Diet For GERD: 6 Foods To Avoid & 9 Foods To Add In Your Diet
In this article, we’ll discuss the foods to avoid and foods to add in your diet for GERD.
What Is GERD?
GERD, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is a disease that affects the digestive system of the human body. There is a stomach acid, also known as bile, that is present in the stomach.
Instances occur when the sphincter muscle situated at the lower half of the esophagus relaxes at the incorrect moment, leading the stomach acid right into the esophagus.
So basically, when bile moves up frequently into the connecting tube between the mouth and the stomach, GERD occurs and an individual feels a disgusting bitter-tasting sensation in their mouth. This bitter taste is due to the arrival of bile into the chest.
Episodes of heartburn and acid reflux occurring more than two times a week can indicate you are a victim of GERD. To get rid of this chronic disease that causes irritation in the food lining, one may require strong medication along with severe dietary modifications that suit the bodily requirements of a GERD patient.
GERD medicines will only provide short-term relief from symptoms. For long-term treatment, one must alter their eating habits to an extent that is visible in their palette every time they sit down to eat a meal.
Diet For GERD: Foods To Avoid
Medical researchers have found a relationship between inflammation that occurs due to GERD, also known as reflux esophagitis and the consumption of specific types of foods.
Keep reading to get a better idea of what needs to eradicated immediately from your diet (obviously only if you are a GERD patient)
- Chocolate: The ingredient methylxanthine present in chocolate imparts a relaxation effect on the Lower Oesophagus Sphincter (LES) that leads to an influx of stomach acid into the chest and traces of it into the mouth.
- Caffeine: Individuals who have GERD may notice that after they have a cup of coffee, their acid influx episodes increase. This is because caffeine is a known trigger-element of GERD.
- High-fat foods: Restrict yourself from fatty and fried meals as they promote stomach acid to erupt and enter the esophagus. Some examples are oily foods, cream, gravy, salad dressings, fried meats, bacon and ham fat, desserts, potato chips, onion rings, etc. – you get the idea.
- Garlic, onions, and spicy ingredients: The fact that spicy foods trigger heartburns in individuals is not a hidden secret.
- Citrus fruits: Fruits are undoubtedly healthy. But fruits that have acidic content are not advised for GERD victims. Examples would be oranges, pineapples, tomatoes, lemons, jackfruits, grapefruit, etc.
- Alcohol, carbonated beverages, peppermint, and milk
Diet For GERD: Foods To Include
These foods help reduce the aggravation of your GERD issue. Although there is no specific acid reflux diet plan, the inclusion of these foods could improve your GERD symptoms
Eggs can be a great source of protein. If you have an issue with the high-fat yolks then simply eat egg white and your symptoms must reduce.
Also, refrain from high-fat and fried foods as they tend to lower the pressure in the LES, making acid influx a susceptible issue. Rather opt for consuming lean meats that are either broiled, baked, or poached.
2. Veggies and Fruits
As you already know you must avoid citrus fruits, you must go for non-citrus fruits like apples, mangoes, bananas, pears, papaya, etc.
Speaking of vegetables, they have also proven to portray a positive effect on the health of an individual. Just make sure you do not add unnecessary sauces, onions, tomatoes, salad dressings, and other chest-irritants.
3. Healthy fats
Fats are of many kinds – monosaturated fats, polysaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and trans fats. Out of these, healthy fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
The former includes cooking oils such as canola oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, and sesame oil. Even peanuts, avocados, and a variety of unique nuts and seeds can prove to be helpful against GERD.
Whereas, the latter includes cooking oils such as flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, beans, and tofu; along with salmon and trout (fatty fish).
Refrain from partaking in the consumption of fats such as saturated fats (present in dairy and meat products) and trans fats (present in processed edibles).
Work towards replacing all your saturated fats with unsaturated fats. This provides an immense contribution to reduce episodes of stomach acid reflux.
Have a spoon of raw ginger extract (juice) or add grated slices of ginger to your breakfast, lunch, or dinner to reduce GERD symptoms. This is because ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties are bound to reduce the influx of bile from the stomach into the esophagus.
Oatmeal has always proved to be a favorite amongst people who are constantly looking to eat healthily and have sufficient energy to get through the day. This form of whole-grain proves to be an exceptional source of fiber. Opting for whole-grain bread and whole-grain rice is linked to a reduction in acid reflux.
6. Complex carbohydrates
This category of foods includes the above-mentioned category of oatmeal along with a number of root vegetables. Potatoes, beetroot, radish, etc. are all great sources of digestible fiber.
Fennel is a crunchy vegetable that has always had a very low amount of acidic content along with a mild licorice-tasting flavor.
8. Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew
All these fruits are low in acidic content and can easily replace the citrus fruits on your dining table.
9. Probiotics foods
This is an essential category of foods for individuals who face digestive problems. It helps to rejuvenate balance to the bacterial flora that would exist in the intestines. This bacterial flora is referred to as probiotics. They advocate the growth of selective bacteria that helps fight GERD symptoms as one of their several contributions.
Some foods that are natural and rich in probiotic content are yogurt, green bananas, kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, kefir, leeks, kombucha (a fermented tea drink).
Diet For GERD: Wrap Up
Now that you know what foods must be removed from your diet and what foods must be added to kickstart your GERD diet, you must also be aware of a few extra points.
Once you are done eating a healthy meal that includes some of the components mentioned above, you must make sure you do not lay flat. Walking around or standing upright is a great way to naturally let all your gastric elements move around in the right direction.
Also, ensure you never go directly to bed after eating food. Because if your food digests without any bodily movement then the acid reflux diet proves useless as excess bile gets stored in the stomach. This means that the probability of the bile rising up to the esophagus increases and you have higher chances of experiencing GERD symptoms.
Also, you do not stop eating what you like to eat. All you go to do is simply regulate your eating habits and your diet. Do not overeat, eat slowly and always allow your food to digest.
April 7, 2020 Sam Bell