiotics on the efficacy and safety of new quadruple eradication therapies for H. pylori before they can be generally recommended in daily clinical practice.
Therefore, at the moment, it is not recommended to associate probiotics with eradication treatment in a generalized way.
Still, it is recommended in individual cases, such as those who have previously presented adverse effects associated with antibiotic treatment.
Acid reflux dietary guidelines
Speaking of food, it is also important to avoid fried foods, cakes, and industrialized precooked foods as they can worsen gastritis symptoms.
Some effective natural remedies can be included in your daily diet, such as drinking potato juice or preparing a chard tea—more details in the “bonus” section below.
The foods allowed for gastritis and ulcers are those that are easy to digest and low in fat, such as:
- Fruits. In some people, acidic fruits can cause reflux or pain when consuming them; they should be avoided in these cases. It can include jams or compotes as long as they are 100% fruit and without sugar
- Vegetables. Eat cooked and peeled legumes during periods of crisis and pain, as they are easier to digest, such as zucchini, eggplant, carrot, spinach, chard, green beans
- Low-fat meats. Chicken, turkey, and fish, preferably grilled, roasted, or cooked. Well-cooked shellfish can also be eaten
- Milk and derivatives such as yogurt must be skimmed
- Carbohydrates. In times of crisis, whole foods should be avoided, consuming white rice, pasta, sweet potatoes, and potatoes because they are easier to digest
- Teas like chamomile
- Decaffeinated coffee
- White cheeses such as ricotta or light curd
- Olive oil raw and in small quantities
- Natural condiments like fine herbs, garlic, onion, parsley, coriander, mustard
During a gastritis crisis, the idea is to prepare foods with a softer consistency like a puree. Meat can be prepared flaked or ground, and in the case of fruits and vegetables, they should be eaten cooked and skinless.
The goal is that the food is easier for the stomach to digest with the least amount of effort.
In addition to this, you can also drink ginger tea to help improve digestion, reducing the burning sensation, and dizziness.
What to eat after a gastritis crisis?
If gastritis has passed, the idea is to maintain a balanced diet with fiber-rich foods. You must include vegetables, whole foods, and raw and cooked fruits to avoid constipation and being overweight.
Also, meals’ consistency can return to normal, and always try to chew food well and eat calmly. It’s also important to avoid banned foods, such as fats or highly seasoned products, to prevent a new crisis from re-emerging.
Foods to avoid on acid reflux
Prohibited foods are those that are difficult to digest and highly processed, as they are rich in additives and preservatives that irritate the stomach, such as:
- Processed meats, such as sausage, chorizo, bacon, ham, turkey breast, salami, bologna
- Yellow and processed cheeses, such as cheddar, mozzarella, cream cheese, and provolone
- Dairies like whole milk, yogurt, cream, heavy cream, butter, margarine, and oil
- Ready sauces like ketchup, aioli, mayonnaise
- Condiments like cubes and instant noodles
- Frozen prepared food and fast food
- Green tea, mate, black tea, or with high caffeine content
- Drinks: soft drinks, ready juices, coffee
- Alcoholic beverages
- Sugar, sweets in general, and foods that contain it
- Refined and fried foods such as cakes, cupcakes, and cookies
- White flour, such as corn and wheat
- Foods high in fat, such as fatty meats, chicken skin, liver, and excess fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna
Acidic fruits should also be avoided if heartburn symptoms or stomach pain appear after consumption.
Some people often suffer from gases and may have an intolerance to flatulent foods such as cabbage, broccoli, beans, and cauliflower, so in these cases, their consumption should be reduced.
Although it follows some rules, the gastritis diet can present many variations depending on the tolerance of each patient.
So the list above is just a guide. If gastritis occurs mainly in times of stress or tension, it may signify stress-induced gastritis.
Probiotics for acid reflux: Other recommendations
When you suffer from gastritis, you must be aware of any symptoms that a specific food may generate. And if your intake worsens the symptoms, then it must be eliminated or restricted from the diet.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Make 3 main meals and 2 to 3 snacks a day, avoid skipping meals and try to always eat at the same time
- Large meals should be avoided, as they slow digestion
- Food should be chewed several times and eaten in a calm place
- Cook simple foods on the grill, in the oven, or steamed, using natural herbs to season them
- Avoid wearing tight clothing and belts since it favors the reflux of gastric acid into the esophagus
- QUIT SMOKING
- After eating, you should avoid going to bed immediately. If you do so, place a pillow so that you are in a 45º position, thus avoiding reflux
- Do physical activity at least 3 times a week for 1 hour. If you are a person with a lot of stress, you should try relaxing activities.
- If necessary, pharmacological treatment can accompany these recommendations, which a gastroenterologist should direct
Bonus: Grandma’s remedies for acid reflux
A great home remedy to help treat gastritis is drinking plain natural potato juice first thing in the morning for one week.
Also, drinking fresh congorosa tea (Maytenus ilicifolia) is good because it contains soothing properties that help alleviate gastritis symptoms caused by H. Pylori.
1. Home remedy with potato
A good home remedy for gastritis with potatoes is to take the juice of the potato on an empty stomach because it greatly reduces the acidity.
Thus, reducing the sensation of pain and burning, being effective against nervous, acute, or chronic gastritis.
- 1 large potato
- A shredder
Peel the potato, boil it and pass it through a fine common grater. Next, the grated potato should be squeezed into a clean cloth or pressed into a fine strainer.
It would help if you drank the “potato broth” on an empty stomach, 30 minutes before your main meals, or whenever you feel gastritis symptoms.
<<Another option is to include potatoes in most of your meals.>>
2. Home remedy with congorosa
Another excellent home remedy for gastritis is congorosa tea (Maytenus ilicifolia) because it’s a medicinal plant with properties that help decrease heartburn and regenerate the stomach itself.
- 1 tsp of dried congorosa or chuchuwasi leaves
- 1 cup of boiling water
Add the congorosa leaves to the boiling water, cover, and let stand for about 10 minutes. Strain and drink hot. It is advisable to drink this tea on an empty stomach and half an hour before meals.
3. Chard tea
- 4 chard leaves
- 1 cup of boiling water
Add the chard leaves to the cup of boiling water, cover, and let stand for about 10 minutes. Strain and drink hot. It is advisable to drink this tea on an empty stomach and half an hour before meals.
Drinking fresh lemon juice can also help decrease the acidity of the stomach.
Because although it is an acidic fruit, it has an opposite effect on the body, creating a basic medium. Also, due to its properties, it helps to relieve inflammation and decrease pain.