Burn excess calories: Avoid heart burn!

An occasional acid reflux is common and everyone of us experience it from time to time!

But frequent acid reflux that is involved with large amount of acid becomes a problem. GERD,  Gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a more severe form of acid reflux.  

No worries……… Lifestyle changes help control GERD.

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Eating smaller meals and identifying and avoiding the foods that causes heart burns like: tomato sauce, alcohol, fatty or fried foods, chocolates, garlic, mint, onion and caffeine, will help prevent acid reflux and live symptoms free!

To curb the heartburn, it is wise to design your meals with naturally low- stomach acid producing food, that is, the food that prevents the excess stomach acid secretion and the splash up of the same into the esophagus!

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Banana & Apples are very effective in controlling the acid reflux. If taken along with the meal the soluble fiber and vitamins & minerals help digest the food and absorb the nutrients effectively. Honey dew, berries, peaches and cantaloupe are also aids in stomach-acid, that help control the heart burn.

Banana is kids friendly. You can make a healthy, delicious banana and egg pancakes in few minutes.

Mash a banana with dinner fork. Whisk an egg and add it to the mashed banana. Mix well until the banana and egg is completely combined. The batter has no flour, so it will be very loose and liquid. Drop roughly 2-3 tablespoon of the batter to a hot non-stick pan and cook well on both sides until it is done. Top the pancakes with a honey!

Yogurt

Bacterial overgrowth, a major factor in heartburn. Probiotics are effective in reducing the harmful bacteria in the gut. Restoring a healthy balance of intestinal flora is an important aspect of GERD prevention cum treatment. Yogurt, a natural buffer! It contains milk proteins and collidal salts which prossess both acid and base properties that act as buffering agents!

How about a salad with yogurt for lunch? Mix cubed chicken, cubed honeydew melon cubes in a bowl and yogurt with a pinch of salt and pepper. Enjoy this colorful and nutrients densed salad with brown rice and green bean for lunch!

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Fruits

All kind of fruits, esp. apples, berries, bananas, peaches, pears, papaya, pineapple will help during treatment and of course for the prevention of GERD

Peach almond smoothie is more refreshing and packed with nutrients.

Just whirl 2½ cup of peaches with 2 cups of soymilk and a handful of soaked almonds with a tablespoon of honey. Enjoy with your partner as a summer refresh!

Vegetables

All kinds of dark green vegetables, roots (except onions) and greens are good sources of vitamins & minerals and fibers that help control acid reflux. Steaming and baking are highly recommended to reap the benefits of these vegetables. The fibers will help you keep full for longer time and will keep your intestines less irritant. Vegetables can be enjoyed both in raw and cooked forms. If suffering from heart burns or GERD, avoid tomatoes, onions and lemon dressings.

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Whole grains

Whole grains are rich in both macro & micro nutrients and fibers. They help control the insulin spike with the slow release of sugar into the blood. The fibers keeps you full for a longer time. See that the food is not cooked with more fat because fats tend to increase the acid reflux.

Oatmeal, a soft start in the morning doesn’t cause reflux. It is more filling and the soluble fiber in the oats help control the cholesterol absorption too! How about whipped banana with oats for morining breakfast. Puree half a banana in the food processer until soft, creamy and fluffy, stir it to the cooked oats and top it with baked almonds. Thats’ it! The non-dairy but healthy breakfast is ready!

Other best breakfast options are whole meal bread egg sandwich, chappati with dhal or vegetable sabji, Seashell pasta and bean (black bean, corn kernel) soup, noodle soup with vegetable and egg or fish.

Fish

Fish is an excellent source of protein, that help prevent acid reflux. Baked or steamed fish or sliced fish soup with just pepper with less spices will help avoid acid reflux. If you are already suffering from GERD, it is wise to  avoid spices that supports the reflux and say a “NO” to smoked fish for it delivers a hefty dose of sodium and a possible growth-site of Listeria bacteria, too! Excess harmful bacteria in the gut will increase the acid reflux. Why take risk? Just enjoy the steamed or baked fish with pan roasted vegetables like asparagus, mushrooms , peas and bell peppers.

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Chicken

Skinless chicken especially the breast with less fat when compared to the other parts of the bird will help reduce the heart burn. Lesser the spices lower the acid effects!

Greesy fried foods, succulent rib-eye steak, yummy chicken wings, and cheese will worsen the acid reflux symptoms. So, be on guard….

Camomile tea and  Green tea

Caffeine rich coffee, tea and sodas will aggravate the acid reflux condition. It doesn’t mean that you have to completely give up coffee. It is as simple as watching the portion size. Guzzling the coffee or tea all day long will result in severe heart burn. Rather, switching to non-caffeine tea like camomile or green tea, will help you to avoid acid reflux and feel more relaxed.

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Maintain your weight

Obesity will lead to increased reflux! Wondering what is the connection between obesity and GERD? Studies have shown that excess body weight and increased belly size may cause heartburn, for the excess belly fat causes pressure on the stomach. Sounds logic!

Watch out! Greezy fried foods, succulent rib-eye steak, yummy chicken wings, cheese will worsen the acid reflux symptoms. So, eat the right food for your body to work properly and help burn the fat efficiently.

Stop using the tobacco, no matter what form it is in, for nicotine weakens the lower esophageal muscle.

Recommendations on how to manage GERD

  • Decrease total fat intake
  • Eat frequent small meals
  • Identify the irritants and avoid them
  • Limit the spices
  • Decrease caloric intake if weight loss is required.

References:

http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/gerd_diet.html

http://gicare.com/diets/gerd/

El-Serag, H. (2008). The Association Between Obesity and GERD: A Review of the Epidemiological Evidence. Digestive Diseases and Sciences53(9), 2307–2312. doi:10.1007/s10620-008-0413-9

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When a craving strikes……

Your stomach is growling, but lunch is hours away. You might just grit your teeth, thinking that waiting for lunch is the best. Why sitting and waiting when you can always indulge in a snack!

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Having snacks in the right ratio of nutrients and calories will help keep your body energized.  Healthy snacks are like slow-burners that help you keep going all through the day.

2-3 snacks a day may just banish the post-meal sleepiness that usually results with engulfing more calories at one sitting.

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Fuel up ‘tween meals!  Sounds Great!  But what about those mindless nibbles on a bag of cookies, chocolates at your table. Munching them to sabotage a well-planned healthy diet, later?

Tempted to grab those shiny & mini – doughnuts, the slices of cakes, cup cakes with a crown of whipped cream  at the office cafeteria?  Who will say  “No” to these finger foods?  I am sure, everyone would like to enjoy, munching these energy-zapping sugary foods.  A nutrient-poor, sugar-laden snacks will give you a quick jolt of energy which is immediately followed by a crash that can leave you hungry, cranky, sleepy, and struggle to concentrate!

While mindless snacking pads your waistline, a thoughtful snacking like munching on nuts, olives, cheese, fruits & vegetables may do just the opposite. Smart choices of healthy snacks, will help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.  So, no worries…….

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I am more delightful in presenting you the following healthy snack-foods. Hope you will enjoy!

Nuts are good, high protein choices. A handful of nuts is an excellent way to curb hunger between meals. They are high in protein, fiber, and heart healthy fats. For example, a small handful of walnuts a day, helps reduce your cholesterol and inflammation in the arteries. It is a package of omega3s, mono unsaturated fats and fiber.

Peanuts, too… are heart healthy because they are good source of mono unsaturated fats.

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20 g of plain, dry roasted peanuts will give you 113 g calories, 5.6 g protein, 1.7 g fiber, 1.66 g Vitamin E, 1.36 g saturated fat, 4.8 g mono unsaturated fat,  3.11 g poly unsaturated fat. 

To reap the real benefits of nuts, replace walnuts/almonds/pistachios for bad fats like those in cookies, fries or chips. Toast almonds to enhance the creamy  flavor. Be careful with quantity. A handful of nuts has nearly 110-120 calories! Choose something in a shell, so you have to work harder that slows down munching. Slower eating style, leaves you feel full and satisfied!!

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Edemame, the green fresh soybeans, a tasty appetizer!  It is both highly nutritious and a delicious treat!

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100 g of edemame are packed with 12.95 g of protein and almost 4.2 g of fiber that is equal to two slices of whole meal bread!  A perfect snack all by itself!

Protein rich snacks will help keep your metabolism in high gear.”

An orange contains cholesterol fighting fiber, pectin and potassium that helps control blood pressure. Study has shown that orange improve blood vessel functions and modestly lower the blood pressure through an anti-oxidant called hesperidin. A medium/tennis ball size, orange, is roughly around 62 calories, and with 3 g of fiber. Sounds good for heart!

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Banana, a naturally prepacked goodness, loaded with cramp preventing potassium! 100 g/7-8″ banana is packed with 89 calories, 2.6 g fiber, 358 mg potassium!

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Low-Fat dairy is often touted for bone health, for it is an easy source of calcium and potassium. Skimmed milk provides plenty of protein and calcium. Cold skim-milk keep you full for longer. Yogurt rich in pro-biotics helps fight the harmful bacteria in the intestine. People who are intolerance to lactose can very well tolerate yogurt, for they are low in lactose! Yogurt sounds great for a salad dressing, too!

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The protein in cheese snack will battle the mid-morning hunger pangs.  Smoothies, a bone building goodie!

You get:

  • 69 calories, 4.2 g protein, 3.8 g Saturated fat, and 100 mg Calcium from   25 g of White cheese with thyme and red pepper.
  • 115 calories, 8.8 g protein, 2 g Saturated fat, 9 mg cholesterol, 145 mg sodium, 363 mg Calcium from 250 ml/1 glass of Low fat milk 

Raw Vegetables make an outstanding snack. They are crunchy, low in calorie, with 70-80%  water to help you feel full. Half a cup of diced celery has only 9 calories!  When you are in the mood for chips and dips you can still stay on track!! Just try to replace them with raw vegetables like cucumber, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, and baby corns.

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Carrots, the sweet crunchy veggies help control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Since carrots are root vegetables that smell & taste sweet, people often stay away from them.  But do you know, carrots are among the lowest-carb root vegetables and they are lower in carbohydrate  than many other low-carb fruits like strawberries?

Yes, a 5-1/2 “(50 g) carrot gives you only 20 calories. Thanks to ample amount of soluble fiber 1.4 g/ 50g, the kind found in oats, that helps control cholesterol!

Soups, the broth-based, not creamy- is dieters’ friend. It is full of water that fills you up with fewer calories. It gently takes up the space that might have gone to higher calorie foods. Great filling!

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Air-popped popcorn is another excellent snack. The air adds volume without the addition of fat or sugar. It is visually satisfying, and also it takes time to eat. Pop corn is high in GI!. So, stick on to the portion size.

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Popcorn, air popped, microwave 1 oz/28.35 g per serving will give you 110 calories, 3.67 g protein, 4.1 g fiber, 93 mg potassium, 0.18 g saturated fat, 0.26 g Monounsaturated fat, and 0.65 g Polyunsaturated fat! 

Snacking is very beneficial towards getting all the essential nutrients our body needs in a day. It is the “variety” that makes the snack more appealing! The wider the range of foods we eat, the more nutrients we get. Regular physical activity to keep a healthy decent weight is also an important part of the lifestyle.

References:

  • Megan A McCrory, and Wayne W Campbell, “ Effects of Eating Frequency, Snacking, and Breakfast Skipping on Energy Regulation: Symposium Overview,” J Nutr. 2011;141:144-147
  • Christine M McDonald, Ana Baylin, Joanne E Arsenault, Mercedes Mora-Plazas, and Eduardo Villamor, “ Overweight is More prevalent Than Stunting and is Associated with Socioeconomic Status, Maternal Obesity, and a Snacking Dietary Pattern in School Children from Bogata, Colombia,” J Nutr. 2009; 139:370-376
  • http://ndb.nal.usda.gov
  • The Complete Diabetes Prevention Plan: A Guide to Understanding the Emerging By Sandra Woodruff, Christopher D. Saudek, 2004
  • Knack Healthy Snacks for Kids: Recipes for Nutritious Bites at Home Or On the Go By Amy Wilensky, Peter Ardito, Susan Byrne
  • Diabetes Snacks, Treats and Easy Eats for Kids: By Barbara Grunes, Linda R. Yoakam R D, M S