10 common high alkaline and acid reducing foods to help combat indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux.
If you’re a sufferer of regular indigestion pains, heartburn and/or acid reflux, you’ll know just how frustrating and uncomfortable it can be when the dreaded burn sets in after a lovely meal.
I have suffered with acid reflux problems for many years and whilst the problem will never go away completely, it is certainly manageable with a somewhat controlled (not strict!) diet which obviously avoids high acid producing foods and integrates more alkaline producing and ‘clean’ foods on a regular basis.
I’m sure you are aware of the particular foods and drinks that make yourself feel nauseous (everyone has their own nemesis!), so along with avoiding those, there are some very common household foods that are highly alkaline producing and can therefore help limit indigestion/heartburn/acid reflux and even sooth away some of the pain.
In this article, I am going to cover off 10 acid reducing foods/alkaline producing foods that you will probably find in your kitchen cupboards or fridge and that can be very easily used in cooking or eaten on their own as a snack. There will of course be exceptions as everyone’s digestive system works in its own unique way and the effectiveness will also depend on how you combine them with other foods in a meal, for example.
For me, it definitely helps to know what I can and can’t tolerate so I always aim to start with the ‘avoid’ foods and then work around that.
So, firstly, here are a few things that I have found to be my (digestive) downfall and which you also might want to avoid or moderate, however, everyone is different and you may not be affected in the same way.
Acidic foods, acid producing foods/acidifying foods and drinks that can cause indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux:
4. Concentrated Fruit Juice.
8. Pickles (such as pickled onions, gherkins etc).
10. Too much spicy food!
I have found it very difficult to completely avoid eating/drinking everything in the above list (why is the good stuff always bad for you?!) so I do my best to indulge myself in moderation and with caution, whilst of course always keeping some Gaviscon to hand!
It’s also important to remember that not all highly acidic foods on the outside result in excessive acid production inside the body (such as lemons, tomatoes and chillies, which are actually highly alkaline when digested) and not all alkaline property foods are acid reducing (such as meat, fish and dairy which produce high acid levels during digestion).
The below acid reducing foods/alkalising foods/clean foods are by no means a direct replacement for the more acidic things (I am yet to find adequate substitutes for beer and pork pies), but they have certainly helped me plan meals better and feel more confident that I won’t be wincing in pain once I’ve finished eating.
Acid reducing foods/alkalising foods, high alkaline foods and ‘clean’ foods good for digestion, heartburn and acid reflux:
1. CUCUMBER – alkalising, soothing and cleansing benefits.
Technically a fruit and part of the squash family, cucumber is highly alkaline and certainly lives up to the phrase ‘cool as a cucumber’. With its high water content and soothing nature it acts as a very effective coolant and the alkalinity regulates our body pH and neutralises acidity at the same time. Try blended as a ‘Cucumber Cooler’ drink or eaten on its own after a meal to help cleanse the digestive system.
2. AVOCADO – high fibre and alkalising properties.
A true super-food, the list of nutrients and health benefits of avocados is endless and they are great for digestion mainly as they contain two types of fibres – soluble and insoluble. These fibres help food pass smoothly through the intestines whilst also stimulating gastric and digestive juices so nutrients are absorbed efficiently, therefore assisting effective and problem-free digestion. Try making some Guacamole or simply blending with apple, spinach, celery and kale to make a super green smoothie!
3. FRESH BEETROOT & BEETROOT GREENS (TOPS) – alkaline producing and high fibre properties.
Amongst a wide range of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, fresh beets and beet greens/tops have high alkaline producing properties and fibre content which make them very effective for digestion, neutralising acid and ensuring food travels smoothly through the digestive system. Best raw, try them blended in a smoothie or simply in a salad or stir fry. Did you know beetroot has also been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years? It contains Boron which can boost sexual hormones and increase fertility!
4. SWEET POTATO – easy to digest, alkalising and high fibre properties.
As well as being alkaline producing or ‘alkalising’, sweet potatoes are also very high in fibre (more so than regular potatoes) and magnesium which both facilitate digestion. They are easy to digest as they consist mainly of starch so it makes them easy on the stomach and intestine. As with regular potatoes, they are most beneficial with the skin left on as this layer is where the majority of nutrients, vitamins and minerals are stored. Try sweet potato wedges coated in smoked paprika for a delicious meal accompaniment.
5. GREEN BEANS – alkalising, high fibre, low calorie and zero cholesterol properties.
Packed full of vitamins and minerals, low in calories and fat plus zero cholesterol, green beans are also very high in fibre which is essential for smooth, effective digestion and production of gastric juices which also help neutralise acidity. Try adding to a stir fry for some extra crunch and super-goodness.
6. GINGER (FRESH) – highly alkalising, digestive aid and sugar regulation properties.
Despite its fiery and spicy taste, fresh ginger is highly alkalising and is commonly used to aid digestion and sooth stomach irritation, including excess gas. It helps regulate sugar levels which can disrupt digestion after eating and therefore soothes the stomach and allows it to function properly. Ginger is a very tasty addition to both food and drink. Try some ginger and lemon water in the morning to get your body off to a high alkaline start.
7. KALE – high fibre and alkaline producing properties for digestive benefits.
A member of the same species as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and greens (all of which are also highly alkalising with huge nutritional and digestive benefits), kale has become a bit of a dietary trend in recent years and not without good reason. Amongst many other vitamin and mineral properties, kale is high in fibre which reduces indigestion and therefore provides the best environment for food to be absorbed without blockage or irritation. Kale is best eaten raw or steamed as boiling can significantly reduce the nutritional benefits, as with most vegetables. However, kale is quite bitter so try adding to a salad or into a stir fry to spruce it up a bit.
8. CELERY – cooling, soothing and cleansing properties for acid reduction benefits.
Much like cucumber, celery is highly alkalising and is also mostly water which gives it cooling and cleansing properties which can have a soothing effect on the stomach and during digestion. It’s also a rare ‘negative calorie’ food as it takes more calories to chew and digest than it actually contains! Win win. These benefits are best felt with raw celery so try having a whole crunchy stick with a Virgin Mary cocktail made with fresh tomatoes for a super-healthy and refreshing drink.
9. APPLE – high fibre and alkaline properties to assist with digestion and acid reduction.
Another highly alkalising and high fibre food (there is a definite pattern emerging here!), apples are a great post-meal solution as they provide the sweetness often craved after savoury food. With juicy flesh and fibrous but thin skin, they are the ideal digestive aid. Did you know there are over 7,500 cultivated varieties of apple?! Try blending with celery and kale to produce the ultimate green smoothie or simply enjoy on its own after a meal.
10. WATERMELON – cooling, soothing and hydrating to help cleanse and refresh as well as high alkalising properties.
One of my favourite fruits for taste as well as alkalising and nutritional health benefits, watermelon in my opinion is the perfect way to end a meal. Less sugary than other melons and full of delicious, hydrating juice, it is best eaten on its own to get the full digestive benefits which cool and soothe the stomach and leave you feeling refreshed and cleansed. Simply cut into chunks and enjoy on its own.
There are so many acid reducing foods and alkalising foods which are easily and readily available on the high street and in supermarkets. In summary and perhaps not surprisingly, the most beneficial, acid reducing foods and alkalising foods are fruit and vegetables. As well as the majority being alkaline in composition, they are also highly alkalising which is the key factor in reducing body acidity once they have been digested and metabolised.
I certainly won’t completely eliminate all the more acid producing comfort food and drink in my diet, but moderation is definitely key. Plus with a little help from my highly alkalising friends above, I’m sure I can continue to enjoy most foods and I hope you can too!
I hope you enjoyed this article about acid reducing foods and alkalising foods. Please let me know what you think about this article and if the information was helpful. Your feedback is most welcome so please comment below or get in touch at thefoodbeaver.com or through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Food Beaver.
Useful sources of information about acid reducing foods and alkalising foods: