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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Break the cycle

Cut back the “sit” time: Increase your “fit” time

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Many say, “ I don’t have time to exercise.”  It is a total lie…. Yes, you know the fact, but you refuse to accept!  Recent years, many people became overweight through a slow, gradual weight gain of 1 or 2 kg per year, especially, children. This demonstrates a slight imbalance of energy that results in weight gain over time, leading to health problems, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Need to extend yourself, everyday!

Break the cycle

Is life all about work, eat and sleep? Not exactly! There is something more important, you need to concentrate everyday-“Physical activity!” You must use your body tools everyday. You need to clean them and set them back in the right position, so that they are ready for movement, the next day. Movement is an opportunity! Seek opportunity to choose standing over sitting, walking over driving, and climbing the stairs instead of using elevator!

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Any movement count as physical activity: dancing, skating, gardening, cycling, climbing stairs, scrubbing floors, washing the car by hand, playing with kids. Anything that gets you moving, really is considered a good physical activity. In addition, you feel happy! Weave activity into your day by bicycling or brisk walking to commute to work, to go to the store, market, to drop and pick-up your children from school.

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You can maintain / reduce your weight when you are careful in how much you eat and how much you expend. It is about the awareness and making the better choices on both food and physical activity.

If you are taking insulin or under medication, do not go for vigorous exercise. Consult the doctor and exercise physiologists to learn if there is any specific exercise restrictions, before you start moving.

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Cutting back on “sit” time is just as important as increasing “fit” time.

Mind & Body

Try to meditate atleast 5-10 mins every day. Observing your breath by closing your eyes will help shift the mind from worries to a relaxed state.

Strike an energy balancing act: 

  • For energy balance and optimal weight, focus on nutrient dense foods like, fruits & vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy, whole grains and of course physical activity! 
  • Eat Breakfast
  • Practice portion control. Your plate should be half fruits & vegetables, a quarter lean protein/beans and a quarter whole grains.
  • Increase your water intake and decrease the sugary beverages.
  • Choose only one serving of dessert.

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If you take in less energy than your body requires, you lose weight. When you take in more than your body needs, you gain weight. You will be able to maintain a perfect weight by balancing your energy. Step outside when you can, for fresh air, sunlight and physical activity. Family activities makes the whole family fit & happy.

Movement is an opportunity not an inconvenience.

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References

Lose Weight : Eat Breakfast

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Breakfast is the first meal of the day that lays the foundation for lifelong health benefits. With the busy schedule everyday, breakfast often becomes an after thought, but should instead make it, the top priority in the morning. Mornings are great time for getting things done when you are less likely to get interrupted than later in the day. There are higher possibilities to turn personal priorities into reality. “A Great Morning”, would start with a freshly brewed coffee, warm-up exercise, and a hearty family breakfast.

Having breakfast gets your morning started on the right tract. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It kick starts your metabolism and gets your day off to the best possible start by providing the rocket fuel, called glucose, a carbohydrate. It makes you feel happy, healthy and energetic. It is linked to improved performance and weight loss.

After a long sleep, 8-12 hrs, your brain requires glucose, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to get energy.  You fast the whole night and You need to break this fast! Breakfast restores glucose that were lost or utilized during the sleep. But it is  quite often ignored or rushed through like grabbing a doughnut, a banana, or an apple. Sounds familiar? Yes and the most common excuse for not having breakfast is “lack of time”! Research has shown that breakfast skippers are likely to be at the risk of getting overweight, osteoporosis, anemia, colon cancer  in future

Do not skip breakfast

It might seem that you save calories by not having breakfast. On the contrary,  the breakfast eaters tend to weigh lesser than the breakfast skippers.  Eating breakfast can help you lose weight. 

Skipping breakfast can be visually represented as a car without petrol. No breakfast means the brain energy is slumping in the mid morning. You may not be able to focus well on work and also will have trouble with keeping in good mood.  Skipping breakfast will lead to binge eating and you more likely will end up eating all through the day! You are also more vulnerable to cravings and more likely to choose unhealthy foods resulting in overweight.  “How can I make breakfast a part of my day?”.  The answer is very simple. It’s just building the habit of having breakfast everyday, one of the major lifestyle changes. Turning a desire into habit needs a stronger will power. So, be more consistent.

Start slowly

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If you don’t feel hungry in the morning, start with something that is small, like a piece of toast, whole meal waffle with peanut butter, whole wheat crackers with cheese or peanut, yogurt, or smoothie. Once you get used to eating early in the morning, start having a full balanced breakfast meal.

Sit down and eat breakfast

Many of us rush through the day and just gobble the food before stepping out. The food that consumed in hurry will most likely end up undigested. The longer we chew the food, the more we enjoy the flavor and texture of the food. Chewing enhances the digestion. Try at least 30 mins, every morning, to eat & enjoy your breakfast.

Choose the right food for breakfast

Breakfast is starting off with better nutrition. One must consider the type of food eaten for breakfast. A pastry coupled with coffee in the morning, will give you an initial energy surge. Truthfully, it is just a temporary filler. By mid morning you may be sluggish or sleepy!

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A healthy breakfast meal should contain a variety of foods, including fruits & vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, and lean protein. Protein blunts hunger and is more satiating.

Feb 2013 013An egg for break fast is one of the best choice to have protein in the morning. Egg contains high quality protein, vitamins and minerals. Limit the high sodium, harmful fat and sugar food. Eating breakfast that includes whole grains will reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart attack & heart failure.

Plan ahead

Many find it difficult to prepare a full meal, especially, in the morning for you have to rush to work. You can always prepare a smoothie, cut fruits, cook the cereals, pack a to-go sandwich, the previous night, and refrigerate and it is ready for the next day morning!  Can have the cereal either cold or hot and for more  flavor add nuts, berries or bananas.  Yummy, healthy, and filling breakfast!

Breakfast should be consumed daily for a sustained life and to promote good well being. Ensure that even in the morning rush you and your kids get a good, healthy breakfast before stepping out of the house. Breakfast is vital for every adult, young growing kids and teens. According to American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast perform well in the class room and in the play ground, with better concentration, problem solving skills, and eye-hand co-ordination.

References

www.mayoclinic.com

www.eatright.org

www.kidshealth.org

www.health.harvard.edu