Rice is a critically important food staple globally, but especially in Africa and Asia. It's usually cheap to buy and has been sustainably produced in many countries for generations, resulting in a vast knowledge of how to grow it to suit local conditions.
It's an excellent, low-calorie energy source, and brown rice is highly nutritious. However, white rice is highly processed, and many such foods should be avoided by people suffering from acid reflux and GERD, as they may trigger or worsen their symptoms.
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Is White Rice Good for Acid Reflux?
White rice is only slightly acidic, so it shouldn't trigger your acid reflux symptoms. Some experts believe it alleviates symptoms since it is easy to digest, meaning it does not stimulate acid production.
What Is the pH of White Rice?
Rice has a pH of around 6.00-6.70, making it slightly acidic and safe for most on a low-acid diet.
However, frying rice increases its acidity and makes it more acid-forming, so boiled or steamed are less likely to trigger your symptoms.
Is White Rice Good for You?
White rice has a high glycemic index, meaning that the carbs it contains are quickly metabolized into sugar. This spikes your blood sugar levels, increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Some studies show that eating rice regularly with vegetables and protein may aid healthy weight loss.
Although white rice doesn't contain many nutrients, some varieties are enriched with folate. Pregnant women should ensure they get enough folate, as it reduces the risk of fetal brain and spine defects.
However, studies show that eating too much white rice may make metabolic syndrome more likely, increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes and stroke.
How Does White Rice Help Acid Reflux?
White rice gets digested easily, lessening gastric acid production. When there is low acid production, the occurrence of heartburn is also lessened.
It's also enriched with minerals and vitamins that help keep your digestive system healthy.
White rice also feeds good gut bacteria, reducing the likelihood of acid reflux.
Is Brown Rice Better Than White for Acid Reflux?
Brown rice has a pH of 6.20-6.80, which is slightly acidic.
As it's more nutritious and contains more fiber than white rice, it's a better choice if you suffer from acid reflux or GERD.
A cup of brown rice contains 3.5 g of fiber, while a cup of white contains only about 0.6 g. Brown rice also contains niacin, vitamin B6, thiamin, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.
It also contains more antioxidants than white rice, which flush free radicals from your body, reducing your risk of heart disease and cancer.
Although white rice is less nutritious than brown, it may help alleviate your acid reflux symptoms.