Quinoa is an ancient grain first grown in South America, and it is one of the foods that does not get as much recognition as it deserves. It is known as a superfood because of its high nutritional value, which makes it a healthy food choice for your diet. Versatility is another quality of quinoa, as you can enjoy it with cookies, desserts, salad, or any other side dish.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) -or acid reflux- is a condition you should treat with caution, and you need to know the right food to eat if you are managing its symptoms. Read on to know if quinoa is on the list of foods you should avoid if you suffer from symptoms of GERD.
Is Quinoa Good For Acid Reflux?
Acidic foods are trigger foods for acid reflux symptoms. Choosing a low-acid diet is a great way to prevent GERD symptoms, and the good news is that quinoa is one great option for this diet.
Most varieties of quinoa have a pH of around 6.2 to 6.8 on the pH scale. Foods are acidic if they have a value less than 7.0 on this scale, but quinoa and most types of grain with values closer to 7.0 are not like many of these foods. They will not cause symptoms of acid reflux or will lead to mild acid reflux symptoms if your condition is more serious.
However, the pH level of quinoa depends on how you cook it. Quinoa becomes acidic when you cook it in acidic liquids like lemon juice but has a more neutral pH when you cook it in water. The nutritional value remains high no matter how you cook it, but quinoa cooked in water is a better option for your acid reflux diet.
Though quinoa has a pH closer to neutral, your eating plan should involve eating them in small amounts if you frequently experience a burning sensation in the chest due to acid reflux. The frequency of acid reflux symptoms varies depending on the severity of your condition, and you should notice how the body reacts to the consumption of quinoa.
Read also: Can SIBO Cause Acid Reflux? (Explained)
How To Make Quinoa Less Acidic
Quinoa is one of the slightly acidic whole grains, but its acidic properties may cause acid reflux symptoms in some GERD sufferers. Though there is no way to reduce the amount of acid in quinoa, you can make it one of the alkaline foods in your balanced diet by cooking it with green vegetables. Broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, and lettuce are some of the best leafy greens you can cook with quinoa to balance the acidity.
A great way to balance the acidity of quinoa is to opt for boiling instead of frying with vegetable oil or olive oil. Fried quinoa, French fries, and other fried foods tend to be acid-forming, and eating them could worsen symptoms of GERD. Frying also adds dangerous chemicals to your food, making them difficult for your digestive system to break down.
What To Do If You Experience Acid Reflux Symptoms
Acid reflux symptoms occur when the lower esophageal sphincter at the bottom of your esophagus relaxes, allowing acids from stomach contents to irritate the food pipe. You may experience chest pain, heartburn, nausea, and other acid reflux symptoms when this irritation occurs.
You should consider some lifestyle changes if you are keen on avoiding these. Among them is maintaining a low-acid diet that does not include tomato sauce and other spicy foods. You should also avoid fatty foods and replace them with lean protein or lean meats.
Acid indigestion is another factor that leads to acid reflux symptoms. More stomach acid gets produced if acidic foods remain in the digestive system, and these acids go on to irritate the lower esophageal sphincter. You need high-fiber foods to aid your digestive tract in these situations, and quinoa is a good source of fiber.
Another lifestyle change you need to make is to avoid eating large meals and chewing your food well to help the digestive process. Also, ensure you do not eat 2 to 3 hours before sleeping or taking a nap, as undigested foods settle closer to the esophagus when you lie down.
Following a strict weight loss plan is a good idea if you want to avoid symptoms of acid reflux, as obesity and being overweight have also been linked to GERD and other digestive diseases.
Is Quinoa Good For Acid Reflux Summary
Quinoa is one of the healthy food items you can have in your home. Red, black, and white quinoa have varying nutrient contents but have more grams of fiber than other grains.
Quinoa has a pH that makes it acidic, but it can only trigger acid reflux symptoms if you eat them in large amounts. You should consult your healthcare provider for advice on eating quinoa with acid reflux and notice how your body reacts when you eat it.