Gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD/ acid reflux can make life extremely difficult as its discomforting symptoms can resurface at any time with no regard for time or place. It’s a chronic illness meaning that several lifestyle changes need to be made to accommodate your body, and that includes abstaining from several food substances.
With that in sight, it leaves minimal options for breakfast. Keep reading this article to learn about some healthiest breakfast cereals that won’t trigger acid reflux symptoms.
Acid Reflux And Its Symptoms
The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a muscle that opens and closes at appropriate times to let in food substances. The disarrangement of LES will cause it to relax. At the same time, the acids contained in our stomach will reflux backward into our esophagus.
It can also happen when pressure on the abdomen builds up, and there is no room for stomach acids, forcing them to flow backward.
Symptoms of acid reflux may include:
- Feeling of heartburn in your chest
- An acidic or sour taste in the back of your throat
- Trouble swallowing food substances
- The sensation of a lump in your throat
How Does GERD Affect Your Breakfast Options?
Gerd is an extremely disturbing disease that affects your daily life to a great extent. Acid reflux sufferers must make several dietary restrictions and changes to alleviate the pain since it is triggered by common food substances such as spicy foods, white bread, fatty foods, full-fat dairy products, acidic foods, and even citrus fruits.
Read also: How To Eat Pizza With Acid Reflux
It eliminates the option of casually eating cream cheese or other typical breakfast foods. With all these exceptions, you must think it is impossible to have a great breakfast, so you might settle for a bland breakfast or even stop eating altogether.
However, it is essential to understand that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and just in fear of triggering your GERD symptoms. You can’t completely cut it out of your diet.
Keep reading about healthy breakfast choices that won’t alarm your digestive system.
Breakfast Alternatives For GERD patients
There are a bunch of breakfast options that you can still enjoy. For instance, white bread can be alternated with good fiber sources, like whole grain bread and whole wheat bread. Peanut butter can be eaten occasionally as well.
Additionally, whole grains can be added to your diet to help your digestive system function better. Some harmless options are egg whites, lean meat, brown rice, non-citrus fruits, herbal tea, green beans, and leafy greens.
But the question is, can you still enjoy the most typical breakfast item, cereal?
Is Cereal Good Or Bad For Acid Reflux?
“Cereal is a super popular morning meal,” says What Most Americans Eat For Breakfast – TheTravel. A study conducted by them shows that out of an average of 200 Americans, 56% eat cereal daily.
It is popular, but cereal is a good choice for GERD patients because it is a source of several nutrients and vitamins. For example, it contains iron and zinc that will inhibit gastric acid secretion in the distressed digestive system. However, the wrong type of cereal choice will have high carbohydrates and acidic features that can worsen your acid reflux with a single bite.
Highly refined cereals will be harder for your digestive system to process and stay there for far longer than a low-acid diet. Stomach contents will reflux into your esophagus and hence cause agonizing symptoms.
Read also: Can Acid Reflux Cause Acne?
What Is The Best Cereal For Acid Reflux?
Oatmeal cereal is an excellent choice to start your day with. It is a nutritious meal that is not only delicious but also considered a good choice for GERD patients because it contains high levels of fiber. The excess fiber is super filling and will keep you content for longer. Hence, it promotes regularity and reduces the urge to overeat.
As that urge decreases, there’ll remain less pressure on your stomach, and chances of acid reflux will drop.
Oatmeal contains selenium which overcoats and protects the esophagus from painful and toxic acids, making it an even healthier option for GERD patients.
Apart from that, oatmeal is also reported to absorb stomach acids. Check the ingredient list on the packaging, as many manufacturers tend to lie. If the primary ingredient is refined flour, look for alternatives—specifically the ones with whole wheat flour.
You can also add fresh fruits to your oatmeal to make it more flavorful. Some of the low-acid fruits are papaya and banana. These fruits contain enzymes called papain which is technically considered a natural treatment for heartburn.
Whole Grain Cereal
The safest option for acid reflux patients is whole-grain cereal, which contains low sugar levels and, like oatmeal, contains high fiber. This cereal contains multiple types of grains, which means its nutritional properties are above all.
Whole grain cereal ingredients might include brown rice and couscous, making it a protein-packed breakfast. Due to the consumption of so many grains, your digestive tract will also function better and decrease symptoms of GERD/ acid reflux.
It is usually eaten with milk as a complementary product. Still, you can add almond or soy milk to your cereal to make the nutty flavors tasteful, and as some people complain about milk products triggering their GERD, alternative milk sources may solve that issue.
Wheat cereal is another one of the many options you can choose from. Its main benefit is that it contains high fiber, and it is proven that consuming high amounts of fiber will reduce GERD symptoms. Fiber absorbs the liquid from the stomach, preventing stomach acid displacement.
Wheat cereal has several other beneficial qualities as well. It contains essential nutrients such as b vitamins, folate, potassium, and magnesium.
If you have been diagnosed with GERD, your doctor’s first suggestion would have been to ask you to lose weight. It is important because the stomach will be more spacious, and acids will remain there rather than be forced upwards. Wheat cereal can help with that in two ways.
- You will feel full for longer, and your body will be satisfied with fewer calories. Meanwhile, your body will be getting the essential nutrients.
- It helps in improving bowel movement.
- Infant rice cereal
Acid reflux is a kind of disease with no specific age limit. Babies also suffer from this, which is why rice cereal is recommended. A teaspoon can be added to their milk bottle, and symptoms will repress. Rice cereal will give the dose more calories, and the thick substance will make them feel content for extended periods.
Although, some pediatricians recommend against it because it can affect your infant’s sleep pattern. If you don’t keep an eye out, the baby can gain an unhealthy weight due to excessive consumption.
Best Cereal For Acid Reflux Summary
As you discovered, there are many types of cereal to choose from, and you can still enjoy a classic breakfast without any issues with acid reflux.
Suppose you or a close friend seem to be experiencing GERD symptoms. In that case, you should immediately discuss it with your healthcare provider or seek medical advice from a professional doctor who can guide you further.
Even though these restrictions and preventions decrease the symptoms, ease the sharp pain temporarily, and they might even work wonders in the short term. It is essential to understand that GERD is a chronic illness that won’t disappear.
Not unless proper medical procedures are performed, but until then, avoid trigger substances as much as possible and adopt a dietary behavior that won’t excruciate your pain.