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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
El-Serag, H. (2008). The Association Between Obesity and GERD: A Review of the Epidemiological Evidence. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 53(9), 2307–2312. doi:10.1007/s10620-008-0413-9