is soy sauce okay for acid reflux

Is soy sauce okay for acid reflux? Soy sauce is acidic, so it isn’t advisable to consume it with acid reflux.

Especially if you already have stomach issues, soy sauce won’t help.

Soy sauce and acid reflux don’t go well together, even though some ingredients in soy sauce are alkaline.

Soy sauce has a pH value of around four or five, which means it’s a little more acidic than other foods or spices. 

If you have acid reflux or any stomach issues, you might not want to consume soy sauce regularly.

It might not hurt every once in a while. But more than that will likely cause your symptoms to flare.

So is soy sauce okay for acid reflux? While it’s not the worst thing in the world to consume if you have acid reflux, soy sauce can aggravate your symptoms and make acid reflux worse.

What Is Acid Reflux?

what is acid reflux

If you have ever had the unpleasant experience of a burp burning your throat, you might have some idea of how acid reflux feels.

Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is the unfortunate condition of stomach acid frequently regurgitating into your esophagus.

Your esophagus connects your mouth and stomach and can quickly get irritated when this happens.

Acid reflux is a fairly common condition that many people experience at least once a week. Acidic foods and condiments, like soy sauce, can trigger acid reflux.

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Acid reflux occurs when the muscle that encircles the bottom of your esophagus relaxes or weakens abnormally.

The muscle, called a sphincter, should relax to allow things into your stomach.

However, when it weakens, backwash can flow up into your esophagus.

Tip: One easy way to prevent this, or at least manage it, is to avoid laying down after you eat.

Treating Acid Reflux

Some medications will lessen the effects of acid reflux. If you suffer from chronic acid reflux, you might run the risk of damaging your esophagus.

Damage to the esophagus can narrow or an open sore to develop.

Avoiding highly acidic foods is one of the primary ways you can prevent acid reflux from developing or worsening.

Changing your diet is sometimes more effective than taking medication.

A few easy ways you can prevent or manage acid reflux include:

  • Quit smoking
  • Sleep propped up
  • Lose weight
  • Eat at least three hours before bed
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Taking preventative measures like changing your diet will help manage acid reflux.

What is Soy Sauce?

what is soysauce

Soy sauce is a traditional Chinese sauce that has been used in cooking for well over 2000 years.

A classic condiment that you’ll find on the table at most Chinese restaurants, soy sauce has long been a staple for certain kinds of cooking.

With a strong umami flavor, soy sauce is an extremely popular condiment.

Soy sauce comes from a fermented paste of soybeans, grain, brine, and certain kinds of moulds. The moulds are used to saccharify the roasted grain, converting its starches into sugar.

The breakdown of starches into simple sugars leads to the fermentation of lactic acid, which is one of the primary reasons soy sauce is bad for anyone with acid reflux.

Some soy sauce comes through fermentation, a process that requires fewer chemicals.

The fermentation method is also more traditional. It can take months to make, but it’s more natural, creating a less-processed result.

Certain soy sauce brands use a different process to make their sauce.

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Instead of brewing the sauce from a culture, the soy sauce comes from a hydrolyzed vegetable protein formula.

It’s cheaper and doesn’t take as long as the more traditional process. If you have acid reflux, you should avoid consuming soy sauce. 

Is Soy Hard to Digest?

hard to digest

Soy comes from the soybean, a Chinese legume that can be used for various things.

The soybean is also packed with lean protein, which has made it a staple in Eastern Asian diets for centuries.

Soybeans can be processed and used for many things. Soy milk is a popular milk substitute for anyone who is lactose intolerant.

Soy fibre and protein have been used in supplements, and young soybeans are harvested as edamame and consumed in various forms

Despite their many uses, soybeans are difficult for the human stomach to digest.

Because they’re difficult to digest, consuming soybeans can lead to some side effects that you may not expect.

One of the most significant side effects of consuming soybeans is experiencing a mineral deficiency.

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Soybeans have a high concentration of phytic acid, which binds to vital minerals and limits your ability to absorb them.

Tip: Roasting soybeans will make them easier to digest.

So Is Soy Sauce Okay for Acid Reflux?

good for acid reflux

If you have acid reflux, it’s probably a good idea to avoid soy sauce.

Soybeans are probably safe to consume on their own, but the process that makes soy sauce creates several issues for anyone on a low-acid diet.

Soy sauce is much more acidic than soybeans are on their own. Since it’s a fermented condiment, it is acid-forming.

As an acid-forming food, it’s not a good idea to consume it if you have acid reflux.

That doesn’t mean you have to completely cut soy sauce from your diet.

Depending on your needs and your doctor’s recommendations, you may be able to keep some soy sauce present.

But limiting how much you use it will help manage your acid reflux.

If you don’t have acid reflux but are still concerned about it, consider cutting the amount of soy sauce you use.

Tip: Limiting your exposure to highly acidic foods is an excellent way to keep acid reflux at bay.  

Other Foods That Are Bad for Acid Reflux

trigger acid reflux

Soy sauce is not the only food you should avoid if you have acid reflux.

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There are a lot of foods you might eat daily that you should consider cutting out or consuming less if you have acid reflux.

Lemons and oranges might have a delicious flavour, but the high citric acid content is going to wreak havoc on your insides if you have acid reflux.

Limes are similarly dangerous, as well as grapefruit. Citrus will make your acid reflux worse.

Citric acid causes your stomach to produce more stomach acid, so it’s easy to see why avoiding these fruits will help manage your symptoms.

The more stomach acid you make, the more likely you will experience acid reflux.

Tomatoes are one of the most likely culprits if you’re experiencing acid reflux.

While tomatoes are delicious and can be used in just about anything, they’re also loaded with acid. They will increase your stomach acid levels and make acid reflux much more likely.

Coffee is one of those beverages that you either love or hate. If you love it, you probably drink it every day.

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If you drink it every day, you may experience problems with acid reflux.

Coffee contains caffeine, which can impair the sphincter muscle on the esophagus and lead to acid reflux.

Tip: Cutting out or limiting these foods can help manage your acid reflux.

Soy Sauce Substitutes

substitute for soy sauce

If you’ve decided to rid your diet of soy sauce, you can find some great alternatives to use in its place.

Worcestershire sauce is a great substitute for soy sauce.

It has a slightly different flavor, but it’s still savoury and delicious. It is still fermented like soy sauce, but it contains less sodium.

Coconut aminos or liquid aminos are also great substitutes for soy sauce.

And because they are less processed, they are a little better for your diet overall.

Tip: Try using one of these substitutes in your favourite recipes to lower your risk of acid reflux. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s look at some of the popular questions concerning soy sauce and acid reflux.

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Is Soy Acidic?

Soybeans are actually alkaline. They become acidic after the fermentation process.

Consuming soybeans on a low-acid diet is much better than consuming soy sauce.

Soy also has good, healthy fats that help with acid reflux.

What Can I Eat To Calm Acid Reflux?

One of the best things to eat if you’re experiencing acid reflux is whole grain.

Something like oatmeal or brown rice will help quell the acid reflux symptoms. You can also try root vegetables or green vegetables.

Can I Eat Soy Sauce Every Day?

Soy sauce is rich in sodium, making it dangerous to eat every day. Consuming soy sauce every day can lead to serious health problems.

Last Thoughts on Soy Sauce and Acid Reflux

So is soy sauce okay for acid reflux? Acid reflux is an unpleasant experience that you should avoid if at all possible.

Because of its fermented properties, soy sauce can make your acid reflux worse if you aren’t careful.

Cutting it out completely might not be necessary, but limiting it in your diet will help.