Gerd Diet: The Best Foods For Controlling Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is characterized by a defective anti-reflux barrier at the gastroesophageal junction, which allows stomach acid to escape back up the esophagus. It affects the entire digestive tract and can cause issues ranging from heartburn and persistent cough to esophagitis, ulcers, and cancer. There are many medications and treatments for GERD, depending on the severity of the disease. Making a few deliberate dietary changes is one of the more simple steps a person who suffers from GERD can take to help lessen these effects.
There are many foods that can increase the production of stomach acid, which in turn amplifies the symptoms of GERD. Some common trigger foods for GERD sufferers are fatty foods, spicy foods, citrus fruits, and caffeine. In addition to other lifestyle changes and medical treatments, avoiding trigger foods can help reduce the effects of GERD. The following items are good options for people who suffer from acid reflux.
Sit Or Stand Up Straight
Your posture could also be making heartburn symptoms worse. If you are lying down, sit straight or stand up. The inclined position makes it easier for stomach acids to flow into your esophagus. Standing upright will reduce pressure on the stomach valves which prevent the backflow of acids into the food pipe.
Foods To Help With Heartburn
Last reviewed: Medically reviewed
Have you ever had a burning sensation in your chest after eating? Or felt as though acid was coming up from your tummy into your throat? If so, you have probably had heartburn.
Read on to learn what heartburn is and what causes it, which foods and drinks can help you feel better, and steps you can take to avoid getting heartburn. Youll also find advice about when to speak to a doctor.
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What Foods Are Known To Trigger Acid Reflux
There are a variety of foods that can trigger heartburn or make it worse. Common triggers include:
While some of these foods, like citrus fruits and tomatoes, are acidic, others, like chocolate and mint, can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax and allow stomach contents to rise up into the esophagus.
If you have acid reflux or GERD, avoid trigger foods and eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Its also important to avoid eating late at night or lying down right after a meal.
In addition, cinnamon may help reduce GERD symptoms by strengthening the LES and promoting digestion. However, more research is needed in this area.
Foods That Could Trigger Heartburn And Indigestion
Each person is unique, and what triggers stomach problems for you may not be what triggers them in someone else. Keeping a food diary is useful for determining what foods trigger your indigestion. Once your food triggers are identified, it is best to eliminate them from your diet completely to avoid experiencing further stomach problems and heartburn episodes. That being said, there are several foods that are known to trigger indigestion in many people, including:
- Caffeinated beverages
- Carbonated beverages
- Tomatoes and tomato juice
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Top 10 Heartburn Foods
Making changes to your diet is a great way to help ease heartburn. You can start by avoiding foods that are likely to worsen your symptoms and then add in other nutritious foods. There are no specific diets for acid reflux, but these top 10 heartburn foods might help:
High fiber foods keep you feeling full for longer. This can stop you from overeating, which might trigger heartburn. Fiber-rich diets have also been linked to lower acid reflux risk. Eating whole grains like oatmeal and whole grain rice can help.
Root vegetables like sweet potatoes are great sources of fiber and complex carbohydrates. Try roasting, grilling, or broiling sweet potatoes with other root vegetables like beets and carrots. Roasting brings out sweeter flavors and avoids frying, which can trigger heartburn. Make sure to leave out the garlic and onions, which can be irritating.
Ginger is well known for its soothing digestive effects. It can help with gas, nausea, and bloating, and its anti-inflammatory, which can help soothe an irritated digestive system. If you normally enjoy coffee, try switching to ginger tea. You can add a slice of fresh ginger to a mug of hot water.
Fruits are part of a healthy diet, but citrus fruits can trigger heartburn. Instead, focus on eating watery fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Extra water can help dilute stomach acid and ease your symptoms.
Fennel Is A Flavorful Herb That May Help Settle The Stomach
Fennel is a crunchy herb that looks like a cross between onion and celery even though it’s actually a member of the carrot family.
” neutral pH helps settle the stomach. It is a great food for acid reflux and actually seems to improve stomach function through improving gastric motility,” said Dr. Nusbaum.
Fennel can be consumed raw or cooked and its seeds can be used to add flavor to dishes like chicken and fish.
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Foods To Avoid To Prevent Heartburn And Indigestion
Several foods can cause heartburn or indigestion by loosening the group of muscles at end of esophagus therefore it cannot keep out belly acid. By avoiding hot foods with chili powder, or black pepper, garlic, uncooked onions, tomatoes, grapefruit, oranges, alcohol, soft drinks, coffee, tea, indigestion and heartburn may be substantially reduced or prevented.
Tips To Help Manage Acid Reflux
The food you eat has a significant impact on your acid reflux management. On the other hand, the way you eat has a considerable effect on managing your symptoms.
- Track your symptoms and the foods that help you feel better.
- Reduce the size of your meals.
- It is important to eat slowly and chew your meal thoroughly.
- Drink as much liquid as possible throughout the day, ideally between meals and snacks.
- Instead of eating a large dinner, opt for two smaller ones during breakfast and lunch.
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Should I Ignore Heartburn
Heartburn may seem like a mild nuisance rather than something to be worried about but, if you’re over 50 years and have been experiencing acid reflux for some time or feel the need to keep using over-the-counter antacid tablets, it’s worth getting it checked out.
Cumming warns: “Heartburn can be a sign of an underlying health complaint such as a gastric ulcer or oesophageal cancer and shouldn’t be ignored, especially in older people. Suffering in silence when you have long-term heartburn symptoms could lead to potentially serious conditions being diagnosed later, when they are more advanced with complications, and are harder to treat.”
Tomatoes And Citrus Fruit
Fruits and vegetables are important in a healthy diet. But certain fruits can cause or worsen GERD symptoms, especially highly acidic fruits. If you have frequent acid reflux, you should reduce or eliminate your intake of the following foods:
- tomato sauce or foods that use it, such as pizza and chili
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Heartburn: Why It Happens
A muscular ring between the end of the esophagus and the beginning of the stomach normally keeps stomach acid where it belongs — in the stomach. But in people with frequent heartburn, this area, the lower esophageal sphincter muscle , may not prevent stomach acid from splashing up into the esophagus.
Does this mean you just have to live with heartburn? No! A recent survey conducted by the National Heartburn Alliance revealed that 92% of frequent heartburn sufferers point to food as the primary cause of their digestive discomfort.
So, if a change in diet can help you avoid heartburn, which foods should you choose to lose to help head off the pain?
Elevate Your Upper Body
Lying down can make heartburn worse. When it comes time for bed, adjust your sleeping surface to raise your upper body.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lifting your head with extra pillows isnt usually enough. Instead, the goal is to elevate your body from the waist up.
If you have an adjustable bed, set it at a suitable angle to provide relief. If your bed isnt adjustable, you can change the angle of your sleeping surface by using a wedge pillow.
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What Is The Best Diet For Heartburn
That does not have to be true, however. Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be both enjoyable and heartburn-friendly if you know which foods to incorporate into your diet.
Heartburn can flare when your stomach produces too much gastric acid, and your food choices can directly affect this. Here are three meals that incorporate heartburn-reducing foods that your stomach will appreciate.
Oatmeal and Wheat: Try Whole Grains for Breakfast
Oatmeal has been a whole-grain breakfast favorite for generations. It is a good source of fiber, so it keeps you feeling full and promotes regularity. Oats also absorb stomach acid and reduce symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease . For something sweet, top your oatmeal with bananas, apples or pears. The fructose in these fruits is less likely to trigger acid reflux than other sugars. Of course, eating oatmeal every day could get boring, so switch things up with a warm bowl of Cream of Wheat, or some whole grain toast with peanut butter.
Avoid coffee and most teas that contain caffeine, which can cause heartburn. Instead, brew a soothing cup of ginger tea. Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that will help regulate acid production.
Vegetables: Add Some Color and Nutrients to Your Lunch
Try these options for a light and tasty lunch:
- Baked potato with steamed broccoli
- Mixed green salad with fresh-cut vegetables and a light oil and vinegar dressing
- Veggie wrap or veggie quesadilla
Foods That Help Acid Reflux
While some foods are problematic for acid reflux, other foods can help reduce or improve your symptoms.
Whole grains, fruits and vegetables have fiber that can make you feel fuller, which limits the amount of food in your stomach.
- Whole grains: Oats and brown rice are good choices for grains as they both help you feel satisfied for longer and also help absorb stomach acid.
- Vegetables: Low-acid vegetables such as root vegetables, cruciferous vegetables and green beans are all good choices.
- Fruits: Bananas, apples and raspberries are high in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance that helps food travel more easily through the digestive tract.
Foods can either be acidic or alkaline . In theory, acidic foods are more likely to trigger acid reflux. Animal-based foods, such as meat and dairy, are acidic.
On the other hand, alkaline foods can help counteract stomach acids that lead to acid reflux. Examples of alkaline foods include bananas, cantaloupe, melon, apples and cauliflower.
Foods with high water content
Foods with high water contents can help dilute stomach acid and ease acid reflux. Leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach, are made up primarily of water as are celery, cucumbers and zucchini. In fact, celery, iceberg lettuce and cucumbers contain 95 percent water. For fruit options, watermelon and strawberries are made up of 91 percent water.
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How To Reduce Your Acid Reflux
If youre struggling with acid reflux, there are steps you can take to improve your symptoms.
- Stay away from foods that can trigger symptoms, such as caffeine, carbonated beverages, chocolate, onions, citrus, tomatoes, and foods high in fat.
- Try to not eat before going to bed or lying down. This helps the LES keep stomach contents down instead of traveling back up to the esophagus.
- When you sleep, try propping up the upper half of your body with a wedge pillow.
If you experience acid reflux symptoms more than twice a week, it may be time to talk to your doctor and start planning a few changes in your eating plan.
With a few dietary adjustments, you can get your acid reflux under control and put out the inferno burning in your chest.
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A Note About Proton Pump Inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors are the most effective treatments for chronic acid reflux. Theyre generally considered very safe. They reduce your bodys production of gastric acids. Unlike some other medications, you only need to take them once a day to prevent symptoms.
There are also downsides to using proton pump inhibitors on a long-term basis. Over time, they can deplete vitamin B-12 in your body. Since stomach acid is one of your bodys defenses against infection, proton pump inhibitors can also raise your risk of infection and bone fractures. In particular, they can raise your risk of hip, spine, and wrist fractures. They can also be expensive, often costing more than $100 each month.
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Best Foods For Acid Reflux
A diet balanced with vegetables, protein and fruits is best, Dr. Khaitan says. Examples of the best foods for acid reflux include:
- Chicken breast Be sure to remove the fatty skin. Skip fried and instead choose baked, broiled or grilled.
- Lettuce, celery and sweet peppers These mild green veggies are easy on the stomach and wont cause painful gas.
- Brown rice This complex carbohydrate is mild and filling just dont serve it fried.
- Melons Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew are all low-acid fruits that are among the best foods for acid reflux.
- Oatmeal Filling, hearty and healthy, this comforting breakfast standard also works for lunch.
- Fennel This low-acid crunchy vegetable has a mild licorice flavor and a natural soothing effect.
- Ginger Steep caffeine-free ginger tea or chew on low-sugar dried ginger for a natural tummy tamer.
Few More Tips To Help Acid Reflux With Cancer Treatment:
- Avoid tight fitting clothing
- Eat at a slower pace and chew food well
- Lose weight, especially if you are heavier in the abdominal area
- Dont smoke. Nicotine can increase acid reflux symptoms.
- Increase your fluids to stay well hydrated
Acid reflux can be a debilitating side effect of cancer treatment. It can cause vomiting, pain, and the inability to eat, which could result in malnutrition. Your nutritional status is important to prevent delays in treatment or hospitalizations. Using these tips above can help prevent the onset of acid reflux during and after a meal plus help you maintain good nutrition during cancer treatment.
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Foods That Help With Acid Reflux
- Foods That Help With Acid Reflux
Weve all experienced it. That painful burning sensation that is acid reflux. Acid reflux is caused by stomach acid rising up into the esophagus. Reflux can lead to feelings of hoarseness, dry cough, difficulty swallowing or even chest pain. Over time acid reflux can damage the esophagus and cause more serious problems like inflammation of the esophageal lining, narrowing of the esophagus or a condition called Barretts esophagus which can lead to cancer. Treatment is important to prevent long term problems.
There are many non-medication treatments to help control acid reflux. Sleeping with the head of the bed elevated at least 30 degrees uses gravity to keep the acid in the stomach. Avoiding over-eating and laying down immediately after eating can also help. Dietary changes can make a huge difference in symptom control and daily life. Avoid foods that are fried or greasy, caffeinated and carbonated beverages, beer and high acidic foods like tomatoes that can worsen your acid reflux symptoms. To help ease these symptoms, try eating more calming foods that will lower the acidity level in your stomach.
- Brown Rice
While there are many different non-medication treatments for acid reflux, even using all of them may not be enough. If you have tried lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications without relief, talk with one of the doctors at GI Associates about prescription options to treat your reflux.
Stay Upright After Meals To Help Acid Reflux Symptoms
Stay upright after meals. Even if you are fatigued or feel nauseous after a meal, it is important to keep your bodyupright for at least hour after eating. Lying down after a meal or even a snack, can cause acid to move up your esophagus, causing discomfort or even pain. You dont have to sit completely straight. Instead. make sure your bed or recliner is elevated at least 45-degree angle to prevent heartburn. Eating right before bed can also be problematic, even if your head is elevated. Wait at least 1-2 hours after a big meal before going to bed.
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Foods That May Cause Heartburn
Foods commonly known to be heartburn triggers cause the esophageal sphincter to relax and delay the digestive process, letting food sit in the stomach longer, says Gupta. The worst culprits? Foods that are high in fat, salt or spice such as:
- Fried food
- Carbonated beverages
“Moderation is key since many people may not be able to or want to completely eliminate these foods,” says Gupta. “But try to avoid eating problem foods late in the evening closer to bedtime, so they’re not sitting in your stomach and then coming up your 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.”