Is Olive Oil Good for Acid Reflux? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Olive oil is good for acid reflux. Because it has monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, and they can reduce inflammation, protect the esophagus, and improve the LES function.

Acid reflux is a condition that affects your esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth and stomach.

In acid reflux, your body allows some of the acid content of the stomach to flow back into the esophagus.

This can irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, and chest pain.

This can lead to various health problems, such as esophagitis, esophageal ulcers, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal cancer.

One of the key factors in managing acid reflux is diet.

What you consume can affect your lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is the valve that prevents acid reflux, and your stomach acidity, which can impact your acid reflux symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage acid reflux, you should consume foods rich in fiber, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts, and avoid foods rich in fat, spice, and acid, like fried foods, tomato sauce, citrus fruits, and chocolate.

Now, olive oil is a liquid fat obtained by pressing whole olives, the fruit of the olive tree.

It is commonly used in cooking for frying foods or as a salad dressing.

It can also be found in some cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, soaps, and fuels for traditional oil lamps.

People usually drizzle olive oil over salads, bread, pasta, or vegetables, or use it to sauté, roast, or bake foods.

Olive oil is good for acid reflux because it contains healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.

These can reduce inflammation, protect the esophageal lining from oxidative damage, and improve the function of the LES.

Olive oil may also help prevent or treat Helicobacter pylori infection, which is a common cause of acid reflux and peptic ulcers.

One tablespoon of olive oil can give you about 14 grams of fat (21% of your daily needs), 10 grams of which are monounsaturated (73% of your daily needs), and 1.9 grams of which are polyunsaturated (9% of your daily needs).

It also contains modest amounts of vitamins E and K, and various antioxidants, such as oleocanthal, oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and tyrosol.

Oleic acid, the main monounsaturated fat in olive oil, can reduce inflammation and lower the levels of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP).

This can help prevent or heal the damage caused by acid reflux to the esophagus.

Antioxidants, such as oleocanthal, oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and tyrosol, can scavenge free radicals and prevent oxidative stress, which can also contribute to esophageal injury and inflammation.

They can also modulate the expression of genes and proteins involved in inflammation and cell death.

Furthermore, olive oil is a fat and fat is good for acid reflux.

Because, fat can delay gastric emptying and increase satiety, which can prevent overeating and reduce the pressure on the LES.

Fat can also stimulate the release of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone that can enhance the function of the LES and prevent acid reflux.

You can eat up to two tablespoons of olive oil per day safely.

More than that can cause diarrhea, nausea, or abdominal pain.

Also, you shouldn’t eat olive oil if you have gallstones or bile duct obstruction to prevent biliary colic.

Because, olive oil can stimulate the contraction of the gallbladder and the release of bile, which can cause pain if there is an obstruction.

You can buy fresh olive oil in your local market or can order it from online.

Always choose extra virgin olive oil, which is the highest quality and has the most health benefits.

Because, extra virgin olive oil is obtained by cold pressing and has no more than 0.8% free acidity.

It also has the most favorable flavor and aroma.

You can store olive oil in a cool, dark, and dry place for up to two years.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing acid reflux effectively.

I always recommend my acid reflux patients to follow an acid reflux-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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