How to fight acid reflux with diet?

Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux is a condition characterized by returning stomach contents to the esophagus or mouth. In recent decades, the attention of health care providers has been drawn to this disease because its prevalence is increasing and can have a great therapeutic burden for a community. GERD has several symptoms and a series of lessons that depend on the duration of the acid return.
Maybe it's interesting to know that GERD prevalence worldwide, approximately 30% of North American people, 25% of European, 30% of Middle Eastern, 23% of South American, 12% of Australian, and 8% of East Asian people suffering from acid reflux disease.
These prevalence rates of acid reflux can indicate the lifestyle and eating habits of people in the community. Now the question is how to fight acid reflux disease with a proper diet?

How to get rid of acid reflux with diet?

The bad feeling of heartburn and acid return is a familiar feeling that we experienced at least once during our life. But if the frequency of acid reflux increases, it will be difficult to cope with it, and we can call it to reflux disease or GERD disease.
Heartburn, return of acid to the esophagus, sore throat feeling, coughing after waking up in the morning, and teeth erosions are the main acid reflux symptoms.


So what should we do against reflux?

A person with GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) should follow a set of behaviors and a proper diet plan for acid reflux that will be described below.

• Don’t drink water between meals in acid reflux diet. Drinking water between meals can lead to dyspepsia.
• Don’t sleep quickly after meals. Laying down just after eating meals can deteriorate acid return.
• Don’t eat liquid foods in your diet plan; these foods can easily return to the esophagus and worsen GERD symptoms.
• Don’t eat spicy foods in the GERD diet; spicy foods can irritate the esophagus.
• Don’t eat greasy foods in your diet; fatty foods can lead to dyspepsia.
• Don’t eat fast food a lot. Fast foods are spicy and greasy and can make GERD symptoms worse.
• Don’t fasten a tight belt or wear tight trousers; tight clothes put pressure on LES (Lower Esophageal Sphincter) and worsen acid reflux.
• Don’t exercise immediately after eating; it can lead to acid reflux.
• Don’t drink more than one cup of coffee or caffeinated drink during the day; caffeine irritates the LES and worsens the reflux.
• Don’t eat sour pickles with your foods; these foods contain a lot of acids and make reflux worse.
• Don’t eat refined starch in acid reflux diet. Simple carbs stimulate the secretion of acid.
• Eat small and frequent meals, digestion of small foods are more accessible for the stomach.
• Don’t smoke a lot; smoking leads to LES relaxing, reducing saliva, and prolonging acid clearance.

Foods to avoid in the acid reflux diet

If you are suffering from acid reflux disease or GERD, you should avoid some foods in your diet, include:

• Dark tea can relax the LES, so you should avoid dark tea in the GERD diet.
• Don't drink alcoholic beverages in your diet; they can lead to gastritis and gastric ulcer.
• Spicy foods such as green or red pepper can irritate the gastric wall and aggravate the reflux symptoms, so you should avoid them in your diet.
• Mint and mint chewing gum lead to LES relaxing and provoking acid return, eliminating them from your diet plan.
• Tomatoes are one of the foods that increase the acid load in the stomach. If you suffer from GERD, avoid eating tomatoes in your diet.
• Citrus fruits and their extracts are acidic fruits and increase the acid load and finally worsen the symptom of GERD. So you should avoid them in the acid reflux diet.
• Fatty foods take a long time to digest and stay longer in the stomach and increase LES pressure; therefore, you should avoid them in your diet plan.
• Vinegar or foods that contain vinegar are acidic stuff and increase the acid load; avoid them in your diet.
• Peanut butter prolongs digestion and decreases the LES resistance against acid return, don't eat peanut butter in the GERD diet.
• Chocolate contains Methyl Xanthin that relaxes the LES, and you shouldn't eat chocolate in your diet.
• Pineapple is one of the foods that can trigger acid reflux; it’s an acidic fruit and decreases gastric PH, and you should avoid it.

Foods to eat with acid reflux

Some other foods are good for acid reflux treatment, and you should eat more of them in the GERD diet. Eat more of the below foods:

• Use fresh vegetables besides every meal you have in your diet plan; vegetables can increase gastric PH because of anti-oxidant and folic acid content, which can heal the ulcer.
• Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day; water adjusts gastric pH and helps to reduces acid reflux symptoms.
• Eat more steamed and boiled foods and less fried foods in your diet. Because of less oil content, they put less pressure on the stomach.
• Don’t eat out as you can, and if you want to eat meals at restaurants, choose the healthiest foods, not fast foods, etc.
• Eat more low-fat dairy in your diet for acid reflux; low-fat dairy adjusts gastric pH and helps grow useful bacteria in your gut.
• Eat more fresh foods and less canned foods in the GERD diet; canned foods are full of spice and contain nitrate that deteriorates gastric ulcers.

Can weight loss diet help with acid reflux treatment?

One of the reasons that can deteriorate acid reflux disease is obesity. Obesity, especially in the stomach region, increases your esophagus's pressure and increases the risk of acid reflux. Therefore, one way to reduce acid reflux is losing weight in the right way. That means losing weight slowly and steadily under the supervision of a dietitian.
So if you are one of those people who are overweight or obese and suffer from acid reflux, it is better to think about losing weight as soon as possible.


You can click here to get an online weight loss diet.


If acid reflux continues for a long time, it can lead to esophagitis, which manifests in inflammation of the esophagus, esophageal pain, difficulty in swallowing, and chest pain.


Foods that you should eat on your diet to heal esophagitis:

• Eat more omega-3 sources in your diet plan like oily fishes, walnut, olive and avocado because of their anti-inflammatory effects.
• Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits in the GERD diet because of the anti-oxidant and vitamin c content. If you can’t eat a raw form of vegetables or fruits, you can use the cooked form.
• If you have difficulty swallowing, you may need to use pureed foods in your diet.
• Don’t eat very cold or hot foods. Your foods should have room temperature.
• Don’t eat hard foods like biscuits, dry bread, steak, fried chicken, nuts, etc.; eat more juicy foods.

The best meals and snacks to use in acid reflux diet

You can enjoy the below foods as a snack in your diet plan:

• Steamed or boiled vegetables are among the best snacks to eat on the acid reflux diet, like mushroom, bell pepper, zucchini, eggplant, potato, pea, spinach, broccoli, corn, beans, etc.
• Eggs, especially omega-3 fortified eggs, are another excellent snack to use in the GERD diet.
• You can eat fish and other seafood in the acid reflux diet, especially those rich in omega-3 like salmon.
• Low-fat dairy like yogurt, milk, cheese, etc., are a good choice to use in your diet plan.
Whole grain
Nuts are rich in minerals, and you can enjoy them in your diet plan; if you have difficulty swallowing, you can mix the nuts powder with the dairy you eat.
Fresh fruits

Note:

• Breastfeeding mothers whose babies suffer from acid reflux should improve their diet to help babies.
• If you experience acid reflux during sleep, it’s better to choose pillows that have 6-8 inches in height to keep your head higher than your body.
• GERD is a common complaint among pregnant women, so the recommendations above can be helpful for them too.
• Chew every bite of your food at least 35-40 times.
• Avoid bulky and high-fat meals, especially 2-3 hours before bedtime.
• The first line against GERD is the inhibition of acid secretion from the stomach. There are many anti-acid drugs to help, but don’t take medicines without the doctor’s permission; the advice above can be beneficial besides take anti-acid medicines.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments.