Is Sourdough Bread Good For Acid Reflux? What You Need To Know!

Published Categorized as Sourdough Tips

Many of us are unfortunate enough to know the horrific and uncomfortable feeling of acid reflux. Despite this, we love indulging in our comfort food despite our impending doom. If you’re wondering: is sourdough bread good for acid reflux? – then here’s what you need to know!

Is sourdough bread good for acid reflux? What you need to know!

Table of Contents

Understanding Acid Reflux and Heartburn

Acid reflux and heartburn are common digestive issues that many people experience. But what exactly are they, and how do they happen? Let’s break it down.

The Physiological Process of Reflux and Heartburn

At the bottom of your esophagus, there’s a ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This little guy acts as a gatekeeper, opening to let food pass into your stomach and then closing to keep stomach acid where it belongs.

But sometimes, the LES can be a bit lazy. If it doesn’t close properly or opens when it shouldn’t, stomach acid can sneak back up into your esophagus. This is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or more commonly, acid reflux.

The Burning Sensation of Heartburn

When that stomach acid makes its way up, it irritates the lining of your esophagus. Cue the burning sensation in your chest or throat – that’s heartburn, the most common symptom of acid reflux.

Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart. It’s all about that pesky LES not doing its job properly.

The Role of Bread in Digestion

When we eat bread, our bodies have to break it down so we can use it for energy. But not all bread is the same when it comes to digestion.

Carbs and Gluten: The Key Players

Bread is mostly made of carbohydrates, which give us energy. Our bodies turn these carbs into simple sugars that go into our blood. But the type of carbs in the bread makes a difference.

Whole grain bread has complex carbs and lots of fiber. Fiber slows down digestion, so we feel full longer and our blood sugar doesn’t spike too fast. White bread, on the other hand, is made with refined grains and doesn’t have much fiber. It can cause blood sugar to rise quickly, which isn’t good for people with acid reflux.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Most people can digest gluten just fine, but some folks with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease can get acid reflux and other tummy troubles when they eat bread with gluten.

Is Sourdough Bread Good For Acid Reflux?

Yes. In fact, sourdough bread is amongst the good types of bread that easily reduce acid reflux symptoms, simply because it is extremely nutritious, and contains prebiotics that promotes gut health.

At the same time, sourdough bread is a type of fermented food, which isn’t great for those who suffer from severe acid reflux, due to the presence of lactic acid bacteria.

If you desperately wish to have sourdough bread whilst suffering from acid reflux, then it’s best to make your sourdough starter and bread dough with whole grain flour, i.e., whole wheat flour.

Best Bread For Acid Reflux

If you want to enjoy your favorite bread without acid reflux, then there are some incredible options for you to choose from. Always opt for bread that is high in fiber, as the protein content is especially exceptional for those who suffer from acid reflux.

100% Whole Grain Bread

If there is one type of bread that you’d like to safely add to your diet, then try 100% whole-grain bread. This type of bread is brimming with whole grains, fiber, and protein, working together to slow down digestion and achieve less acid production.

You must ensure that you’re buying 100% real whole-grain bread by checking the ingredients list. Real whole grain bread will contain whole mill flour, cornflour, or brown rice flour as their first ingredient.

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Whole wheat bread is another great choice for those suffering from acid reflux. The high fiber content, coupled with essential nutrients like Vitamin B and iron, make them an extremely healthy choice to go for.

You must check the ingredients label, as some manufacturers will claim it’s 100% whole wheat,. However, their bread will contain refined flour, so avoid this at all costs.

(By the way I’ve got a whole wheat sourdough recipe!)

Multigrain Bread

If you prefer the kind of bread that provides a deep earthy flavor, then multigrain bread is what you need. The taste will depend on the type of multigrain you purchase, so always make sure before you give them your money!

Some of the grains found in multigrain bread include barley, oat, and flaxseeds.

Oat Bread

Oat bread can be a beneficial dietary choice for individuals experiencing acid reflux. This bread is rich in dietary fiber, which is essential for maintaining digestive health. Oat bread contains beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that has been associated with various health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol levels, regulating blood sugar, and supporting the immune system. When it comes to managing acid reflux, the fiber content in oat bread plays a crucial role.

The soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance in the stomach, which helps slow down digestion and promotes smooth passage through the digestive tract. Additionally, fiber can help regulate stomach acid levels, potentially reducing the frequency and severity of acid reflux symptoms. The whole grains present in oat bread can also contribute to a feeling of fullness and satiety, which may prevent overeating, a common trigger for acid reflux. Incorporating oat bread into one’s diet may provide both nutritional benefits and symptomatic relief for those dealing with acid reflux.

Rye Bread

Rye bread, with its unique nutritional profile, offers both potential benefits and challenges for those with acid reflux. Packed with complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and essential minerals, rye bread can support digestive health and overall well-being. The fermentable carbohydrates in rye, such as arabinoxylan, act as prebiotics, promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. However, these same fermentable compounds may lead to increased gas production and stomach distension in some individuals, potentially exacerbating acid reflux symptoms.

Moreover, the inherent acidity of rye bread itself could further disrupt the delicate pH balance in the stomach. While rye bread’s lower glycemic index can help regulate blood sugar levels and provide a feeling of fullness, its impact on acid reflux ultimately depends on individual tolerance. Those with severe acid reflux may need to approach rye bread with caution and monitor their body’s response to determine if it is a suitable addition to their diet.

Gluten-Free Bread

Gluten-free bread may provide relief for those suffering from acid reflux. By eliminating gluten, a potential trigger for digestive issues, gluten-free bread can help reduce inflammation and excessive acid production in the gut. These loaves are made with alternative flours like rice, almond, or other non-gluten grains, along with ingredients such as tapioca starch, potato starch, and xanthan gum to mimic the texture and structure of traditional bread.

Many gluten-free breads also incorporate whole grains and fiber-rich ingredients, which can aid digestion and prevent constipation, another common trigger for acid reflux. However, individual results may vary, and it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant dietary changes to manage acid reflux symptoms. They can guide you in creating a balanced meal plan that ensures you receive all necessary nutrients while exploring the potential benefits of gluten-free bread for your specific condition.

Is sourdough bread good for acid reflux? What you need to know!

Bread To Avoid For Acid Reflux

You must avoid any type of bread that is made with refined grain, i.e., white bread. You might enjoy the flavor, but it’s never a good choice for someone suffering from acid reflux.

Bread that is made with refined grains has a low fiber and nutrient content. Plus they tend to contain lots of sodium, sugars, and fats, as well as other processed ingredients which aren’t great for those suffering from acid reflux.

What Causes Acid Reflux?

There are a variety of things that can cause acid reflux, some of these include pregnancy and smoking. Although the most common triggers are the type of foods you consume. Having a bad diet can instantly trigger acid reflux.

Some of the ways you can trigger acid reflux are outlined below:

  • Eating heavy meals and laying down immediately after.
  • Eating heavy meals late at night.
  • Eating certain foods like citrus, tomato, chocolate, spicy, fatty, or fried foods.
  • Alcohol, caffeinated, and carbonated drinks.
  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Taking certain medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, or muscle relaxers.

Acid Reflux Symptoms

The main symptoms of acid reflux are heartburn or a burning sensation in your chest. Although you may also experience:

  • Constant cough or hiccups
  • A hoarse voice
  • Bad bread
  • Bloating and nausea

Dietary Considerations and Lifestyle Changes

Managing acid reflux effectively involves a combination of dietary adjustments and lifestyle modifications. Here are some key recommendations:


  • Avoid trigger foods like spicy dishes, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and fatty or fried foods
  • Incorporate alkaline foods such as leafy greens, bananas, and oatmeal to neutralize stomach acid
  • Increase intake of dietary fiber from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables

Meal Timing and Size:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day
  • Have your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime
  • Avoid large portions that can put extra pressure on the stomach


  • Drink plenty of water to dilute stomach acids and promote smooth digestion
  • Consider herbal teas like ginger or chamomile for their soothing effects
  • Try alkaline water to help neutralize stomach acid


  • Engage in regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and promote digestion
  • Quit smoking, as tobacco can relax the lower esophageal sphincter and increase reflux risk
  • Stay upright for a few hours after eating to allow proper digestion

Stress Management:

  • Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga
  • Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to reduce stress and promote overall well-being

Monitoring and Adjusting:

  • Keep a food diary or use a health app to track triggers and symptoms
  • Experiment with eliminating certain foods and observe how your body responds
  • Make personalized adjustments based on your individual experiences and needs

By incorporating these dietary and lifestyle changes, you can effectively manage acid reflux symptoms and improve your overall quality of life. Remember, everyone’s body is different, so it’s essential to monitor your triggers and make adjustments accordingly.

So Is Sourdough Good For Acid Reflux?

Yes and no. This all boils down on each person’s personal tolerance.

If you’re suffering from acid reflux it’s best to stick to whole-grain bread.

Is Sourdough Bread Good For Acid Reflux FAQs

What Kind of Bread Is Good For Acid Reflux?

Whole-grain bread is a lifesaver when it comes to those suffering from acid reflux because it enables you to enjoy your favorite type of food without suffering.

Is Sourdough Bread Very Acidic?

Yes, the sourdough starter makes sourdough acidic.

Why Do I Get Heartburn From Sourdough Bread?

Fermented foods like sourdough bread contain histamine. Normally, our bodies enzymes will digest them, though some people don’t produce enough of these enzymes, meaning that it won’t be digested.

Is Sourdough Bread Easy on Stomach?

In sourdough, the lactic acid bacteria produces an enzyme called phytase, which pre-digests the phytic acis during fermentation. This neutralizes the effects of phytic acid, making the bread easier for us to digest.

By Natasha Krajnc

Hi! My name is Natasha and I'm specialized in home sourdough bread baking and currently based in Slovakia - a very small country in Central Europe. My bread baking story began in 2011 when I decided to give up commercial yeast. I felt tired all the time (especially after eating bread and other foods made with yeast), I wasn’t motivated to do anything, had trouble concentrating throughout the day, my abdomen was bloated and I was like a trumpet on steroids – basically, I was quite a wreck. I was a big bread lover (and still am) and having to stop eating bread was quite hard at that time but I felt I was on a right way to give my body a chance to heal itself.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *