The GERD Diet : Foods that can give you heartburn

by Dr. Sabu K G

It's very uncommon to experience acid reflux (heartburn) every now and again, but some people experience burning sensation, bloating, and belching practically every time they eat. A gastro science doctor diagnoses gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a persistent acid reflux illness, in about 20% of the population.

The esophageal sphincter (a muscular tube that allows food to flow into the stomach and then cinches shut to prevent it from going back up) normally shields the esophagus from stomach acid. If the sphincter relaxes, food can push upward through the loosened aperture, resulting in acid reflux.

Foods that can give you heartburn

Foods that are well known to be heartburn triggers relax the esophageal sphincter and delay digestion, allowing food to remain in the stomach for longer. Who are the worst offenders? Foods heavy in fat, salt, or spice, such as:

  • Food that has been fried
  • Fast food
  • Pizza
  • Processed snacks such as potato chips
  • pepper and chili powder (white, black, cayenne)
  • Bacon and sausage are examples of fatty meats.
  • Cheese

Other foods that can produce the same issue are:

  • Sauces made from tomatoes
  • Citrus fruit
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Chocolates

Because many people may not be able or willing to totally avoid these meals, moderation is essential. However, try to avoid eating unhealthy foods late in the evening, closer to bedtime, so they don't sit in your stomach and then come up your esophagus as you sleep. Eat small, frequent meals rather than larger, heavier meals, and avoid late-night dinners and bedtime snacks.

Foods that aid in the prevention of acid reflux

The good news is that there are several foods that can help avoid acid reflux. Stock your pantry with goods from the following three categories:

Foods high in fiber

Fibrous foods make you feel full, which reduces your chances of overeating, which may contribute to heartburn. So, fill up on fiber-rich foods like these:

  • Oatmeal, couscous, and brown rice are examples of whole grains.
  • Sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets are examples of root vegetables.
  • Asparagus, broccoli, and green beans are examples of green veggies.

Foods with an alkaline pH

Foods have a pH value somewhere on the scale (an indicator of acid levels). Low pH foods are acidic and more prone to cause reflux. Higher pH values are alkaline and can help balance strong stomach acid. Foods that are alkaline include:

  • Bananas/Melons
  • Cauliflower/Fennel/Nuts
  • Foods that are watery
  • Eating foods high in water might dilute and weaken gastric acid.

Other foods such as:

Soups made with celery, cucumber, lettuce, and watermelon broth, Tea with herbs

Home remedies for heartburn

Antacids, over-the-counter drugs that neutralize stomach acid, are often used by those suffering from heartburn. However, certain foods may provide relief from symptoms. Consider the following options:

Milk : Is milk good for heartburn? Milk is commonly assumed to reduce heartburn, but keep in mind that milk comes in several forms, including whole milk with all of the fat, 2% fat, and skim or nonfat milk. Milk's fat content might cause acid reflux. Nonfat milk, on the other hand, can act as a temporary buffer between the stomach lining and acidic stomach contents, providing rapid relief from heartburn symptoms.Low-fat yogurt has the same soothing properties as full-fat yogurt and has a healthy dosage of probiotics (good bacteria that enhance digestion).

Because of its therapeutic characteristics, ginger is one of the best digestive aids. It has an alkaline pH and is anti-inflammatory, therefore it soothes gastric inflammation. When you sense heartburn coming on, try sipping ginger tea.

Apple Cider Vinegar : While there is little study to indicate that drinking apple cider vinegar helps with acid reflux, many people swear by it. However, you should never consume it in its entirety because it contains a powerful acid that might irritate the esophagus. Instead, dilute it with warm water and drink it with meals.

Water with lemon : Although lemon juice is highly acidic, a tiny amount of lemon juice mixed with warm water and honey has an alkalizing effect that neutralizes stomach acid. Honey also contains natural antioxidants, which protect cell health.

How a Doctor assist with heartburn

Consult a Gastroenterology hospital if you have heartburn two or more times per week and modifications to your diet or eating routine haven't helped. A gastroenterologist (a specialist who specializes in the digestive system) can run tests to determine the acidity level in your stomach and whether or not recurrent acid reflux has caused damage to your esophagus.

GERD is frequently curable with a combination of lifestyle modifications and medication.However, chronic reflux symptoms necessitate a complete evaluation by a gastroenterologist who can determine the underlying cause and discuss treatment options.