Last Updated: April 30, 2018
When the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) fails to contract, it allows digestive acids to travel backward from the stomach to the throat, causing burning sensations in the chest. This is what’s known as heartburn, or, in more severe cases, acid reflux or acid indigestion. Other symptoms include bloating, burping, nausea, mouth soreness, dizziness, and hiccups. Heartburn is often triggered by stress and the consumption of greasy, fatty, or spicy foods.
There are plenty of commercial antacids available over the counter, but their effects are short -lived, and they often contain chemicals that cause unwanted side effects. Instead of wasting money on those, try almond milk. It’s a natural, affordable, effective home remedy for acid reflux and heartburn. Before we tell you exactly how to use it, take a look at the reasons why it works.
- Is Almond Milk Good for Acid Reflux?
- How to Treat Acid Reflux with Almond Milk
- 1. Strawberry – Almond Milk Smoothie
- 2. Avocado – Almond Milk Smoothie
- 3. Green Tea with Almond Milk
- 4. Oatmeal with Almond Milk
- 5. Pineapple – Almond Milk Smoothie
- 6. Ginger—Melon–Almond Milk Smoothie
- 7. Almond Milk and Herb Smoothie
- 8. Papaya – Almond Milk Smoothie
- 9. Double Almond Smoothie
- 10. Cocoa – Almond Milk Smoothie
- 11. Berry – Almond Milk Smoothie
- 12. Homemade Raw Almond Milk
- Tips and Precautions:
- Good and bad acidic foods
- Here Are the Top 10 Most Acidic Foods to Avoid
- Acid, Alkaline, and Neutral Blood pH
- High Acid Foods vs. Low Acid Foods
- How Acidic Foods Affect the Body
- Cravings for Acidic Foods
- Top 10 Most Acidic Foods to Avoid
- Tipping the Balance
- Can a Low-Acid Diet Help Prevent Cancer?
- Table Of Contents
- What Are Acidic Foods?
- Top Acidic Foods You Should Stay Away From
- What Happens When You Eat Acidic Foods?
- Substitutes For Acidic Foods
- What is acid reflux?
- What causes acid reflux?
- Should you eliminate foods to ease reflux?
- Low FODMAP diet for acid reflux
- Lifestyle approaches for acid reflux
- Acid reflux foods to avoid
- What You Need To Know About Your Alkaline Diet:
- ACIDIC FOODS TO AVOID
- ALKALINE-PROMOTING VEGETABLES
- CITRUS FRUITS
- OTHER ALKALINE-RICH FOODS
- Top Alkaline Foods to Eat & Acid Foods to Avoid
- Test Your Body’s Acidity or Alkalinity with pH Strips
- Foods: are they Acid or Alkaline-forming?
- Which foods are acidic?
Is Almond Milk Good for Acid Reflux?
- Almond milk is alkaline, it neutralizes stomach acids that cause heartburn.
- Almond milk contains vitamins D and E, manganese, magnesium, and anti-oxidants that support proper digestion.
- Almond milk is rich in calcium, which helps the LES contract properly, preventing acid reflux.
- Because it is plant-based, almond milk is low in unhealthy fats.
- It contains omega – 3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation caused by digestive acids.
- Almond milk coats the linings of the esophagus and stomach, preventing corrosion of delicate tissues while soothing burning sensations caused by heartburn.
- The natural oils in almond milk also neutralize digestive acids.
How to Treat Acid Reflux with Almond Milk
Almond milk can be used alone and in combination with other natural ingredients that keep the digestive system healthy. Drink almond milk daily, use it with cereal and oatmeal, put it in coffee and tea, and try all the recipes below.
1. Strawberry – Almond Milk Smoothie
- In a blender, mix 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup of fresh strawberries, 1 fresh banana, and 1 cup of spinach until smooth.
- Drink at least 3 times a week.
2. Avocado – Almond Milk Smoothie
- In a blender, mix 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, ½ of a fresh peeled avocado, 1 fresh banana, 1 tablespoon each of raw honey, bee pollen, chia seeds, and ½ teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and vanilla until smooth.
- Drink at least 3 times a week.
3. Green Tea with Almond Milk
- Brew organic green tea.
- Fill 2/3 of a mug with green tea.
- Fill the last 3rd of the mug with cool almond milk.
- Drink whenever you get heartburn. You may also try Green Tea as a home remedy for acid reflux.
4. Oatmeal with Almond Milk
- Cook your oatmeal using almond milk instead of regular milk.
- Mix in banana slices and top with raw honey and flax seeds to further neutralize stomach acids.
- Eat at least 3 times a week.
- Cook ½ cup of oatmeal in 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
- Mix in 1 tablespoon of toasted coconut, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and banana slices.
- Eat this to get rid of acid reflux.
5. Pineapple – Almond Milk Smoothie
- In a blender, mix 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup of apple juice, 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks, ½ cup of strawberries, ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt, and 1 teaspoon turmeric until smooth.
- Drink this before breakfast to get rid of acid reflux.
6. Ginger—Melon–Almond Milk Smoothie
- In a blender, mix 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, ½ cup each of cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew, and 2 teaspoons of ground ginger and 1 ripe banana until smooth.
- Have this whenever you have acid reflux.
Ginger is a best home remedy for acid reflux as it helps to reduce the back up of contents into esophagus.
7. Almond Milk and Herb Smoothie
- In a soup pot, bring 250 ml of coconut milk and almond milk to a simmer.
- Stir in 10 leaves of rooibos tea leaves, 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger root, and1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg.
- Let simmer 5 minutes to make a tea.
- Remove from heat and strain out tea leaves.
- In a blender mix, milk/herb tea, ½ of an avocado, 1 tablespoon each of chia seeds and coconut oil and a small handful of almonds and walnuts until smooth.
- sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg powder over it.
- Drink at least 3 times a week.
8. Papaya – Almond Milk Smoothie
- In a blender, mix ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup papaya chunks, 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 banana, 2 tablespoons of raw honey, and 2 tablespoons of almonds until smooth.
- Drink in the morning.
9. Double Almond Smoothie
- In a blender, mix 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk, 1 fresh banana, 1 tablespoon of almond butter, 1 teaspoon of raw honey and ½ cup crushed ice until smooth.
- Have this as a breakfast smoothie to get relief from the acid reflux.
10. Cocoa – Almond Milk Smoothie
- In a blender, mix 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1 cup of torn romaine lettuce leaves, 2 fresh bananas, 1 tablespoon of raw cocoa powder, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract and blend until smooth.
- Add 1 cup of almond milk until smoothie reaches desired consistency.
- Drink this to get complete relief from acid reflux.
11. Berry – Almond Milk Smoothie
- In a blender, mix 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk with ½ cup each of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries until smooth.
- Drink 3 times a week.
12. Homemade Raw Almond Milk
- Fill a container halfway with 1 cup of almonds.
- Cover them with water, put a lid on the container, and let soak overnight.
- In the morning, drain water.
- In a blender, mix soaked almonds, 3 cups of fresh water, and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract until smooth.
- Strain mixture through cheesecloth to extract milk.
- Store milk in refrigerator.
- Have this chilled milk before meals to reduce acid reflux.
- you can also add 1 teaspoon of flaxseeds instead of vanilla bean .
- Or use in the above recipes in place of store-bought almond milk.
Tips and Precautions:
For best results, follow the advice below when using almond milk to treat heartburn and acid reflux.
- Always use homemade or store-bought organic, unsweetened almond milk in the above recipes.
- Make sure milk is fresh.
- Use almond milk only in recommended amounts as over-consumption of almonds worsens heartburn.
- If heartburn persists after 2 weeks of almond milk treatments, consult your doctor.
- These almond milk remedies must be used regularly for at least two weeks to effectively prevent heartburn and acid reflux.
- Almond milk remedies work best when used in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
Have you tried any of these methods for using almond milk to treat heartburn and acid reflux? Tell us which ones worked best for you!
Image source – Flickr
Hi everyone, this is Rajee!
I live the beautiful city of Baltimore, where my husband works.
I’m from India. I have been visiting India on and off for past few years and my mom was an inspiration for me to start this site. She has a wealth of knowledge on home remedies for a large number of health problems, and we grew up in an environment where frequent visits to the doctor just wasn’t logistically or financially feasible.
Despite this, she managed to raise a family of healthy kids, and my goal here at Home Remedies for Life is to pass on some of her knowledge of natural remedies.
Good and bad acidic foods
Knowledge of human physiology and evidence from clinical trials are both helpful in understanding the effects of acidic foods on blood pH and overall health.
Supporters of the acid-ash hypothesis claim that diet affects blood pH level.
However, the body’s buffering system tightly regulates blood pH in a process known as acid-base homeostasis.
Examples of buffers include calcium stored in bone, proteins, or other mechanisms by which the body resists pH changes in the bloodstream.
The following two mechanisms are primarily involved in this process:
- Respiratory compensation: Breathing rate increases when acid levels are high. This breaks down the carbonic acid in the blood to water and carbon dioxide or CO2. The process, including the exhalation of the CO2, returns blood pH to normal levels.
- Renal compensation: The kidneys produce bicarbonate ions, which neutralize acid within the blood.
These two mechanisms are so effective at balancing acids and bases that it is almost impossible for a person’s diet to have any influence on blood pH.
A blood pH level that falls below pH 7.35 indicates a severe problem with lung or kidney function.
This condition, termed acidosis, causes a buildup of acid in the tissues and fluids and can be fatal if left untreated.
One major prediction of the acid-ash hypothesis is that taking alkalizing salts will directly reduce the acidity of the blood.
This reduction would stop the body’s need to leach calcium from the bones, meaning that it would excrete less in the urine. Several studies have investigated this claim by measuring whether alkalizing salts reduce urinary calcium excretion.
According to a 2013 review, initial studies did indeed show that taking the alkalizing salt potassium reduced the amount of calcium in the urine. Researchers then interpreted this as support for the acid-ash hypothesis.
It was later realized, however, that a decrease in the amount of calcium leached from the bones was not responsible for this drop in urinary calcium. Instead, this was because potassium blocks the absorption of excess calcium in the blood.
The lower the calcium levels in the blood, the less calcium available to be filtered out into the urine.
Other clinical trials cited in the review directly investigated whether taking alkalizing salts benefits bone health. Initially, two short studies suggested that these salts may indeed maintain healthy bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
However, more rigorous, longer-term, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) failed to show any benefit of alkalizing salts. As a result, the scientific consensus is that an alkaline diet does not benefit bone health with the initial positive results likely being due to random chance or a placebo effect.
Here Are the Top 10 Most Acidic Foods to Avoid
by: Yuri Elkaim
Are your food choices helping your body achieve a perfect balance that keeps you feeling healthy and energized?
Chances are, if you’re like most of us eating a modern diet, the balance in your food choices – between acid and alkaline foods – has flipped to just the opposite of what your body needs.
One of the key ways to test your body’s balance is to measure your blood pH.
In this post I’m going to lay out the role your blood pH plays in promoting health, and which foods might not be the most helpful for you when it comes to eating for energy and overall vitality.
You might be surprised by some of the foods on the acidic list.
Acid, Alkaline, and Neutral Blood pH
Let’s get into some background first about your blood pH. First, it’s measured on a scale of 1-14, which ranges from highly acidic to highly alkaline.
Stomach acid, for example, has a pH of 3.5, because your stomach must be highly acidic to break down food and kill of harmful pathogens and bacteria.
Ideally, our blood pH should be between 7.35-7.45, which is considered neutral. Anything less than 6 is highly acidic, while anything over 8 is more on the alkaline side.
Keeping a neutral blood pH is critical for a number of reasons.
First, acidic blood prevents oxygen from reaching cells, which stops cells from functioning properly (1).
And when cells aren’t properly receiving oxygen, they can’t transport oxygen to your organs.
This directly impairs your body from being able to perform critical functions such as digestion and energy production.
High Acid Foods vs. Low Acid Foods
The types of foods we eat on a regular basis impact the acidity or alkalinity of our blood.
Like our blood, food can be measured on the pH scale as acid or alkaline. Now, it’s important to note that we need both to maintain a good pH balance.
But here’s the thing: most foods in today’s standard diet are on the acidic side of the scale.
So, instead of eating a combination of 80 percent alkaline foods and 20 percent acidic foods (which is optimal to maintain a neutral blood pH), the ratio has flipped to 80 percent acidic and 20 percent alkaline.
While you might think that a food’s taste is a clue to its pH, that’s not the case at all.
Instead, foods are considered acid foods or alkaline foods based on the residue they leave behind when metabolized.
Foods are also considered low acid (or alkaline) based on whether or not they require alkalizing minerals to be released from the body. These minerals act as a “buffer” for highly acidic foods, to help minimize their negative effect on the blood.
This explains why citrus fruits, tomatoes and onions are alkalizing, despite having acidifying properties before entering the body. They do not leave behind acidic residue or need to be buffered upon being metabolized.
How Acidic Foods Affect the Body
Acidifying foods contribute to lowering the blood’s pH.
Acidic blood can lead to serious health conditions, such as kidney stones, an increased risk for cancer (an acidic environment is favorable for the growth of cancer cells), and can also prevent the liver from being able to properly detoxify (2).
Bone density can also be reduced by acidic blood. This is because calcium, an alkaline mineral, is leached from the bones to neutralize the blood’s pH when it risks becoming too acidic (3).
Some people report stomachaches from eating acidic foods – but whether not acidifying foods cause stomachaches is subjective and depends on an individual’s internal environment and current state of health.
The stomach lining is naturally protected from acidity, as it would otherwise get “eaten” by stomach acid. But in some cases, people with digestive issues like acid reflux or stomach ulcers might be bothered by acidic foods.
Foods that aren’t considered acidic but that have acidifying properties before digestion can sometimes aggravate existing digestive issues as their acidity (not their pH) can be felt prior to digestion.
Acidic foods have also been linked to promoting canker sores. While there’s no current evidence that acidic foods are the primary cause of canker sores, it’s suggested they may trigger certain areas around the mouth where stress or tissue injury already exists.
Cravings for Acidic Foods
And to top it off, acidifying foods also have the potential to cause cravings for more acidic foods.
In most cases, the body becomes conditioned to crave the foods you eat most frequently. So, if your diet is high in acidifying foods, you are more likely to get cravings for them.
In some cases, cravings for acidifying foods could be the body’s way of asking for help in breaking down excess calcium, or to rebalance your pH if it’s become too alkaline (although it’s less common to encounter highly alkaline blood).
As you can see, it’s important to keep an eye on your intake of acid-forming foods, and make sure that alkaline foods form the basis of your diet to prevent health complications from acidosis.
Not all acidic foods have to be completely avoided, but eating them less frequently will help you maintain a healthy blood pH.
Here’s an in-depth list of acidic foods to minimize in your diet.
Top 10 Most Acidic Foods to Avoid
Animal protein – chicken, turkey, and beef – is considered acidic once metabolized.
This is because animal protein contains high amounts of purines, which are compounds present in RNA and DNA, and form uric acid. When high levels of uric acid build up in the blood, not only does it have an acidifying effect on blood pH, but uric acid can also spread to tissues and joints, causing gout and kidney stones.
As a less acidic alternative to animal protein, plant protein sources such as chlorella and spirulina contain a lower amount of purines.
If you do choose to include meat in your diet, I recommend sticking to organic and free-range animal products, which are typically higher in nutrients.
Wild game like bison or elk have less of an inflammatory effect, and a higher concentration of omega 3 essential fatty acids.
Dairy falls under the umbrella of acidifying foods to avoid. This is because it has a dysfunctional mineral relationship.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, the importance of minerals to health is all dependent on how minerals work together in the body, which is why they are needed in specific ratios.
When considering cow’s milk, dairy products contain both calcium and phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus are needed in the ratio of 2.5 to 1 for optimal health. Unfortunately, cow’s milk has a ratio of 1.27 to 1.
This means that while we certainly receive calcium from cow’s milk, we’re also receiving far too much phosphorus.
Phosphorus prevents the absorption of calcium in the small intestine, and the acidifying effects of milk requires calcium to be leached from the stores in bones to prevent blood from becoming too acidic.
Nut milks such as almond or coconut milk are less acidifying milk alternatives to dairy.
I personally recommend avoiding glutenous grains not only because they are difficult to digest and create inflammation in the body, but also because they’re acidifying (4).
Non-glutenous grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat are still considered acid forming, but rank lower on the acidity scale. For this reason, they’re acceptable to include in your diet in small amounts, but shouldn’t be a staple at every meal.
Non-Glutenous Recipe Options:
- Vegetarian Quinoa Bibimbap Recipe
- Easy Mango, Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
- Vegan Buddha Bowl with Sweet Sesame Brittle
Legumes are considered a mildly acidifying food, but they also come with several health benefits. For this reason, it’s not necessary to completely avoid legumes, but to eat them in moderation and pair them with alkalizing foods.
Legumes help balance blood sugar levels, which is a major health benefit when you’re eating for energy. They also have the ability to help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels (5).
In fact, I cover many health benefits of legumes in this blog post.
Eggs also rank as acidic for being rich in uric-acid forming purines.
If you choose to eat eggs, try to limit your consumption or increase your daily intake of alkalizing foods.
As with meat, I also recommend going for quality when it comes to eggs and opting for an organic, cage-free variety, as they will be higher in nutrients and contain fewer antibiotics and hormones, which are toxic to the body.
From an acid-alkaline perspective, nuts are a better source of protein than animal products since they’re less acidic when metabolized.
However, nuts are still mildly acid forming, so limiting their consumption to 20 percent or less of your overall diet is recommended.
7. Vegetable Oils
Vegetable fats and oils such as canola or sunflower seed oil have a mildly acidifying effect on the blood.
While their essential fatty acids are needed for good health, healthy fats aren’t required in high amounts. This is why limiting the healthy fats in your diet to 20 percent (included with nuts) is an ideal amount to have less of an impact on blood pH.
Alcohol is a highly acidifying food that, when metabolized, robs the body of alkalizing minerals such as magnesium.
Alcohol can also aggravate stomach aches in those whose digestive systems are sensitive to highly acidic foods.
Coffee is considered highly acidic because it also requires the release of minerals from the body to be buffered when metabolized.
All forms of coffee is acidic, but some are more acid forming than others, depending on how the beans are roasted and brewed.
If you’re a frequent coffee drinker, I recommend sticking to swiss water decaf as its overall acidity content is lower, and it does not use chemicals to be processed.
10. Refined Sugar
White or refined sugar – which includes soda, muffins, pastries, candy, white bread and processed grains and other “leisurely” foods – is highly acid forming.
One of the reasons why many people develop a higher blood pH is because processed foods that contain several grams of refined sugar are prevalent in our diets as convenience foods.
Some people include sugary processed foods at every snack and meal. You can only imagine how much work your body has to do in order to neutralize the acidity of refined sugar.
If you have a sweet tooth, you’re much better off to get your sugar fix by eating alkalizing fruit and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes.
Raw honey, dates and maple syrup are alkalizing alternatives to acidic sweeteners that can be consumed in small amounts.
Tipping the Balance
As you may have already guessed, the best way to neutralize the negative effects of acidic foods is to eat plenty of alkaline foods – and the most alkaline foods and vegetables and fruits.
Eating plenty of vegetables helps provide your body with the essential vitamins and minerals required for health that are used as buffers against acid forming foods.
By focusing on eating alkalizing foods and cutting back on acid-forming foods wherever possible, you’ll be doing your body a massive favor.
Enjoy This Article?
Yuri Elkaim is one of the world’s most trusted health and fitness experts. A former pro soccer player turned NYT bestselling author of The All-Day Energy Diet and The All-Day Fat Burning Diet, his clear, science-backed advice has transformed the lives of more than 500,000 men and women and he’s on a mission to help 100 million people by 2040. Read his inspiring story, “From Soccer to Bed to No Hair on My Head” that started it all.
Can a Low-Acid Diet Help Prevent Cancer?
For years, a pervasive theory has existed that eating a low-acid, high-alkaline diet can help fight and prevent cancer. The premise? Cancer cells thrive in acidity (low pH), but not in alkalinity (high pH), so a diet high in alkaline foods like fruits and vegetables that also limits acidic foods, such as those from animal products, will raise blood pH levels and create an environment in the body that discourages cancer growth.
But is it true?
Not exactly, says Mitchell L. Gaynor, founder of Gaynor Integrative Oncology in New York City, a medical oncologist and author of The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle.
While eating a low-acid diet may help prevent or fight cancer by keeping inflammation within the body at bay, that dynamic has nothing to do with pH levels. “You can’t change your blood pH,” Gaynor says. “Your lungs and kidneys will make sure it stays in the right range, regardless of what you eat.”
Normal blood pH range is between 7.35 and 7.45 for most people, and given the tight regulation of blood pH level by the lungs and kidneys, what you eat — or don’t eat — has little effect on it. PH levels in urine can be affected by dietary factors, but the two systems are completely separate, says Lisa Cimperman, a clinical dietitian at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
As with many dietary theories, this one started from a kernel of truth. Early laboratory experiments suggested that cancer cells would thrive in an acidic environment and research has shown that, due to a tumor’s higher metabolic activity and limitations in blood flow, the microenvironment around them tends to be slightly more acidic, Gaynor says, adding that cancers produce lactic acid through a metabolic process called the Cori cycle.
Because of the way cancer cells metabolize, initially described in the 1950s and termed the “Warburg effect,” these cells have the potential to create an acidic environment where a tumor is located, Cimperman says. But it’s the cancer that creates the acidic environment, not the acidic environment that creates the cancer, she says.
The theory of the low-acid, high-alkaline diet as a cancer preventer or fighter persists because diet is something we can control, Cimperman says. But while the purported link between diet and blood pH is not grounded in sound science, there’s plenty of good that can be drawn from this way of eating when it comes to preventing and fighting cancer.
Whether a food is considered “acidic” or “alkaline” depends on its pH value (measured on a 14-point scale). A pH of seven is considered neutral, with foods below seven considered more acidic and foods above seven considered more alkaline. Alkaline foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and root vegetables are all broken down into short-chain fatty acids that contain prebiotic nutrients that nourish good bacteria in your gut, says Gaynor. These good bacteria help decrease inflammation throughout your body that might otherwise contribute to cancer, while foods such as refined sugar and flour, as well as too much saturated animal fat, create an acidic environment in your gut because they’re difficult to digest, he says.
“All of these ‘high alkaline’ foods are good, not because you’re changing the pH of your blood, but because they’re promoting good bacteria in your gut,” he says.
Despite its advantages, a low-acid diet has not been shown to enhance the body’s response to chemotherapy, even though many claim it can, Gaynor clarifies. Further, he cautions that there’s no need to buy special products that promise to boost alkalinity, such as “alkaline water.”
Cimperman agrees that most individuals can safely follow a high-alkaline diet if they choose to, adding the caveat that some cancer patients already face too many barriers to getting adequate nutrition without further restricting their food intake.
“It’s difficult for some patients to get the nutrition they need to maintain their weight,” she says. “Weight helps many cancer patients better tolerate treatment, so I encourage those undergoing treatment to eat whatever they can tolerate that helps them maintain their weight. There is no ‘perfect’ diet.”
What Are The Top Acidic Foods You Should Avoid? Swathi Handoo Hyderabd040-395603080 December 23, 2019
Are you having sleepless nights because of heartburn? Are you burning out your gut daily? Are you unable to adjust to minute changes in your diet? Are you always in search of bland and spiceless food options?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all of these questions, you are looking at the right page – because we’ve got all the answers!
Consuming foods that generate high levels of acid in your stomach can lead to the symptoms mentioned above. This article tells you about the acidic foods you should stay away from. Scroll down!
Table Of Contents
- What Are Acidic Foods?
- Top Acidic Foods You Should Stay Away From
- What Happens If You Eat Acidic Foods?
- Substitutes For Acidic Foods
What Are Acidic Foods?
Foods that have a pH level of 4.5 or lesser and tend to cause more acidity in your stomach are acidic foods.
To make it simple, let’s understand the concept of acids and bases. All foods – solids and liquids – have a pH value that makes them acidic or basic.
Chemically speaking, the pH value of a compound tells you how many hydrogen molecules it has. On a scale of 1 to 14, all the compounds having a pH less than 7 are acidic. Water is neutral and has a pH of 7. All those compounds above 7 are alkaline or basic foods.
To summarize, lower the pH, higher the acidity. And what foods fall into the low pH, highly acidic category? Here you go…
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Top Acidic Foods You Should Stay Away From
Contrary to popular belief, many vegetables and fruits trigger higher acid production and give you acidity.
Let’s look at the list of foods with their pH values that you should not be consuming if you have GERD(gastroesophageal reflux disease) because they decrease the pH of your gut.
So what if these foods are acidic? Why should you stay away from them? These are some questions you might be asking. I’m coming to that. Read on!
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What Happens When You Eat Acidic Foods?
Everything that you eat has to come in contact with the gastric juice in your stomach. This gastric juice is highly acidic and has a pH between 1.5 to 3.5 (equivalent to hydrochloric acid).
Our body has mechanisms to strictly control the pH in the gut and levels of gastric juice in the stomach. When the pH of your stomach is already acidic, and you eat acidic foods, a cumulative effect is created that lowers the pH in your gut even more.
It’s like adding fuel to the fire!
There’s too much acid generated at once, which can give rise to conditions like:
1. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Consuming highly acidic foods can damage the protective inner lining of your stomach, giving you dreadful ulcers and terrible acid reflux.
What’s worse is if this acid reflux and inflammation continue and reach the upper GI tract and esophagus, which do not have a protective mucus-secreting cell lining (like your stomach). It can lead to chronic burning sensation, dyspepsia, acidity, heartburn, and ulcers in your mouth.
This is what happens when you have GERD. Trust me, you will not be able to swallow something as soothing as cold milk!
2. Causes Tooth Decay
Eating or drinking sugary and starchy foods can lead to the formation of a thin, sticky, invisible film of bacteria called plaque all over your teeth.
When high sugar foods come in contact with plaque, the acids that digest the food attack your teeth till almost 20 minutes after you finish eating.
Repeated acid attacks like these break down the hard enamel layer on your teeth, ultimately leading to tooth decay. Something similar happens in the case of acid reflux too (1).
3. Can Give Rise To Bone Diseases
Due to the Western diets that have a high acid, sodium, and bicarbonate content, and low potassium and calcium content, there is a gradual loss of bone density.
The urinary loss of calcium (which increases by 74% when on highly acidic foods), an inadequacy of potassium and vitamin D, and hypertension together trigger bone resorption and early onset of bone diseases like osteoporosis (2).
4. Could Cause Kidney Stones
The excretion of minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium through urine is essential for your kidneys’ health.
Having highly acidic foods can cause your kidneys to retain a fraction of these minerals while generating urine.
Over time, such mineral deposits turn into renal calculi or kidney stones. These could be fatal if left untreated.
So, how do we stop all this?
A simple way out is to reduce the consumption of such high acid-generating foods. But almost half of the foods we take in daily fall under this category. Some of them are highly nutritious too!
Then, how do we make it up?
The good news is that we have many substitutes for these foods that are equally nutritious but less acidic. You can try to choose the more alkaline options to prevent acid reflux.
Scroll down to find out what the options are.
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Substitutes For Acidic Foods
Choosing less acidic or alkaline foods over highly acidic ones can prevent you from burning your gut and esophagus.
Take a look at this pH spectrum to understand what foods fall into acidic and alkaline categories.
For your quick reference, here are some easily available alkaline foods with their pH values that you can add to your grocery list:
Do you want to know what wonders you can do with these? Scroll down for a surprise!
Avocado And Quinoa Salad (Quick And Comfy!)
What You Need
- Ripe avocados: 4 (peeled and quartered)
- Quinoa: 1 cup
- Chickpeas: 400g, drained
- Parsley (flat leaf): 30g, torn
Let’s Make It!
- Cook the quinoa by putting one cup of quinoa in a pot with two cups of water. Bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 12 minutes until the water has evaporated.
- Fluff with a fork until the grains are swollen and glassy.
- Toss all the ingredients together and season with sea salt and black pepper. (You can also add broccoli or kale for some crunch.)
- Serve warm with lemon wedges and olive oil.
- I know, you’re glad that you came to this page! You’re welcome!
Switching to a diet rich in foods with a higher pH, like the vegetables and greens listed in this article, will help you protect your body from undesirable chemical stress.
Formulate a diet that has 80% alkaline and 20% acidic foods so that you get the best of both worlds.
Entirely avoiding acidic foods, especially fruits and nuts, is also not advisable. So, balance is key!
Try out the recipe and let us know your feedback, comments, and suggestions in the comments section below.
Feel free to share your diet stories and creative recipes with us on this page.
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- The Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth, University of Rochester Medical Health Center.
- The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health? Journal of Environmental and Public Health, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
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Swathi holds a Master’s degree in Biotechnology and has worked in places where actual science and research happen. Blending her love for writing with science, Swathi writes for Health and Wellness and simplifies complex topics for readers from all walks of life.And on the days she doesn’t write, she learns and performs Kathak, sings Carnatic music compositions, makes plans to travel, and obsesses over cleanliness.
Do you often experience a burning sensation in your throat or stomach after eating? If so, this is most likely acid reflux – a condition you could be making worse without even knowing it.
We speak to Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist Caroline Trickey about acid reflux symptoms, causes and what foods to avoid:
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid leaks up, the wrong direction, from the stomach into the oesophagus. Symptoms of acid reflux range from heartburn to difficulty swallowing – or there can be no symptoms at all. It can be painful, uncomfortable and inconvenient to the sufferer.
Trickey regularly sees clients in her clinic suffering from acid reflux, and has found that the biggest contributor to reflux is actually how people eat. ‘Most people eat quickly, don’t chew their food properly and tend to eat while busily doing other things, so they are not relaxed when they eat,’ says Trickey. ‘Yet digestion works best when the body is relaxed.’
‘Overeating is also a very big issue when it comes to reflux,’ she adds. ‘Especially when dining out as portion sizes are usually way too big. People forget that their stomach is only the size of their clenched fist. However, many of us try to fit way more food than that in there!’
What causes acid reflux?
When you swallow food, it travels down the oesophagus, and passes through a ring of muscle called the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS), into the stomach. The job of the LOS is to control what gets in to the stomach, and to prevent the stomach contents from getting back out again.
However, the LOS is a muscle, and like other muscles, its tone can vary. Acid reflux occurs when the LOS becomes abnormally relaxed, and allows the backward flow of the stomach contents back into the oesophagus.
People forget that their stomach is only the size of their clenched fist.
A number of factors can affect the tone and functioning of the LOS – from being overweight to smoking or taking medication. Certain foods and drinks can also exacerbate aid reflux, although there is still a fair bit of controversy in the medical community over which foods can cause or worsen reflux symptoms – largely because this seems to vary significantly between individuals.
Should you eliminate foods to ease reflux?
Before eliminating foods, Trickey advises regular sufferers of reflux to first take a look at how they eat. ‘Sit down to eat and take a few breaths before you start to help your body relax,’ she suggests.
‘Eat slowly and chew your food well. This will also give you a chance to realise when you are full and help reduce the chances of overeating. This really is the first place to start. And this is still good advice to follow while trying to cut out certain foods too.’
Low FODMAP diet for acid reflux
If you’ve changed the way you eat but you’re still suffering, it might be worth trying an elimination diet. The low FODMAP diet is a temporary elimination diet that avoids foods that you might not digest properly, and can work well for acid reflux sufferers.
The low FODMAP diet is a temporary elimination diet that avoids foods that you might not digest properly.
FODMAPs include a range of foods like certain fruits (apples, pears), vegetables (leeks, onions, garlic), dairy products and legumes. These foods can ferment in your small intestine and cause a build-up of gas, which appears to contribute to acid reflux in some susceptible individuals.
‘This is the best dietary approach I have used with clients, when all other issues have been ruled out,’ says Trickey. ‘It has been incredibly beneficial to many people who suffer from very severe forms of reflux.’
⚠️ A low FODMAP diet should always be trialled under the guidance of a dietitian or other health professional who is familiar with this dietary approach.
Lifestyle approaches for acid reflux
The following lifestyle tips are also recommended for those suffering with acid reflux:
✔️ Avoid eating too close to bedtime, and don’t lie down straight after eating.
✔️ Take steps to lose weight if overweight or obese.
✔️ Stop smoking.
✔️ If you notice symptoms after taking medications or supplements, speak with your doctor.
✔️ Wear loose fitting clothing and avoid anything tight around your middle, which can put pressure on your stomach.
✔️ Do regular, moderate exercise.
✔️ If you regularly suffer from acid reflux, it is recommended to keep a food and symptom diary to help you track the foods that are your particular heartburn offenders.
Acid reflux foods to avoid
The following foods have all been linked with acid reflux, but further research is needed. However, that’s not to say sufferers won’t find benefits from reducing or avoiding some, or all, of these foods.
1. High fat foods
Fat slows down the emptying of the stomach, so there is more opportunity for a full, distended stomach, which increases pressure on the LOS. This may boost your risk of reflux symptoms. Common high fat offenders include deep fried foods like fish and chips, as well as fatty cuts of meat, in particular pork and lamb.
2. Spicy foods
Whilst some individuals find that spice aggravates their symptoms, the evidence for this is mixed. Individuals should be mindful of their own spice tolerance.
Julie Anne ImagesGetty Images
Such as a glass of orange juice, or lots of lemon juice squeezed over food. While citrus juice probably doesn’t cause acid reflux, some individuals find that it can make their heartburn and other symptoms temporarily worse.
Anja Blaj / EyeEmGetty Images
4. Garlic and onions
Onions can be one of the worst offenders for individuals suffering from severe reflux. Garlic can too, but not as commonly. However, the combination of onion and garlic together can often be problematic.
While an after-dinner mint tea is often recommended as a digestive remedy, for those suffering from acid reflux, this could actually worsen symptoms. Why? Because peppermint relaxes the LOS, and allows stomach acid to flow back up into the oesophagus.
Robert Kneschke / EyeEmGetty Images
There is some evidence that chocolate may worsen the symptoms of acid reflux, but this is often dose dependant. For most individuals, a small amount of chocolate is usually tolerated.
This can both increase stomach acid production, and relax the LOS, causing or worsening acid reflux.
Evidence suggests that coffee can temporarily relax the LOS, and worsen symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn.
9. Carbonated drinks
Too many fizzy drinks can cause gas build up in the stomach and gastric distension (bloating), and if your stomach is distended, there is increased pressure on the LOS, promoting reflux.
Last updated: 11-10-19
Dr Roger Henderson Dr Roger Henderson is a Senior GP, national medical columnist and UK medical director for LIVA Healthcare He appears regularly on television and radio and has written multiple books.
What You Need To Know About Your Alkaline Diet:
- An alkaline-promoting diet reduces the acidity in your body and can help guard against certain chronic diseases.
- Eating foods that are very acidic can lead to real health issues.
- Alkaline foods to eat include raw veggies like broccoli and cauliflower, raw fruits like lemon and watermelon, and oils like avocado and olive.
By Isadora Baum
It’s true what they say: Your gut really is like a second brain. So, when it’s off balance, it can seriously affect your mood, digestion, and energy. The good news is that it’s pretty easy to keep your gut in tip-top shape. A first step? Try the regime Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and Elle Macpherson swear by—an alkaline diet.
By eating alkaline-promoting foods to effectively battle the acid we consume in things like caffeine, alcohol and some processed foods, it will help balance pH levels in your blood and urine, says Dr. Josh Axe , DNM, DC, CNS. Our body needs to be at a slightly alkaline state to perform optimally, so eating an alkaline-promoting diet can, for some, make a significant difference.
According to a 2012 review published in the Journal of Environmental Health, eating this way not only helps gut health but an array of other chronic diseases. It can lower the risk of mortality and incidence of diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and osteoporosis. It can also help improve muscle mass, decrease your risk of hypertension and stroke, reduce inflammation and chronic pain, improve vitamin absorption and immunity, and aid in weight management.
“Our lungs and kidneys have a tightly controlled mechanism to regulate the pH of our blood. Diet can, however, affect the pH of your urine,” says Robert Glatter, MD. “The metabolism of foods leaves a so-called residue or ash, and those who follow the diet believe that this ash can have an effect on the acidity of your body.”
ACIDIC FOODS TO AVOID
So which foods should you avoid and which should you load up on? You’ll want to stay away from eating a lot of dairy, including cheeses such as parmesan, American, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Meat and cured meats like bacon are also good to eat less of as is poultry, and canned sardines and tuna. Go slow on eggs, refined grains, alcohol, soda, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners.
Confused as to what you should have? A diet rich in raw fruits and veggies:
Mushrooms, spinach, alfalfa, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, and Brussels sprouts are great to eat for those on an alkaline diet, says Axe. And opt for organic when possible, which is produced in a more mineral-dense soil, so it’ll offer greater benefits.
Axe explains that cooking can reduce the alkalizing effect, so eating fresh produce in their natural, raw states can help maximize absorption. Or, you can also try lightly juicing or steaming, as this process isn’t as harsh as frying, sautéing, or another type of high-heat cooking technique.
According to Structure House‘s registered dietitian Benjamin White, PhD, despite their acidic nature citrus fruits are actual an alkalizing agent on the body. “Citrus fruits like oranges have citric and ascorbic acids and taste sour, but they are actually alkaline-generating once they’ve been digested and absorbed.”
Tomatoes, lemons, limes and grapefruits are also alkaline rich. When drinking alcohol, or just starting your day, have water with lemon or lime for an alkaline, detoxifying drink. Another good option? Add a tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (and a teaspoon of raw honey) to a glass of water.
OTHER ALKALINE-RICH FOODS
Watermelon, bananas, dates, and figs also are foods to integrate as are tomatoes, avocados, cherries, apples and grapes. Oils such as olive, coconut, avocado, are beneficial as are quinoa and wild rice. If you are reducing acid-rich foods, it’s important to make sure you consume alkaline foods high in calcium (broccoli, almonds, white beans and leafy greens), essential fatty acids (flax-seeds, chia-seeds), and protein (tofu, beans, nuts).
At the end of the day, you have to eat what works for you.
“The actual reason it’s a healthy diet is based on the principles of fresh, natural and unprocessed foods,” says Glatter. Unfortunately, some foods that can be good for you are eliminated, as they’re just simply a bit more acidic. So, if you’re craving an omelet for breakfast, feel free to have it. Just balance them out with foods like spinach or kale, which are alkaline producing.
BIO: Isadora Baum is a writer and content marketer, as well as a certified health coach. She’s written for Bustle, Men’s Health, Extra Crispy, Clean Plates, Shape, and Huffington Post.
Top Alkaline Foods to Eat & Acid Foods to Avoid
Diet is one of the biggest determinants of your health. What you put into your body every day affects everything: your biochemistry, your mood, your brain, muscles, tendons, bones, nerves, kidneys, liver.
Unfortunately, when it comes to diet, most people are on autopilot, following a disease-making Western Diet that is high in acidic foods and low in alkaline foods. The Western dietary pattern also called the Standard American Diet (SAD) is high in processed foods, fried foods and red meat. And it’s low in whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and healthier fats and proteins such as nuts, seeds and fish.
Many studies have concluded that the Western Diet causes and contributes to the development of heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, cancer, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and autoimmune diseases.
The explanation is very simple. Your body evolved to work optimally when provided with the right environment to function. The internal environment in your body requires a healthy mix of nutrients, and when it doesn’t get them consistently over time, things go haywire. For a more in-depth look at biochemistry and its impact on your health, read Dr. Neustadt’s article, Change Your Biochemistry to Change Your Health.
One way diet affects your health is through a process called “acid-alkaline balance.” The pH (potential of hydrogen) determines a substance’s acidity or alkalinity and is measured on a scale of 0 to 14. The lower the pH the more acidic the solution. The higher the pH the more alkaline (or base) the solution. When a solution is about in the middle of the range—neither acid nor alkaline—it has a neutral pH of 7.
The body regulates pH in very narrow ranges. In the different organs throughout the body, finely tuned physiological systems constantly work to keep the pH within specific ranges for optimal function. Stomach acid, which is important for healthy digestion and as a protection against potential infections, has a low pH, about 2-3. When the pH of your stomach cannot get low enough, it causes problems with digestion and can create acid reflux. Most people and medical approaches to acid reflux assume that there’s too much acid, when in fact the problem might to too little acid. Blood is kept at a neutral pH, between 7.35-7.45.
When your blood becomes too acidic, fine-tuned physiological mechanisms kick in to adjust the pH to a healthy level. One way it does this is by releasing calcium from bone. Over many years, this may contribute to developing osteoporosis.
The Western diet is composed of acidic foods such as proteins, cereals, sugars and processed foods. Dietary acid load in the modern diet can lead to a disruption in acid-alkaline homeostasis in various body compartments and eventually result in chronic disease through repeated borrowing of the body’s alkaline reserves.
The opposite of acidic foods is alkaline foods. In the Western Diet, alkaline foods such as vegetables are eaten in much smaller quantities; their alkaline content is insufficient to neutralize surplus acids. Stimulants like tobacco, coffee, tea, and alcohol are also extremely acidifying. Stress and physical activity (both insufficient or excessive amounts) also cause acidification.
Many foods as they exist in nature alkaline-producing by nature, but manufactured and processed foods transform the nutrient content of foods and make them mostly acid-producing.
It’s important to balance each meal with 75% alkaline-producing to 25% acid-producing to maintain health. We need plenty of fresh fruits and particularly vegetables (alkaline-producing) to balance our necessary protein intake (acid-producing). This pattern is essentially similar to the Mediterranean Diet, which research over the past 50 years has shown to be the healthiest dietary pattern. And we need to avoid processed, sugary or simple-carbohydrate foods, not only because they’re acid-producing but also because they raise blood sugar level too quickly (high glycemic index therefore fattening), are nutrient-lacking and may be toxic too.
Water is the most abundant compound in the human body, comprising 70% of the body. The body has an acid-alkaline (or acid-base) ratio called the pH which is a balance between positively charges ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming.) The body continually strives to balance pH. When this balance is compromised many problems can occur.
It is important to understand that we are not talking about stomach acid or the pH of the stomach. We are talking about the pH of the body’s fluids and tissues which is an entirely different matter.
Test Your Body’s Acidity or Alkalinity with pH Strips
If you want to test your pH levels to determine if your body’s pH needs immediate attention you can do so using pH strips. Doing so lets you determine your pH factor quickly and easily in the privacy of your own home. If your urinary pH fluctuates between 6.0 to 6.5 in the morning and between 6.5 and 7.0 in the evening, your body is functioning within a healthy range. If your saliva stays between 6.5 and 7.5 all day, your body is functioning within a healthy range. The best time to test your pH is about one hour before a meal and two hours after a meal.
Urine testing may indicate how well your body is excreting acids and assimilating minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. These minerals function as “buffers.” Buffers are substances that help maintain and balance the body against the introduction of too much acidity or too much alkalinity. Even with the proper amounts of buffers, acid or alkaline levels can become extreme. When the body ingests or produces too many of these acids or alkalis, it must excrete the excess. The urine is the perfect way for the body to remove any excess acids or alkaline substances that cannot be buffered. If the average urine pH is below 6.5 the body’s buffering system is overwhelmed, a state of “autotoxication” exists, and attention should be given to lowering acid levels.
The blood pH has to be kept within a tight range of with a normal range of 7.36 to 7.44. An imbalanced diet high in acidic foods such as animal protein, sugar, caffeine, and processed foods puts pressure on the body’s regulating systems to maintain this neutrality. The extra buffering required can deplete the body of alkaline minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, making the person prone to chronic and degenerative disease.
Minerals are borrowed from vital organs and bones to buffer (neutralize) the acid and safely remove it from the body. Because of this strain, the body can suffer severe and prolonged damage due to high acidity–a condition that may go undetected for years.
Acidosis can cause such problems as:
|Weight gain, obesity and diabetes||Bladder conditions|
|Kidney stones||Immune deficiency||Acceleration of free radical damage|
|Hormonal problems||Premature aging||Osteoporosis and joint pain|
|Aching muscles and lactic acid buildup||Low energy and chronic fatigue||Slow digestion and elimination|
|Yeast/fungal overgrowth||Lack of energy and fatigue||Lower body temperature|
|Tendency to get infections||Loss of drive, joy, and enthusiasm||Depressive tendencies|
|Easily stressed||Pale complexion||Headaches|
|Inflammation of the corneas and eyelids||Loose and painful teeth||Inflamed, sensitive gums|
|Mouth and stomach ulcers||Cracks at the corners of the lips||Excess stomach acid|
|Gastritis||Nails are thin and split easily||Hair looks dull, has split ends, and falls out|
|Dry skin||Skin easily irritated||
Leg cramps and spasms.
Foods: are they Acid or Alkaline-forming?
Note that a food’s acid or alkaline-forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For example, lemons are very acidic, however, the end-products they produce after digestion and assimilation are very alkaline so lemons are alkaline-forming in the body. Likewise, the meat will test alkaline before digestion but it leaves very acidic residue in the body so, like nearly all animal products, meat is very acid-forming. It is important that your daily dietary intake of food naturally acts to balance your body pH.
This chart is intended only as a general guide to alkalizing and acidifying foods.
Which foods are acidic?
Contrary to popular belief, eating acidic foods will not cause one’s stomach, blood, or entire body to become more acidic. In fact, during the process of digestion, the stomach secretes hydrochloric acid (HCl), a super-duper acidic substance that causes its contents to become acidic. Digestive enzymes, which begin their work in the stomach, require such an environment to function properly.
The pH scale is a ranking of acidity. The “p” stands for potenz, meaning potential to be, and the “H” is for hydrogen. On this scale, a 7.0 measures neutral — neither acidic nor alkaline. Water is a 7.0. Anything measuring a pH of 6.9 or below is considered an acid; anything 7.1 and above is considered an alkali or base.
Generally, fruits are the most acidic foods:
Vegetables range from 4 – 6.8. The more acidic vegetables include:
- any vegetables processed with vinegar, such as canned artichokes, canned beets, pickles, and sauerkraut
It may surprise you to know that beans, breakfast cereals, breads, milk products, and some fish also fall on the acidic side of the pH scale. You can find a detailed list of foods and their pH values on the of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Gastric juice — the digestive liquids in your stomach — has a pH of 2.0, which is very, very acidic. The pH of hydrochloric acid is between 0.1 and 1.0 — probably the most acidic substance known to people. Eating acidic foods can’t cause the stomach to become more acidic. It’s already more acidic than the foods you may be eating. Think of it as being similar to throwing a bucket of salt water into the ocean, not having much of an effect.
If you have gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), more commonly known as acid reflux, your health care provider may have advised you to stay away from acidic foods. That may be because when the contents of your stomach come into contact with your esophagus, highly acidic foods may make the discomfort from the burning sensation more intense. Your esophagus lacks the protective lining that your stomach has against acidic substances.