Plant-based diet for reflux and stomach acidity

Foods to prevent reflux and stomach pain


How to avoid reflux

man with acid reflux

One of the main symptoms of hiatal hernia is the presence of acid reflux into the esophagus. (Drawing by courtesy of

The diet to avoid reflux and heartburn consists of a series of guidelines and foods that help treat these symptoms and improve the state of health of the stomach and esophagus.

Reflux treatment

Reflux can be caused by a hiatus hernia or by situations such as pregnancy or obesity.

The general guidelines that must be met are:

  • Do not lie down immediately after eating
  • Dinner early to go to sleep after having digested food
  • Do not make hearty meals
  • Lose weight in case of overweight or obesity
  • Avoid harmful foods
  • Avoid stress
  • Make an adequate diet like the one recommended below:

Diet to prevent reflux and heartburn

Mainly the diet to avoid reflux and acidity must be:

  • Poor in fats or oils: Foods rich in fats slow digestion and make food stay longer in the stomach. For this reason, we recommend:

    • It is not necessary to be strict in taking skim milk products, although you should avoid fatty dairy products, such as soft cheeses, cream cheese, cream, whole milk and creamy yogurt.
    • Eliminate chocolates, cream, sauces, mayonnaise and high-fat foods such as fried foods, fatty meats or industrial products.

Avoid foods that cause reflux

food that makes you fat

Drawing by courtesy of

Junk food is very detrimental to reflux for various reasons. One of them, because they tend to be unhealthy products that increase the inflammatory state. On the other hand, these products are usually addictive and are consumed in a greater quantity than normally tolerable. And finally, they are products that predispose to obesity, which contributes to worsening reflux.

Among natural foods, depending on personal tolerance, generally the foods that are most annoying for people with reflux are garlic and onions (It is recommended to observe what foods feel good or bad for a few weeks).

Avoid acid foods for the stomach

They are the tomatoes (both in salad, and tomato sauce), citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines, …) and yogurts. These foods are best not taken on an empty stomach, although they are tolerated in normal amounts (depending on individual tolerance and the state of the gastric mucosa).

Yes they are very acidic and therefore harmful soda with gas (also called cola or carbonated drinks).

Advice on the consumption of natural foods for reflux

Other tips for reflux are:

Photo of boiled vegetables, recommended for reflux

  • Do not eat too much toasted or dry food.

    boiled vegetables

    Photo of boiled vegetables, recommended for reflux

  • Cook the vegetables for a long time: As vegetables are more flatulent or slow to digest food, it is necessary that they are well cooked before consuming them, to make the stomach work easier.
  • In non-vegetarian diets, fish is easier to digest than meat and provides the same amount of protein. White fish will be preferred, such as monkfish, hake, etc.
  • It is recommended to make frequent and little abundant meals: Several light intakes (with little fat or oil), made during 5 or 6 daily doses is the best way to prevent reflux.
  • Eat foods of soft consistency and rich in mucilage or soluble fiber: These foods do not tear the intestinal wall so much. Mucilages and pectins create a film that protects the lining of the stomach. For example, potatoes and boiled vegetables are recommended.
  • Rest 20 minutes after eating, reading, sleeping, meditating or doing relaxing activities, always with the head higher than the body

Not recommended for the stomach

There are a series of rules, foods and guidelines that are harmful to the stomach:


Spices like pepper are not recommended.

  • Excess of condiments: Meals with too many dressings, sauces, herbs, spicy food, etc. or with too many animal fats are very aggressive to the stomach.
  • Alcohol, coffee and tobacco: If you drink tea, you should avoid very high concentrations and it is preferable to use green or white tea, rather than black tea.
  • Meals late at night or eat very late: Heavy meals at night are very indigestible. It is better to eat something light and a couple of hours before going to bed to eat very late. Large night dinners can cause pain and difficulty sleeping.

Which diet is most beneficial for reflux and heartburn?

It is highly recommended to promote the most recommended foods for the stomach, which are mainly:

manzanaBaked apple feels good to the stomach

  • Apples and pears: They are very rich in pectin, which has demulcent properties for the stomach mucosa. It is somewhat more recommendable to consume the cooked fruit (baked apple, etc.) due to the properties of the gelled pectin.
  • Quince, baked apple and fruit compotes: Due to its high content of gelled pectin it helps to improve the sensation of heartburn. Pectin protects delicate stomachs and intestinal mucosa. It is for this reason that the baked apple is suitable for people with stomach ulcers, gastritis or acidity, because its easy digestion and demulcent properties help to improve digestive health.
  • Carrots: Carrot has softening and soothing properties of the digestive mucosa. Due to its high beta carotene content, carrots help to regenerate the gastric mucosa. Take in food and in smoothies.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: It contains vitamin E and healthy fats (omega 9, omega 6 and omega 3), with protective and anti-inflammatory effects of the gastric mucosa. Add raw on the plates, in moderation. If you do not have good quality olive oil, we recommend unrefined oils (cold pressed), or use homemade sauces like homemade guacamole.
  • Pumpkin and zucchini: They are moisturizing, refreshing foods, rich in fiber and vitamins that will help to improve stomach pain. They can be taken boiled or in vegetable creams.

punto rojoMore information on hiatal hernia and its natural treatment.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

22 April, 2019

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