Potatoes are one of the most popular root vegetables eaten by people around the world. You can eat potatoes in different ways, including boiling, grilling, steaming, and frying in vegetable or olive oil to make your delicious potato chips.
You may suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and wonder if your darling potatoes can help avoid chest pain, occasional heartburn, and other GERD symptoms. Read on to know if potatoes are a good option for your GERD diet.
Are Potatoes Good For Acid Reflux?
Potatoes have a pH level of around 5.6 to 6.0 on the pH scale. You should note that foods with a pH level less than 7.0 are considered acidic and may contain the amount of acid that can trigger acid reflux symptoms. GERD sufferers need to avoid these acidic foods and high-fat foods as they are common trigger foods for acid reflux symptoms.
However, the good news is that potatoes are less likely food triggers for these symptoms. Though these potatoes are acidic, their pH is closer to neutral than spicy and other acidic foods. They also have an alkalizing effect on the body after consumption.
Potatoes are one of the best foods for your acid reflux diet because they reduce the gastric juices your stomach produces. Your stomach produces gastric juices to help the digestive system break down food, but they add to the amount of acid in the stomach.
Symptoms of acid reflux can also occur due to indigestion as the lower esophageal sphincter preventing acid from flowing to the food pipe, relaxes with more exposure to acids from stomach contents. Potatoes are a good source of fiber that aids digestion by speeding up the passage of food through the stomach and intestines. The fibers present in potatoes are also beneficial for weight loss because they keep you full for longer.
There’s a downside to eating potatoes if you experience frequent acid reflux symptoms.
Potatoes may trigger acid reflux symptoms as much as specific foods like acidic fruits and high-fat meals, but you should eat them in moderation. The low acidity in potatoes can trigger these symptoms, depending on the severity of your condition, and raw potatoes are harder to digest. They are also complex carbohydrates that break down and increase your blood sugar level, leading to symptoms of acid reflux.
You should observe how your body reacts when you eat potatoes and ask your healthcare provider for counter medications if these symptoms persist.
Read also: Are Acid Reflux And Hemorrhoids Related?
Are Sweet Potatoes Good For Acid Reflux?
Sweet potatoes have a sweet taste that matches the name and can be a great addition to your healthy diet. They contain some essential nutrients and are also high-fiber foods that aid digestion.
The pH of sweet potatoes is between 5.3 and 5.9, making them one of the alkaline foods you can add to your GERD diet.
However, you should avoid eating fried sweet potatoes because the pH changes and potatoes become acidic when you douse them in oil. You should stick to boiling or baking to enjoy sweet potatoes without experiencing acid reflux symptoms.
Read also: Is Grape Juice Good For Acid Reflux?
Are Mashed Potatoes Good For Acid Reflux?
Mashed potatoes are not the right food for acid reflux sufferers and may only worsen your symptoms. It is because you need a lot of salt and butter to prepare this dish, and these make potatoes acidic after reacting with stomach acid.
You should eat mashed potatoes with alkaline foods if it is one of your favorite foods and can not be off your list of foods. These alkaline foods will help balance the acidity that mashed potatoes add to your diet and prevent GERD symptoms.
What To Do If You Experience Acid Reflux Symptoms
You should consider lifestyle changes if you do not want to experience that burning sensation in your chest.
One of these changes is to avoid eating potatoes or any other foods 2 to 3 hours before you sleep because acids are closer to the lower esophageal sphincter when you lie down. You should also remove excess weight from your body as your body takes longer to digest foods if you are overweight. Fatty meats like red meat should be removed from your weight loss diet and replaced with lean meats.
You also need to eat smaller meals and take time to chew your food because the digestive system finds it harder to function when you do not chew food properly.
Are Potatoes Good For Acid Reflux Summary
Potatoes are slightly acidic but can be part of your acid reflux diet. GERD symptoms occurring due to the consumption of potatoes are rare, depending on the severity of your symptoms and the number of potatoes you eat. You should eat potatoes moderately and check if they aggravate your acid reflux symptoms.