Cauliflower is one of the most well-known cruciferous vegetables consumed mainly because of its nutritional benefits.
Many people like adding cauliflower to their diet, either in the form of salad or as a side, even though the taste is rather bland or crumbly. Its alluring health properties can’t be resisted.
However, everything has potential risks, and when you have conditions such as GERD, it is entirely normal to second-guess every choice.
Are you wondering if this seemingly harmless vegetable can cause acid reflux because of its side effects? Keep reading to find out the truth.
Does Cauliflower Cause Acid Reflux?
In case you didn’t know, acid reflux is a medical condition in which a vital muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter malfunctions. LES is a ring of muscle that connects your lower esophagus to your stomach, and when it disrupts, the stomach acids residing within your stomach find a passageway enter your food pipe, and cause discomforting heartburn symptoms (a burning sensation in your chest)
fact: Frequent acid reflux is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease
Whether cauliflower can cause acid reflux symptoms to vary from person to person. This vegetable can alleviate the symptoms for some people while others may be accursed to bear its adverse effects. If you wish to find out what exactly makes this vegetable both good and bad, then look below.
Why Is Cauliflower Good For Acid Reflux?
If you usually add cauliflower to your diet, you must know about its healthy and beneficial properties. But what exactly makes it GERD-friendly as well?
Cauliflower Promotes Good Digestion
Mostly all Green vegetables are packed with vitamins; predictably, cauliflower is not an exception. One of the reasons why cauliflower is considered suitable for GERD is because of its high fiber content. You may have often heard that GERD patients are recommended to adopt a fiber diet; have you ever wondered why that is?
Fiber is a beneficial aid for your digestive system and prevents acid reflux by absorbing the acids and other liquids from your stomach. Fiber also strengthens the good bacteria in your gut, ultimately leading to an improved acid balance and reduced symptoms of acid reflux.
Cauliflower is high in fiber and contains 3 grams in each serving which is about 10% of your daily requirements, making it an essential addition to your GERD diet.
Besides fiber, cauliflower is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and other compounds that reduce acid-induced inflammation in your body and nourish your digestive system.
Cauliflower Is a Low-fat Food
High-fat foods such as french fries, fatty meats, and dairy products increase the likelihood of acid reflux by weakening the LES and adding calories to your body. Both these dangerous factors make high-fat foods required to be eliminated from your diet.
Cauliflower, on the other hand, is a low-fat food that alleviates your GERD symptoms. When you eat low-fat foods such as cauliflower, your stomach and digestive system will be less pressurized.
As you may know, obesity is a risk factor for acid reflux/GERD, so by making dietary changes and switching to a healthy diet, your weight loss journey will be quickened, and acid reflux will be prevented.
You can add cauliflower to your Mediterranean diet. It is a plant-based diet especially recommended for GERD patients. It includes healthy foods such as root vegetables, whole grains, green beans, leafy greens, olive oil, etc.
Read also: Does Pumpkin Cause Acid Reflux?
Why Might Cauliflower Cause Acid Reflux?
When you are diagnosed with acid reflux/GERD, your doctor will ask you to immediately abstain from food triggers such as spicy foods, acidic foods, fatty foods, citrus fruits, etc. Still, unsurprisingly, cauliflower isn’t one of them.
So what might be the reason or property that makes cauliflower trigger heartburn and acid reflux?
Cauliflower Can Be Hard To Digest
Even though the rich fiber content will benefit most people, you might not be one of them. Overeating fiber too quickly can have a reverse effect on your body, and rather than quickening the digestive process; cauliflower can cause bloating in your stomach. Cauliflower also contains an indigestible sugar called raffinose which only adds to digestive issues.
Food will be processed slowly, and your stomach contents will be more prone to bacteria. They will add to the existing acids, and your symptoms will worsen.
Tip: you can relieve this symptom by drinking a lot of water.
Cauliflower Causes Acidity
Cauliflower lies on the Ph scale at 5.6, far from the neutral zone. This vegetable is also considered acidic because it contains sodium and sulfur.
You may have noticed that the acid rising in your digestive tract leaves behind a reek of sulfur in your throat. When these two chemical compounds increase in your body, the ability of natural ones deteriorates.
When the hydrochloric acids in your stomach deplete, the digestive enzyme pepsin will not activate, and foods will not break down properly. Chances of acid reflux will increase significantly after that.
Read also: Can SIBO Cause Acid Reflux? (Explained)
How To Eat Cauliflower With Acid Reflux?
Whether cauliflower noticeably worsens your acid reflux, it is advisable to act cautiously because triggering your GERD, even unintentionally, can be extremely painful.
The good news is that some precautions can be taken to help you remain safe.
- Lean toward eating cooked or roasted cauliflower because studies suggest that raw cauliflower has a 5.6 pH value while cooked has 6.8, being much closer to the neutral zone. Cooked one has an even lower chance of triggering your symptoms.
- It is also recommended to eat smaller meals. A high fiber intake affects your digestive process, so complications will also be avoided by eating in moderation.
- Even though cauliflower causes more benefit than harm if you pair it with trigger substances such as lemon juice or tomato sauce, the positive effects will be suppressed by negative ones.
Gerd-friendly Foods To Pair Cauliflower With
You might be one of those who find broccoli bland and can’t stomach the idea of eating it on its own. Gerd limits your options for toppings and sides, so we’ve compiled a list of healthy substances that taste delicious with broccoli and don’t cause any adverse reactions.
- Lean meats
- Brown rice
- Low-fat yogurt
- Egg whites
Read also: Best Vodka For Acid Reflux
Does Cauliflower Cause Acid Reflux Summary
As discussed above, the likeliness of cauliflower causing acid reflux is low, but that doesn’t eliminate the potential risks.
If you or your friend have noticed firsthand that cauliflower accelerates your GERD symptoms, you should think twice before eating it.
Cauliflower is nutritious and hard to resist, especially for health enthusiasts, so you might find it challenging to give up all the benefits just because of some alleged risks.
Make sure to follow the precautions listed above, and hopefully, you’ll be good to go.
Did you get the answer to your concerns? We hope this article helps you. Share it with your friends and families who might be wondering the same thing.