Do you suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)? This condition is more severe than acid reflux since it happens 2+ times a week. It is different from getting heartburn after eating an all-meat double-stuffed crust pizza. Studies show that up to 30% of the US population suffers from GERD. The top factor is stress, so it’s important to reduce stressors through methods like meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques. You should also learn GERD diet menu ideas since diet changes can help to reduce symptoms. It’s good to tweak your ingredients, meals, and dishes to help reduce GERD symptoms.
If you have GERD, it’s important to plan your meals carefully. For example, there are certain foods you should generally reduce, like meats, dairy, cholesterol, and salt. Certain foods will likely make GERD worse, like chocolate, mint, and orange juice. By knowing what foods to eat and avoid, you can do meal planning that will help to keep your symptoms in check. Another benefit of meal planning is you’ll have more control over the foods you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you don’t plan out your meals, you’ll be more likely to eat unhealthy fast food or junk food that will trigger your conditions.
What Is GERD?
We’ve all experienced heartburn/acid reflux from time to time. Research shows that at least 20% of the US population has heartburn on any given day.
So, if you experience this symptom from time to time, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have GERD. It might be acid reflux caused by a stressful situation or some super-acidic food you ate.
It’s quite common to have acid reflux sometimes. It results from factors like over-eating, eating certain foods, or lying down after you’ve eaten.
However, GERD is caused when you experience it, 2 or more times per week. GER is acid reflux but GERD is when it becomes a frequent and long-term condition.
This disease happens when stomach acid goes up into the esophagus (food pipe) and causes tissue damage. There are various causes, including a non-working valve located at the top of the stomach and bottom of the food pipe.
When there’s the acid in the food pipe, this results in symptoms like heartburn. It’s also possible there could be some tissue damage.
People of all ages can experience GERD. Another important fact is sometimes it’s unknown the exact cause of the condition. Here are some of the main causes:
- Medications (e.g. asthma, antidepressants, etc.)
- Smoking/secondhand smoke
There are also several symptoms to watch out for. Heartburn is one of the most common ones. As the name suggests, it causes a burning feeling around the chest area. The symptoms get worse after eating, bending over, or lying down.
There are various other symptoms like:
- Pain swallowing
- Tooth decay
- Breathing problems
There are various ways to reduce your risk of GERD, including reducing stress, stopping smoking, and weight loss. If you still get GERD, you can treat it in various ways. They include lifestyle changes and medicines like antacids.
GERD Diet Menu Planning
If you or someone in your family has GERD, it’s important to plan menus effectively. That includes knowing what to eat and what to avoid.
Here are some foods to add to your diet:
1. Natural Remedies
There seem to be some foods that help to treat GERD’s symptoms naturally. They include:
- Elm bark
These natural remedies work in different ways. They help to either reduce or prevent GERD’s symptoms. This is done in different ways like coating the stomach and throat. They might also create stomach mucus, which protects the organ from acid.
2. Vitamin C
This includes various types of fruits and vegetables. Fruits high in Vitamin C include apples, pears, oranges, and mangos.
These foods are high in “good” bacteria. They might help to improve digestive problems by balancing the whole digestive system. It’s important to eat “prebiotics” that are high-fiber foods that help to grow good bacteria.
Here are some good options:
- Fermented vegetables
- Kefir (wheat)
- Green bananas
- Fermented tea
Studies that probiotic/prebiotic foods might help to treat GERD symptoms effectively. Scientists are still studying how they do that. However, some studies seem to show they can treat the disease effectively.
Studies show that certain carbs in certain foods might help to treat this condition effectively. They include some whole grains, veggies like potatoes, and fruits.
These include ones like potassium and magnesium. Some good options include peaches, melons, bananas, avocados, apples, pears, and berries.
This needs to be from low-cholesterol foods. Some good options include:
5. Green Vegetables
They include options like kale, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus.
Some studies show that this hormone supplement might help to reduce GERD symptoms. However, more research is needed.