Preventing and relieving acid reflux is a serious issue. Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition involving the back-up of food and stomach acids into the esophagus, which causes burning pain in the chest and a group of other unpleasant symptoms such as belching, bloating, snoring, sore throat, coughing and insomnia.
Acid reflux may develop into other, more serious complications such as Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer if left untreated. The causes of acid reflux or GERD are varied, and eating certain trigger foods is a main stimulus for the occurrence of symptoms. So the first step in preventing and relieving acid reflux is to avoid foods that trigger the condition. If you have acid reflux or GERD, your diet should include foods you can eat safely and eliminate foods causing symptoms.
*Write down everything you eat. Keeping a record of when and what you eat and how you respond to those foods will help you recognize what you can and can’t eat to avoid symptoms of acid reflux disease. Eat frequently and keep the meals small to reduce symptoms.
What to Avoid
*Leave out the spices and spicy foods like peppers, hot chilies, and ethnic foods known for their spiciness. Adapt your taste buds to new flavors using green and warm brown spices such as oregano, basil, thyme, sage, cardamom, cinnamon and cumin.
*Take a pass on onions and garlic. These delicious vegetables may taste good, but they possess chemicals that weaken the esophageal sphincter aggravating symptoms of acid indigestion.
*Eliminate tomatoes and tomato products from your diet. These foods are known to worsen reflux symptoms and are difficult to digest due to being so high in acids.
*Skip certain sweets if you have acid reflux. Mint, spearmint and peppermint as well as chocolate and cocoa are not well tolerated by people with acid reflux. These foods help to relax the esophageal sphincter allowing stomach acids to reflux.
*Eliminate all alcohol, caffeinated drinks of all kinds, especially coffee, sodas and citrus juices. These beverages contribute toward the release of excess stomach acids that irritate the lining of the esophagus, aggravating acid reflux. Replace these drinks with water, light herbal teas and non-acidic fruit juices that are mild on the stomach and soothe the lining of the esophagus.
*Limit your intake of fats and fried foods if you have acid reflux. These foods are triggers for acid reflux attacks. Fats are suspected of slowing the stomachâ€™s ability to empty rapidly. When you do consume fats, choose healthy fats such as coconut, avocado and olive oil or organic butter with active cultures.
*Avoid milk and dairy products. Milk may initially relieve painful reflux symptoms, but it creates a rebound effect that causes the stomach to produce even more acids in the long run, and worsens acid reflux symptoms.
*Avoid highly processed foods, fast foods, orange and grapefruit juices, white sugar and flour products, and especially foods made from wheat which causes problems for many people.
Foods to Include in Your Diet
*Eat whole grains other than wheat, starchy vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and foods that soothe the stomach and don’t create excess acids, such as sweet potatoes and plantains. The best whole grains to include on an acid reflux diet are highly alkaline and include, amaranth, quinoa and millet.
*Include organic fruits and vegetables whose alkaline qualities help to moderate acid production and prevent painful acid reflux symptoms. Fruit should be eaten separately from all other foods because it digests much faster. If eaten in combination with proteins and carbohydrates the resulting fermentation in the stomach contributes to producing more acids, which cause continued damage.
*Eat apples on your acid reflux diet plan. Apples, applesauce and apple juice are all helpful for neutralizing stomach acid in reflux disease. Be sure to eat sweet red apples for this purpose. Green apples are not as effective.
For more information:
Alkalinize or Die”, Dr. Theodore A. Baroody, 1991
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