This is long and may get buried at this point but this is what helped me! I had pretty bad acid reflux from stress when COVID hit. I ended up finding a handful of meals that helped overhaul my diet as it cleared up with only bit of pepto bismol here and there. Ymmv.
To start off with, you have to commit to overhauling your diet for a few weeks. If you eat any trigger foods while feeling sick or even a week or two after feeling better, it will get worse. Give your stomach time to heal whatever it’s going through. My doctor explained that many people will take OTC acid reflux meds and would feel better, eat junky food again, and it would come right back.
**Foods that helped me:**
Baby carrots, raw broccoli, sweet potatoes, potatoes, cucumber, spinach, cabbage, red/yellow apples, oats, brown rice, black beans, avocados, egg whites, chicken breast, shrimp
**Foods that made it worse:**
Anything remotely spicy (even black pepper), processed snacks, chocolate, coffee, tea, bananas, tuna, bread, fast food, fried food, pizza, fatty meats (bacon, sausage, red meat, chicken thigh), deli meats, egg yolks, soft cheese, anything high in fat/oil (mayo etc.) tomatoes, citrus, mint, milk, butter, sodas, pecans, peanuts, peanut butter, alcohol
1. Chew slowly and deliberately all the time. The more work your teeth do, the less work your stomach has to do.
2. I always, ALWAYS ate an apple or cucumber slices as soon as i woke up. You want your stomach acid to “chew” on things throughout the day that isn’t your actual stomach. Fiberous fruit and veg is very helpful.
3. Breakfast was usually instant oats cooked with water and honey. Not appetizing but made me feel way better.
4. Eat a salad with a small amount of low cal (not acidic) dressing before eating lunch/dinner. This helps “prep” your stomach before eating a big meal.
5. Snack on raw veg in between meals if you feel it starting to flare up. Baby carrots are great.
6. Sip water throughout the day. I’ve heard gulping water or drinking during a meal can introduce air to your stomach which can irritate it. I can’t confirm if that’s true but I followed it anyway.
7. Chew a non minty, non acidic flavored gum (I found watermelon). Saliva naturally calms your stomach.
8. Don’t eat anything 2 hours before bed.
**Non food tricks:**
1. Sleep sitting upright. This sucks but it really helps.
2. Find a way to legitimately destress for a few moments. Stress absolutely can make acid reflux worse. I would use deep breathing and meditation after meals. Journaling helped too. Even if you don’t use these tactics when you’re better, it’s worth a shot now.
3. Light exercise is helpful. Nothing too strenuous or where you have to bend over. I took a lot of walks and found yoga youtube videos for acid reflux.
You can make a stir fry with a relatively small amount of oil. Add cabbage, broccoli, carrots, peas, any veggie you want. Add in some frozen shrimp, chicken breast, or egg whites. Light splash of soy sauce and salt.
I would also make “poke” bowls. Brown rice, shrimp, avocado, cucumber, chopped up imitation crab, and a drizzle of soy/lightly spicy mayo/katsu sauce.
Baked sweet potatoes with a very light coating of olive oil and salt was my savior for awhile. I also cut up broccoli, carrots, and sweet potato, tossed them in light olive oil with seasonings, and roasted at 400 on a sheet pan until they were soft.
My boyfriend would make huge batches chicken noodle soup as well. It was mostly celery, carrots, chicken broth, and I believe he cooked the chicken breast right in the soup. Added cooked rotini pasta when everything was done. I’m sure you can find a good recipe online.
I also ate a lot of chicken breast on top of brown rice and black beans. Tiny squeeze of lime juice. Black beans are super cheap and have fiber and protein.
Turkey burgers with avocado, spinach, shredded cabbage and a little mayo.
For snacks, I would often eat tortillas with honey. Graham crackers and homemade sugar cookies helped too. And a ton of raw veg and fruit.