Over 25 million United States citizens suffer from GERD and acid reflux. They must change their dietary habits and cut out some of their favorite foods. Still, They discover that even something as familiar and regular as bread can trigger acid reflux, which can exhaust the distressed patient.
However, the good news is that recent studies have shown some of the best, even better-tasting alternatives for whole white bread that can be consumed without affecting your digestive system.
So what’s the best bread for acid reflux? Let’s find out.
What Is Acid Reflux?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), more commonly known as acid reflux, is a condition caused when disruption of a vital muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) causes the stomach acids to flow back into our esophagus rather than alleviating their flow away from the food pipe. This flaw in our digestive system can cause the following symptoms of GERD:
- Heartburn and acidity
- Chronic cough and sharp chest pain
- Development or worsening of asthma
- Burning sensation in your throat
- Trouble falling asleep or even lying down
- Severe abdominal pain
- Sinus and ear problems
See also: Is Lentil Soup Good For Acid Reflux?
How Can Bread Trigger Acid Reflux?
It is commonly known that fatty foods, spicy foods, citrus fruits, acidic foods, and high-fat dairy products can cause acid reflux. It might surprise many when they hear that they can’t even enjoy a sandwich without facing discomforting effects. The reasons why bread might trigger acid reflux symptoms are listed below:
- It is scientifically proven that bread contains excessive carbohydrates, even though it usually is good for our bodies. In the case of GERD, such carbohydrates can cause digestive problems. Their extended storage inside your stomach will cause the bacteria to start infecting and creating acid/gases in the already acidic stomach. The severe lack of fiber in bread makes it harder for acid reflux sufferers’ disturbed digestive systems to process it.
- Another reason why acid reflux may be triggered by bread is the high amount of sugar repressed within it. The intake of sugar makes our body release insulin and eventually leads to our bodies getting hungrier. Our instinct will be to overeat, which will lead to indigestion. Too many food substances will take hold of our stomachs, and the lower esophageal sphincter will be pressured, disrupting and relaxing at the wrong time and which will cause the reflux of acids.
Best Bread For Acid Reflux
It can’t be expected to cut something as essential as bread from our diets, but white bread’s severe effects aren’t worth the taste. That is precisely why you need to choose a whole-grain alternative, as it will have high fiber content and won’t be refined.
Whole Wheat Bread
One of the most consumed alternatives is whole wheat bread which is arguably much more delicious than refined white bread.
Unlike refined white bread, whole wheat bread contains all parts of the grain, including bran and endosperm, which only adds to its nutrients. It is a much healthier and safer choice for GERD patients because the excess fiber and nutrients make it easy for your digestive system to process.
It will also lessen the urge to overeat. Besides that, It also contains iron, magnesium, and vitamins such as b6 and folic acid, making it a better choice. However, it is advised to specifically look at the ingredients list on the packaging while purchasing whole wheat bread, as several manufacturers tend to lie.
Multigrain bread is also a good choice as it is a very liked bread alternative. As suggested by its name, it consists of several beneficial grains such as barley, millet, oat, and sometimes even rye. The major portion consists of whole grain and wheat flour making it rich in essential nutrients and proteins, which will reduce the risk of acid reflux to a great degree. Just like whole wheat bread, check the ingredients, as “refined flour” will suggest a lack of other primary nutrients.
Apart from its benefits for GERD patients, it also reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, and even diabetes.
Rye bread is a type of bread that varies in color from lighter to darker depending on the flour used in it. It is easily distinguishable from the others and is often considered more nutritious than whole wheat bread. It contains high levels of b vitamins and iron, potassium, and zinc. Rye bread is super filling which means it reduces the urge to overeat. As discussed above, overeating can lead to indigestion problems, more pressure on the abdomen, and disruption of LES, which is why rye bread will reduce the risk of acid reflux. Not only that, but studies have shown that insulin release is also decreased by rye bread hence maintaining blood sugar levels.
Whole Grain Bread
Whole-grain bread is considered the best bread for acid reflux. Several studies have proven it is the safest option for patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The contents of this earthy bread consist of a variety of whole grains ranging from several beneficial grains such as brown rice, whole barley, oats, and wheat, making it a protein-filled and nutritious food substance. The amount of grains in this bread makes it a lot simpler for your body to digest, unlike refined flour which will only increase the risk of acid reflux.
Not only that, but the grains absorb stomach acids and even reduce the total amount of acid production. Unlike any other type of bread, 100% whole grain provides a broader spectrum of nutrients.
What Other Diet Modifications Can Be Made?
Several things can trigger GERD, and before setting your mind on any advanced medical procedure, a few lifestyle changes and restrictions can be made in your daily diet to avoid the symptoms of acid reflux.
- It is advised that other complimentary toppings, such as cottage cheese, should be avoided, even with whole grain bread, as they can affect your acid reflux. Instead, foods with a good source of fiber can be added, such as egg whites, peanut butter, lean poultry (mainly lean meat), and fresh fruit.
- Your doctor’s first recommendation will also be to work towards weight loss as it will reduce the excess pressure on your stomach, LES will function adequately, and GERD symptoms will lessen.
- Foods and liquids such as ginger tea, sweet potatoes, carrots, green vegetables, and leafy greens are proven to reduce acid reflux; meanwhile, greasy foods such as French fries or ice cream should be actively avoided.
Fun Facts: Pizza may be eaten if you pick the ingredients carefully.
Read also: Best Cereal For Acid Reflux
How To Make Bread Less Acidic?
To avoid getting any acid reflux symptombs you can make your bread less acidic instead by:
- Use a smaller amount of yeast.
- Add baking soda or use a higher ph value flour. Whole wheat flour is less acidic than white flour, making it a good choice.
- Add neutralizing ingredients like honey, yogurt, and molasses. This can neutralize the bread, hence making it less acidic.
- Avoid ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar, and sourdough starters (in some cases, read more below in FAQ).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does white bread help acid reflux?
Individuals struggling with acid reflux should be cautious about consuming refined grains, particularly white bread, as they lack fiber and have a high glycemic index, which can worsen their symptoms.
Can sourdough bread cause acid reflux?
No, most people won’t get any problems with acid reflux when eating sourdough bread as long as refined grains or flour aren’t used in the process. But some people are sensitive to the sourdough starter. Which is why we recommend using a food diary, that way you can determine if you are sensitive against certain foods more easily.
Why does bread give me acid reflux?
If you have eaten too many carbohydrates it can cause your stomach to produce excess acid, since it’s harder for it to digest, it can also be a sign of gluten intolerance.
Is toasted bread good for acid reflux?
If you love eating toasts in the morning you might be happy to hear that toast can be a good option for those who suffers with acid reflux. It’s considerd 100% acid reflux-friendly and can even decrease nausea and reduce heartburn. But keep in mind that all toasts are not the same and can contain different ingredients. Some of these ingredients may trigger your acid reflux instead. So make sure to check all the ingredients before eating.
Best Bread For Acid Reflux Summary
Acid reflux is a severe condition that can be provoked by something as normal as bread, and even though the permanent and final solution itself, It is recommended to make these little changes in your diet to ease the pain as much as possible.
Bread is a basic food consumed daily, so instead of cutting it out completely, it is better to shift to alternatives. That way, you’ll get the best of both worlds and finally be able to enjoy bread without worrying about your GERD symptoms.
Don’t miss: Is Sea Moss Good For Acid Reflux