Having heartburn and acid reflux can be very unpleasant. When it comes to our health, we all try to find “cures” for things in foods or drinks. A hangover cure for example – people have their own choice of “cure.”
You may have heard someone tell you that yogurt can help with acid reflux or heartburn – but is there any truth to that?
This article will explore this in some depth – so get yourself comfortable and let’s dive in!
Yogurts and other dairy products have been used in home medicines for centuries. Yogurt is the result of fermented milk. Live bacteria are added to milk, and through the process of yogurt is created, all the while with live bacteria present.
We sometimes refer to this bacteria as “good bacteria” as it can benefit your health in some ways.
Due to its slightly acidic nature, yogurt can prevent the growth of “bad bacteria” also being present in it.
Is Yogurt Good For Acid Reflux?
Any potential benefits that yogurt may have on acid reflux is entirely dependent on the person. Underlying health conditions for example might be affected with the introduction of yogurt to the diet.
People with lactose intolerance may experience further troubles with gas, bloating, pains or diarrhea.
There is little evidence that yogurt is good for acid reflux, but there are some studies that suggest it might have a role to play in soothing some of the problems associated with acid reflux.
As yogurt is a very weak acid and contains probiotic “good bacteria” – it should assist in diluting stomach acid and in turn, should lessen any acid reflux or heartburn symptoms.
- Related Article: Careful with Foods that Cause Gas and Bloating
Does Yogurt Have Any Other Benefits?
Although its beneficial role in acid reflux is debated, could yogurt have any further health benefits? Some potential benefits are:
Yogurt with live probiotics can help alleviate some GI symptoms such as diarrhea and heavy gas.
Boosting The Immune System
Some studies have suggested that the body’s immune system can have a boost to its resistance to certain infections.
Assisting Weight Management
Yogurt can be low in calories and contain important things for our body’s health such as potassium, magnesium, vitamins, minerals and protein.
When used as part of a balanced diet, yogurt can be helpful in achieving your weight goals.
It’s important to note though that this does not apply to all yogurts – some yogurt can be high in sugar and fat, so it’s important to read the labels first.
Prevention Of Symptoms
Heartburn and acid reflux symptoms can be, to some extent, avoided by steering clear of certain foods and drinks such as:
- Oranges/lemons/grapefruit (citrus fruit)
Instead, it may be better to opt for food and drink like:
- Lean proteins (chicken, eggs etc.)
- “Good fats” like avocados
The Importance Of Acidity
If you’re living with acid reflux, particularly if it’s frequent – it’s important to concentrate on the acidity of foods. You’ll want to avoid highly acidic foods and you can check this by looking at the pH level on the label.
7 is neutral – pure water tends to be around 7. Anything above 7 is categorized as an alkaline.
Eating more alkaline foods is the better option if you’re dealing with acid reflux or heartburn and keeping with a balanced diet, should be able to regulate your stomach’s acid levels.
It’s been suggested, too, that eating more alkaline foods (like some fruits and vegetables) can have a positive effect on the maintenance of muscle mass as you age.
Some people feel that alkaline water is helpful.
Greek Yogurt – The Best Choice
If you’re looking for a yogurt that could help with some acid reflux or heartburn symptoms, look no further than Greek yogurt.
Most Greek yogurts have been created by removing whey.
Whey is a big source of lactose – so removing this can be helpful for anyone who is lactose intolerant and looking to soothe heartburn or acid reflux.
- Related Article: Is Greek Yogurt Lactose Free?
It’s also been known to help with post workout recovery and sustaining fitness progress. Due to its high protein content, it can reduce the hunger feeling and promote a feeling of fullness.
This is of course good for someone wanting to lose weight, and weight loss can help reduce acid reflux!
What Do I Need To Know?
Everybody is different and it is impossible to give a definitive answer of whether yogurt will be good for your acid reflux or heartburn symptoms.
However, there is some evidence that yogurt can benefit you, but there is also evidence that it can make things worse.
The sure-fire way to get your acid reflux or heartburn under control is to speak with your doctor.
But, we will look at some key points:
- It is possible for yogurt to neutralize stomach acid, alleviating some reflux symptoms (more on low stomach acid symptoms)
- Yogurt can be soothing and help in the short term – but if there is an underlying issue, yogurt will not “cure” it
- The “good bacteria” in yogurt can help regulate digestive problems
- When part of a balanced diet and eaten with certain foods, yogurt can enhance anti-inflammatory properties
- Greek yogurt is the best all round choice due to its reduced lactose content. Those with lactose intolerance will make their symptoms worse by eating a high lactose dairy product
- Some yogurts are low in fat, calories and sugar while also being high in protein, vitamins and minerals. This makes it an ideal choice for those wanting to lose weight
If you are experiencing acid reflux or heartburn symptoms frequently, or you are worried about your gastrointestinal health – it is recommended you speak with your doctor as soon as possible.
If you want to try out Greek yogurt, here are a couple popular options:
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