Oatmeal is one of the most popular breakfast foods out there. It’s very versatile as you can eat it with milk or water. You can add fresh fruit, nuts, or yogurt to make it tastier and more nutritious.
However, if you follow a low-acid diet, you must know whether the foods you love eating can trigger your acid reflux or GERD symptoms. So, is oatmeal acidic or alkaline? Can you eat when having acid reflux?
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Is Oatmeal Acidic Or Alkaline?
Just like most grains, oatmeal is an acid-forming food. Consequently, consuming it in large quantities can lead to more severe and frequent acid reflux and GERD symptoms. Therefore, if your digestive system is especially sensitive, it might be best to limit your consumption of oatmeal.
On the bright side, oatmeal is rich in various nutrients, so it can help you reach your dietary needs. As always, it all depends on how your body reacts to different types of acidic foods.
What is the pH level of oatmeal?
The pH level of cooked oatmeal ranges between 6.20-6.60. Although it’s leaning towards neutral, it’s important to remember that some foods may have a high pH level but still be acid-forming.
This is the case for oats and oatmeal. Thus, if you’re particularly sensitive to acidic foods, it might be a good idea not to consume grains like oats very often.
Is oatmeal healthy?
Yes, oatmeal is healthy. Oats are some of the healthiest grains, and oatmeal contains most of its nutrients. For example, a single serving of oatmeal contains way more than your daily recommended need for manganese.
This mineral combines with other nutrients to improve bone health and reduce inflammation. This is particularly important for people with acid reflux and GERD symptoms.
One of the most important benefits of eating oatmeal is its high fiber content. Studies show that following a fiber-rich diet can help control and manage the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD. Also, it can lower their frequency and severity.
Besides, oatmeal fiber is particularly useful as it helps absorb food while soaking up excess stomach acid. Therefore, adding some oatmeal to a healthy diet is a great way to ensure good gut health.
Moreover, oats are very high in antioxidants and phenolic compounds, especially avenanthramides. These compounds help lower blood pressure and dilate blood vessels, leading to better blood flow.
Other antioxidants found in oatmeal help remove free radicals from your body, thus preventing oxidative stress and damage to your cells. Subsequently, it can help prevent many serious health conditions.
Eating oatmeal can also reduce the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol in your body. This type of cholesterol produces inflammation in your arteries, leading to tissue damage.
Bad cholesterol can also increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, so it’s important to control it. Therefore, if you’re particularly susceptible to cardiovascular issues, it might be a good idea to include oatmeal in your diet.
In addition, oats are whole grains, so eating them improves blood sugar levels by releasing energy from carbohydrates slower.
This is particularly good for people with unhealthy weight or those with type 2 diabetes since eating oats can also improve insulin sensitivity.
So, adding oats to your diet may have even more health benefits than simply providing you with all the essential vitamins and minerals.
Is oatmeal bad for acid reflux?
Oatmeal is made with oats, which have acid-forming properties. Consequently, consuming too much oatmeal may worsen your acid reflux symptoms, such as heartburn.
In contrast, whole grains, such as oats, are rich in fiber, which helps soak up excess stomach acid, preventing it from refluxing up your esophagus. So, as long as you follow a balanced diet and don’t consume oatmeal every day, oats can be a wonderful addition to any healthy diet.
Is oatmeal prepared with milk better for acid reflux?
Dairy products like milk are acidic and may trigger acid reflux. As a result, consuming your oatmeal with milk may aggravate your acid reflux symptoms even more, especially if you consume it very frequently.
Most types of milk, including plant-based varieties, are acid-forming, so it also doesn’t matter what type you choose if you’re looking for less acidic options.
On the other hand, remember that everybody’s digestive system is different, so if your stomach can tolerate oatmeal, it’s a good idea to include it in your diet to enjoy its health benefits.
How can you make oatmeal less acidic?
Oatmeal on its own may have acid-forming properties, but there are some ways to make your morning oatmeal easier for your digestive system.
However, if you find that oatmeal cooked with milk upsets your stomach, it may be better to cook it with water and avoid heavy cream and yogurt, which are also acid-forming.
Also, you can cook your oatmeal with coconut milk to make it less acidic. This plant-based milk is alkaline-forming and adds flavor and creaminess to your oatmeal.
When doing so, make sure to purchase coconut milk made with fresh coconuts instead of dried ones since the latter is acidic. Coconut milk is also easily accessible in all stores, and it’s very easy to cook with it.
Oatmeal is a rather acidic food, so it may aggravate the symptoms of acid reflux for some people. But this meal is made with whole grains with wonderful health benefits, so it’s important to consume it still, even if in small quantities.
Additionally, oatmeal contains a lot of fiber that helps soak up stomach acid and prevent acid reflux and GERD symptoms. So, if your stomach isn’t too sensitive to acidic foods, it’s advisable to have some oatmeal from time to time.