What is GERD or acid reflux?

A condition where the stomach contents frequently go back up the food pipe is called Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This regurgitation is usually long-term and may lead to uncomfortable symptoms, such as heartburn and pain in the upper abdomen. The seriousness of the condition often relates to lifestyle and diet.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects roughly 20 percent of the American population. Acid reflux isn't a picnic. Are you looking for a diet to help with acid reflux and Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease (GERD)? A hot burning in the chest,  a gassy bloating in the stomach, and a bitter taste in the throat. Everything you eat, however, can affect you. The very best and worst foods for acid reflux may spell the difference between sweet-sour and relief distress.

Avoiding trigger foods and other dietary tips may alleviate the symptoms of GERD. There are foods that people with GERD might desire to exclude from their diet and foods that may benefit from this condition.

See: Ayurveda treatment for GERD and Acidity

What aggravates acid reflux?

Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter at the esophagus's bottom is not functioning well, allowing fluid from the stomach to go into the esophagus. The worst foods for reflux may worsen debilitating symptoms, while other foods can soothe them.

See: Functional medicine for GERD

Best Foods for Acid Reflux

A diet with veggies, fruits, and protein is best. Examples of the best acid reflux foods include:

- Egg Whites

Egg whites are a fantastic, low-fat supply of protein, which might be useful for GERD individuals trying to decrease their fat intake. Most of the vitamins, minerals, beneficial fats and other nutrients are present in the egg yolk, however, so include these in your diet too from time to time.

- Lean Chicken and Turkey

Lean poultry is a great and inexpensive source of protein. Make certain to pick cuts without skin and bake, grill, or sauté. Avoid deep-fried chicken.

- Lean Fish

A terrific source of protein and many vitamins and minerals, Fish, is an excellent addition to any dietary plan. When preparing fish for a GERD diet, make certain to grill, sauté, or steam. Avoid deep-frying.

- Tofu

Tofu is a healthful, low-fat, vegetarian supply of protein. However, it's frequently served fried or deep-fried, which isn't great for reflux, so keep an eye out for steamed or sautéed tofu recipes.

- Vegetables 

Raw or cooked vegetables are usually great for an acid reflux diet. Make certain to avoid tomatoes, onions, or peppers. Recommended veggies include all root vegetables such as turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Other terrific vegetables include mushrooms, fennel, and celery. Avoid onions, tomatoes, or peppers.

- Herbs 

Herbs are a healthy way to add flavor to your food without using excessive amounts of salt, oil, or sugar. They're also a concentrated source of many nutrients. Try many different fresh herbs in your diet and see how it impacts your acid reflux. However, avoid pepper, citrus, garlic, and mustard.

- Vinegar

Since acid reflux is frequently brought on by low stomach acid after too many PPIs, drinking apple cider vinegar before meals can reduce reflux. For best results, combine the vinegar with water or manuka honey. You are drinking the yeast, mom, or germs that made the vinegar may also give your stomach a pro-biotic increase, helping to reduce harmful bacteria that flourish in a low-acid gut.

- Ginger

Ginger is a demulcent herb, traditionally used as a natural treatment for heartburn and indigestion. Demulcents are believed to function by forming a physical barrier against stomach acid and reducing inflammation. Consider adding ginger to several dishes and try ginger tea after meals to see if it helps alleviate your symptoms.

- Natural Licorice

Licorice is used as an ailment for digestive ailments and might effectively relieve GERD symptoms. Make certain to consume just natural Licorice, avoiding the most important candies, which frequently use anise seed to mimic the flavor of Licorice. Licorice supplements might also be a fantastic choice.

- Whole Grains

Whole grains such as whole-wheat bread (especially rye), brown rice, and oatmeal helps ease reflux. Oatmeal is even considered to absorb stomach acid and acid from different foods. Please be aware that this doesn't include granola because of the high sugar and oil content. Moreover, if you have oatmeal with milk, make certain to use skim, or rather soy milk.

- Bananas

Known for being high in potassium, bananas have a very low pH (acidity) and are generally advised for an acid reflux diet.

- Beans

Beans are heart-healthy meals and are also a fantastic supply of fiber. Consider adding beans into your acid reflux diet to find out how they help.

- Soups

Homemade soups, particularly with whole wheat noodles and the accepted veggies above, can make an excellent meal to reduce reflux. Soup also benefits from assisting in weight loss, which is very likely to help with acid reflux.

- Chamomile Tea

Since green and black teas are caffeinated and usually considered foods to avoid acid reflux, you can try chamomile tea instead. Chamomile tea has calming properties, helping to reduce stress levels that can further alleviate reflux.

Fennel

This low-acid crunchy vegetable has a mild licorice flavor and a natural soothing effect.

Lettuce, celery, and sweet peppers

These mild green veggies are easy on the stomach -- and will not cause painful gas.

Brown rice

This intricate carbohydrate is filling and mild -- just do not serve it fried.

- Plain Popcorn (Unbuttered, Unsalted)

Popcorn is made of whole grain and can make a fantastic snack. Make certain to only eat plain popcorn with nothing added.

- Chewing Gum

Chewing gum immediately after a meal and for up to one hour may help decrease acid reflux, particularly when coupled with walking after meals. (two ) When buying chewing gum, search for brands with no artificial sweeteners or ingredients.

- Soy Milk

Cow's milk can trigger reflux, so trying alternatives like soy milk can be helpful.

- Honey and Agave

Honey, notably Manuka Honey, is reported by some people to be useful for reflux. Manuka honey comprises enzymes that may aid digestion. Natural sweeteners like honey may make an excellent addition to oatmeal in an acid reflux diet.

- Melon

Honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon can be helpful for acid reflux. However, it is easy to overeat melon, which can trigger reflux, so watch your portion sizes.

It's an excellent idea to experiment with various foods to see which ones activate your reflux. Besides eating these foods, avoiding spicy, fatty, and salty foods might help. Caffeine and alcohol intake should also be lessened. Why do you wish to use food to control acid reflux? The use of antacids and PPIs lowers stomach acid and reduced stomach acid is truly a cause of reflux. Low stomach acid allows bacteria to grow in your gut, which may lead to reflux. Using foods to control your stomach may stop the pain and harm your body while maintaining enough stomach acid to prevent bacterial growth.

The research quantifies the impact of diet changes on GERD. These foods could help with acid reflux: whole grains, beans, vegetables, lean fish, lean poultry, and much more.

See: Home remedies for GERD & acid reflux

Below are foods to relieve acid reflux naturally that might actively enhance GERD symptoms.

Until recently, researchers did not fully comprehend GERD, and there was a lack of scientific evidence to suggest that altering the diet could improve symptoms. But a 2013 research of over 500 people discovered that some foods do seem to decrease the frequency of GERD symptoms. These include:

- vitamin C-rich foods like fruits and veggies

- fruits high in fiber, magnesium, and potassium, particularly berries, apples, pears, avocados, melons, peaches, and bananas

- protein from low-cholesterol resources, such as salmon, trout, almonds, lean poultry, beans, and lentils

- certain carbohydrates that occur in fruits, vegetables, potatoes, and some whole grains

- eggs

- green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, kale, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts

Research also indicates that foods high in fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can help decrease GERD symptoms. In a set of guidelines on managing and diagnosing GERD, the American College of Gastroenterology believes that the main purpose of treatment should be to heal the digestive tract.

See: Why Am I So Gassy & How To Stop Farting

Lifestyle factors to help GERD

What can other lifestyle factors help alleviate reflux?

- Losing weight

- Eating little or accountable portion sizes

- Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes

- Walking for 1 hour after meals

- Eating gradually

- Decreasing sources of anxiety

See: What to drink for acid reflux & heartburn relief

References:

- Wu, P., Zhao, X.-H., Ai, Z.-S., Sun H.-H., Chen, Y., Jiang, Y.-X., … Xu, S.-C. (2013). Dietary Intake and risk for reflux esophagitis: A case-control study. Gastroenterology Research and Practice https://www.hindawi.com/journals/grp/2013/691026/

-Kandil, T. S., Mousa, A. A., El-Gendy, A. A., and Abbas, A. M. (2010, January 18). The potential therapeutic effect of melatonin in gastro-esophageal reflux disease. BMC Gastroenterology, 10(7) https://bmcgastroenterol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-230X-10-7

-Emling, S. (2017, July 28). 5 top foods to stave off acid reflux symptoms

https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2017/foods-help-acid-reflux-fd.html

-Hong, S. J. & Kim, S. W. (2015, January 6). Helicobacter pylori Infection in gastroesophageal reflux disease in the Asian countries. Gastroenterology Research and Practice, 2015, 985249 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4302361/

-Kaltenbach, T., Crockett, S., & Gerson, L. B. (2006, May 8). Are lifestyle measures effective in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease? An evidence-based approach. Archives of Internal Medicine, 166, 965–971 http://www.intramed.net/userfiles/files/medidas_posturales_en_erge.pdf

-Vitamin B12 deficiency: Causes and symptoms. (n.d.) https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/b-12-deficiency/

-Farahmand, F., Najafi, M., Ataee, P., Modarresi, V., Shahraki, T., & Rezaei, N. (2011, August 18). Cow's milk allergy among children with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Gut and Liver, 5(3), 298–301 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166669/

-Yeh, A. M., & Golianu, B. (2014). Integrative treatment of reflux and functional dyspepsia in children. Children, 1(2), 119–133 http://doi.org/10.3390/children1020119

-Culligan, E. P., Hill, C., & Sleator, R. D. (2009, November 23). Probiotics and gastrointestinal disease: Successes, problems and future prospects. Gut Pathogens, 1(19) https://gutpathogens.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1757-4749-1-19

-Wang. A., Mattek. N. C., Holub. J. L., Lieberman. D. A., & Eisen, G. M. (2009, May). Prevalence of complicated gastroesophageal reflux disease and Barrett's esophagus among racial groups in a multicenter consortium. Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 54(5)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3856566/

-Katz, P. O., Gerson, L. B., & Vela, M. F. (2013). Diagnosis and management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 108, 308–328

http://gi.org/guideline/diagnosis-and-managemen-of-gastroesophageal-reflux-disease/

-Shapiro, M., Green, C., Bautista, J. M., Dekel, R., Risner-Adler, S., Whitacre, R., … Fass, R. (2006, December 6). Assessment of dietary nutrients that influence perception of intra-oesophageal acid reflux events in patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 25(1), 93–101 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2036.2006.03170.x/abstract

-Slippery elm. (2015, April 28) https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2167004

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