Acid reflux is a medical condition where stomach acids and undigested food make their way back up into the esophagus causing a burning sensation in the lower chest accompanied by coughing, bloating, snoring, belching and other uncomfortable symptoms effecting digestion. Acid reflux is more than common indigestion and can develop into serious medical problems, including cancer, when left untreated. There are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications used to treat this condition; however, alternative methods exist such as drinking special green drinks and smoothies that will treat and prevent acid reflux.
Causes of Acid Reflux
A common cause of acid reflux is overeating and consuming hard-to-digest foods, such as fast foods abundant in transfats. Indulging in too much food puts pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter which allows the food to return up the esophagus. When the stomach contents go back up the esophagus due to the patient having a hiatal hernia, acid reflux can occur. A hiatal hernia exists when the upper part of the stomach extends above the diaphragm. This incorrect alignment allows acids to return up the esophagus. Two other conditions that increase pressure on the abdomen and trigger acid reflux include pregnancy and obesity.
pH Balance and Acidity
It is possible to have acid reflux as a result of an imbalance in the stomach. Normal digestion requires a certain amount of acid and digestive enzymes to process the stomach contents. Once the food is broken down and continues through your system, bicarbonates are released by the pancreas to neutralize the acids creating a more alkaline environment to continue the digestion process. When these digestive chemicals become unbalanced, acid reflux can occur. Eating or drinking alkaline foods, such as green vegetables, can return the pH to a healthy balance and reduce or eliminate reflux.
The Green Smoothie
Green smoothies contains a mixture of green vegetables that are made more palatable with the addition of a variety of other healthful ingredients. Green ingredients that help with acid reflux include spinach, collard greens, kale, beet greens and celery. Some vegetables that might aggravate acid reflux include mustard greens and other strong tasting and spicy vegetables.
Additional Green Smoothie Ingredients
To make the green vegetables more palatable other veggies and fruit can be added to the blender. Carrots, green beans, beets and alkaline fruits like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Fruits that improve the texture and flavor of the green smoothie include mango, pears, banana, cherries, plums and grapes.
Yogurt or Kefif Base
When dairy consumption is not a problem, yogurt or kefir makes a fantastic base to a green smoothie. The live, active cultures in higher quality yogurts can actually introduce beneficial bacteria, called probiotics, to the gut. This helps create an alkaline environment in the stomach and prevents acid reflux. When fatty foods trigger acid reflux, a low-fat yogurt can be used. If dairy-based foods are not an option, look for other cultured yogurts and kefir made with coconut milk.
Raw, organic honey is a healthful sweetener for the green smoothie. Honey contains a variety of enzymes to help support digestion and calm the stomach and esophageal lining. Honey also promotes an alkaline environment to reduce acid reflux.
Basic Green Smoothie
To create a green smoothie combine the following ingredients in a blender: 1/2 head of kale and spinach, 1 mango, 1 apple, 1 cup fresh strawberries, 1 cup yogurt and honey to taste. Toss in a few ice cubes if desired. This will produce two to three glasses of green smoothie.
“Alkalize or Die”; Dr. Theodore A. Baroody P. 32
“The Acid Alkaline Balance”; Felicia Drury Kliment P. 74
“The pH Miracle”; Dr. Robert O. Young and Shelley Redford Young
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