Anyone who suffers from the effects of GERD, knows how uncomfortable the condition can become. Most would prefer not to rely on over the counter acid reflux medications, instead preferring to find a gerd natural remedy. In this article, you will learn what acid reflux is, what some of the main symptoms are and gain some valuable diet for acid reflux disease tips.
Acid reflux is a condition wherein partially digested food containing the digestive acids secreted by the stomach comes back into the esophagus. Here are a few diet tips to alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux.
Acid reflux is a problem wherein the gastric juices, which contain acid, come back into the gullet or esophagus.
Some of the main symptoms of acid reflux are:
- Regurgitation – Food brought back into the mouth
- Heartburn – A burning sensation which rises from the lower chest or stomach and comes up into the throat.
- Dysphagia – Swallowing is difficult or even painful.
- Pain in the chest.
- Asthma, dental erosion, and hoarseness, since the stomach juices get into the air passage, mouth, and throat.
Why Does Acid Reflux Occur?
This problem is experienced by some people regularly, in which case it is known as GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
Once the food gets into the stomach, it is partially digested by enzymes and acids produced in the stomach. In normal conditions, this partially digested food is pushed into the small intestine by the stomach muscle. However, in people who suffer from acid reflux, the partially digested food from the stomach travels in the reverse direction, getting into the esophagus, which results in damage and inflammation.
Some of the factors that contribute to acid reflux are: obesity; alcohol; cigarettes; fatty foods, especially if they are deep fried; stomach emptying being delayed; and pregnancy.
The pressure inside the abdomen is increased due to pregnancy and obesity, which results in the contents of the stomach being pushed back into the esophagus.
In some people, the contents of the stomach are emptied very slowly. When the stomach is full of partially digested food containing acid, there is an increased tendency of it causing acid reflux, particularly when the person lies down.
Acid Reflux Diet Tips
Many people who suffer from acid reflux have a tendency of taking over-the-counter medications, such as antacids, to relieve their acid reflux symptoms. However, most of these people can alleviate their acid reflux symptoms just by following a proper diet.
If you suffer from acid reflux, here are some tips on what you should eat and what you need to avoid in order to follow an acid reflux diet:
Grains: Generally, foods made from grains like bread, crackers, cereals, and rice are pretty safe, since they neutralize the juices in the stomach.
Vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, peas, and green beans are recommended. If your symptoms are not very severe, you can eat garlic and onions. But, French fries, potato salad, mashed potatoes, and deep fried foods should be avoided when you follow an acid reflux diet.
Meats: As far as meat is concerned, it really depends on how the meat dishes are prepared. Fresh fish and chicken breast, without fat added, are regarded as safe. Eggs, scrambled or fried, tuna salad, and even fried fish can be eaten in moderation. However buffalo wings and chicken cooked in the nugget-style are best avoided.
Fruits: Papaya and pineapple are considered to be particularly beneficial, since both these fruits help in neutralizing the contents of the stomach. Apples and bananas are regarded as safe. Various berries, like cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are also fine, as long as they are eaten in moderate amounts. Citrus fruits are covered below.
Beverages: Mineral water is highly recommended. However, it is advisable to avoid carbonated beverages and alcohol.
Further Tips to Combat Acid Reflux
- Instead of eating three large meals in a day, it is advisable to consume smaller meals more frequently. When you lower the amount of food, it results in exerting less work load on the stomach, which in turn results in the stomach secreting less acid for digestion.
- High-fat foods, especially those from fast food outlets, should be avoided. High-fat foods have a tendency of remaining longer in the stomach, which causes the stomach to secrete excessive acid to digest them.
- Most importantly, avoid overeating. Overeating any food will cause the stomach to secrete excessive acid.
- An upright position should be maintained while eating as well as at least 45 minutes after a meal.
- When lying down, it is advisable to elevate the head of the bed by 6-8 inches.
- It is a misconception that beverages flow quickly through the stomach, without the acid secretion being affected. Many types of beverages, like pop, wine and beer do stimulate the secretion of acid in the stomach, with beer being the worst. The acid can be doubled in your stomach inside an hour of consuming beer.
Misconceptions of Acid Reflux Diet
- Drinking Milk to Reduce Symptoms of Acid Reflux: Many people drink milk before going to sleep in the hope of easing the symptoms of acid reflux. However, this can be counterproductive if you have eaten a large meal. When you eat a heavy meal at dinner, it results in the secretion of excessive acid in the stomach.
- Avoiding Citrus Fruits, Caffeine, and Spicy Food: It is an old misconception that citrus fruits that contain acid such as grapefruit, lemon, orange and so on exacerbate the acid reflux symptoms. And the same has been thought about caffeine and spicy food. However, recent research has proven that these beliefs are false.
Cure GERD Find out how to cure gerd by eating the right way.
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By Rita Putatunda
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