GERD Diet: What toeat what not to

GERD Diet: What to eat what not to

Once in a while some people suffer from acid reflux (heartburn) while people having Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic acid reflux condition,suffer from burning discomfort, bloating and belching almost every time they eat. Normally, the esophageal sphincter (a muscular tube that lets food pass into the stomach and then cinches shut to block it from coming back up) protects the esophagus from stomach acid. However, if the sphincter relaxes, food can push upward through the loosened opening and cause acid reflux.

The first line of therapy is diet used for treating people with GERD because certain foods tend to encourage symptoms of GERD which you have to avoid as these can irritate the sensitive tissues and damage it further. Changing the size and timing of your meals can significantly reduce heartburn, regurgitation and other symptoms of GERD. By diet you would lose weight, since extra weight can put pressure on your abdomen and increase your risk of GERD symptoms.

Foods that may cause heartburn

Certain foods and beverages can exacerbate GERD symptoms, including heartburn and a sour taste from regurgitation.

Chocolate — chocolate contains caffeine, cocoa and plant chemicals that can all trigger heartburn. Also, a chemical in cocoa relaxes the Lower Esophageal Sphincter(LES), making it easier for stomach contents to leak into your esophagus. Chocolate may be one of the worst foods because it contains high levels of fat as well as caffeine.

Peppermint — known for soothing an irritable bowel, has the opposite effect on acid reflux. Peppermint relaxes the muscles used for digestion and a relaxed LES is a leaky LES.

Fatty / fast foods — not only make you sluggish but these relax your LES and are slower to digest than other foods. When food sits in your stomach longer, your body responds by making more acid. Fried foods like onion rings are obvious culprits but meats and whole milk dairy products also cause symptoms.

Spicy foods — Spicy foods like Chili powder and pepper (white, black, cayenne) make acid reflux worse in two ways. First, the capsaicin in many spicy foods can slow down digestion. But before it even gets that far, it can irritate an already irritated esophagus on its way down.

Acidic foods and drinks — Alcohol and caffeine both relax the LES, allowing acid to leak up to your esophagus. The bubbles in carbonation expand the stomach, pushing stomach contents up against the LES. That makes soda, coffee and tea and alcoholic beverages all triggers.

Garlic — Garlic, especially raw, is known to cause heartburn and upset stomach in healthy people. That makes it even more likely to cause issues for those who suffer from acid reflux.

Onions —Raw onions don’t just make you cry, they stimulate acid production. That extra acid puts you at risk for heartburn.

These foods should be eaten either in moderation or totally avoided as they worsen GERD symptoms by relaxing the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle that separates your stomach from your esophagus. This allows the stomach’s contents to enter the esophagus, causing heartburn. Never have them especially in the evening, closer to bedtime, as theycause discomfort by coming up the esophagus when you lay down at night. It's also a good idea to eat small frequent meals instead of bigger, heavier meals and avoid late-night dinners and bedtime snacks.

Foods That Help Prevent Acid Reflux

The best news is that there are foods which you can eat to help prevent acid reflux. Keep foods from these three categories in your kitchen:

High-fiber foods—

make you feel full so you're less likely to overeat, which causes heartburn. These are a good source of fiber and may help absorb stomach acid.So, eat healthy fiber from these foods:

  • Whole grains such as oatmeal, couscous and brown rice.
  • Root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots and beets.
  • Green vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli and green beans.
  • A bowl of mixed nutsand seeds provides fiber and nutrients and may help absorb stomach acid. Almonds, peanuts, chia, pomegranate and flaxseeds are all healthy choices.
  • Alkaline foods—

    Foods which have a higher pH are alkaline and can help reduce strong stomach acid. PH is an indicator of acid levels and foods with lower pH are acidic and more likely to cause reflux. Alkaline foods include:

  • Bananas
  • Melons
  • Cauliflower
  • Fennel
  • Watery foods—

    Eating foods which contain a lot of water can dilute and weaken stomach acid. These are low fat, low sugar and provide fiber and important nutrients.Choose foods such as:

  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Watermelon
  • Broth-based soups
  • Herbal tea
  • Along with foods from the above group have:

    Lean protein — Low-fat, lean sources of protein also reduces symptoms of GERD, have baked, broiled, poached or grilled chicken, seafood, tofu and egg whites.

    Beans, peas and lentils — Along with being good sources of fiber, beans, peas and lentils also provide protein, vitamins and minerals.

    Yogurt — This is soothing to an irritated esophagus and provides probiotics that support your digestive tract. It’s also good source of protein.

    Healthy fats — Replace unhealthy fats with unsaturated fats can help; good choices for healthy fats are Avocados, olive oil, walnuts and soy products.

    Ginger — Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and has been used throughout history for gastrointestinal problems. Ginger can be added to smoothies, soups, stir fry or other dishes or steeped as a tea.

    How FirstCure Health can help

    If you have heartburn / acid reflux affecting the quality of your life or if you suffer from acid reflux more than twice a week and changes to your diet or eating pattern haven't helped, consult Gastroenterologist at FirstCure Health (a doctor who specializes in the digestive system). We will evaluate the acidity in your stomach and see if frequent acid reflux has damaged your esophagus. We will find the underlying cause and discuss available treatment options.

    Why talk to Us?

    We at FirstCure have top doctors equipped with most advanced procedures at guranteed lowest cost. We will assist you at every step from booking consultations, second opinions, arranging diagnostic tests, insurance approvals and related paperwork, admission to discharge and post surgery follow up consultation.

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