GERD: Foods to Eat and Avoid

GERD Diet Food Chart

Digestive system is one of the most complex systems in the body, carrying out the most essential functions of it. As complex as its functions, the diseases of it also appear complex and sometimes it takes extensive research and diagnosis in order to find a few diseases of it.

One such disease is gastroesophageal reflux or GERD as it is popularly known in the medical world. Few doctors believe it occurs as a result of digestive and lifestyle habits and a few believe it is because of the hiatal hernia. Whatever the reason, the severity of GERD ranges from mild to major. Few cases could be treated with medication and lifestyle changes and a few require surgery.

Continue reading the blog to understand what GERD is, what could be the reasons for it, how it could be treated and prevented. Most importantly, you will get to know the foods that you should eat and the ones you should avoid. Read head.

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal is a combined term used to refer to the stomach and the esophagus. Reflux, as usual, refers to return or returning back. In the same sense, this disease refers to the contents that reached the stomach and threw back into the esophagus.

Gastroesophageal Reflux is a digestive disorder, commonly seen in people above 25. It mostly affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which is a ring like structure of muscle between the esophageal and the stomach. 

LES helps the stomach in preventing food from going back. When it gets weakened due to various reasons, the food goes back easily causing a heartburn.

Heartburn and heaviness in the upper thoracic are the key symptoms that you would observe in GERD  due to the heavy acid reflux. These symptoms also make the person believe that he or she might have a heart condition as these are almost same in a few cardiovascular conditions.

What are the Causes for GERD?

The causes for GERD could vary from person to person. A few get this condition due to the lifestyle and food habits that contain excessive acidic content and a few due to external reasons such as extensive cough or physical activity that impacts the LES.

Obesity and pregnancy could also be cited as reasons for GERD. However, this occurs only in a few cases and a solid research needs to be conducted to cement this statement.

Best Diet for GERD:

Diet and nutrition for GERD typically contains vegetables and ginger while making no room for the foods that contain acidic properties.

  • Ginger - Ginger is considered as an all-in-one food for all types of gastrointestinal issues as it is rich with anti-inflammatory properties and also considered as a natural medicine for heartburn.
  • Vegetables - Vegetables such as broccoli, beans, asparagus, and dark leafy greens contain less/no acidic properties and helps in fast digestion.
  • Fruits (Non-Citrus Family) - Fruits, especially water contained such as melons, apples and pears can reduce the acidic impact and the heartburn.
  • Lean protein - Poached lean protein such as chicken and seafoods can reduce the acid reflux. However, check with your doctor before consuming proteins in the presence of acid reflux. Egg whites can be a good option but completely avoid the egg yolk.

Foods to Avoid for Acid Reflux:

Foods that contain high fats should be completely avoided. Fried and fatty foods can put the LES to rest while increasing the acid reflux.

  • All fried foods - Be it chips or rings, if it is fried food it is all ready to fire up the acids inside your stomach.
  • Citrus fruits - Lemons, limes, oranges and other fruits from the citrus family should be avoided completely.
  • Garlic and onions - Even though these two are part of many cuisines, they should be completely avoided when you have acidic reflux.
  • Caffeine - Caffeine and chocolate have the properties to soften the LES muscles and relax it. Completely avoid these two foods.

Maintaining a healthy weight, taking antacids and staying away from all these foods while increasing the quota of the diet you need to take for GERD can save you from sudden acidic refluxes.

Visit your nearest GERD treatment clinic  to get your heartburn under control and to prevent the condition from reaching the further stages.

Ask doctor