Suffering from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can be debilitating and painful. You may be searching for an ideal diet to help ease your symptoms. Here, we will explore the best diet for GERD sufferers, so you can begin to feel better today.
Quick facts: Best Diet For Gerd
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a common condition where stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, causing chest pain, heartburn, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Many sufferers of GERD are looking to make dietary changes in order to reduce their symptoms.
There are a number of diet options for GERD sufferers that can be tailored to suit individual needs and lifestyle. This guide will provide an introduction to the best diet for GERD sufferers – as well as provide tips on how to incorporate it into your daily routine. Additionally, this guide will cover some common foods that should be avoided by GERD sufferers in order to minimize their symptoms.
With these tips and suggestions, anyone can create a dietary plan that works for them and helps manage their GERD symptoms.
Causes of GERD
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a common digestive condition caused by the weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This allows stomach acid to backflow into the esophagus, leading to heartburn, regurgitation, and other symptoms.
There are many different factors that can contribute to GERD, such as certain foods, medications, lifestyle choices, and more. Let’s take a closer look at some of these factors:
Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition in which stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. This often occurs due to a malfunctioning or weakened lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is responsible for keeping the contents of your stomach down in your stomach and out of your throat. When it’s not functioning properly, you may experience symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, and chest pain.
Eating certain foods can trigger or worsen acid reflux symptoms. Examples include:
- Fried foods, fatty and greasy foods, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, spicy foods, garlic and onions, carbonated beverages, coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
Eating smaller meals more frequently rather than large meals may also help reduce symptoms of GERD. In addition to avoiding specific foods that trigger GERD symptoms, eating a diet rich in fiber from fruits and vegetables can also help reduce outbreaks of acid reflux.
Hiatal hernia is a condition in which part of the stomach protrudes through an opening in the diaphragm and into the chest cavity. When this happens, it can cause an uncomfortable feeling of pressure, bloating, or acid reflux. This occurs when stomach acid backs up into the food pipe (esophagus).
Other common symptoms of a hiatal hernia can include pain or discomfort in your chest, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, or nausea and vomiting. Hiatal hernias often go without treatment as they are not always painful and can remain asymptomatic for years; however, if symptoms such as heartburn or acid reflux become severe, surgery may be required to help reduce discomfort.
Additionally, dietary modifications can help combat the onset of a hiatal hernia by reducing symptoms of GERD such as:
- Avoiding spicier foods
- Limiting consumption of carbonated beverages
- Avoiding acidic fruits and vegetables like oranges/grapefruit
- Avoiding tomatoes/tomato sauce/ketchup
During pregnancy, hormones can cause the muscles of the digestive system to relax, leading to GERD. In addition, the pressure on the abdomen caused by the pregnant uterus (womb) can push stomach acids up into the esophagus. Pregnant women may also experience nausea as a symptom of GERD and may opt to try diet modifications and lifestyle changes before taking medication.
If pregnancy is causing GERD symptoms, there are several steps that pregnant women can take to help alleviate their discomfort:
- Eat small, frequent meals and snacks rather than three large meals.
- Limit or avoid foods that trigger heartburn such as citrus fruits and juices, tomato-based foods, chocolate, fatty or fried foods, spicy dishes and garlic.
- Skip tight-fitting clothes which put pressure on your stomach.
- Avoid lying down after you eat and wait at least two hours before going to bed.
- Try sleeping propped up on pillows with your head elevated slightly higher than your feet to keep acid in your stomach during sleep time.
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition that affects the digestive system. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is an important part of managing this condition, as well as reducing symptoms.
Here we will discuss some diet recommendations for GERD sufferers and how to make sure you are eating the right foods for this condition:
Avoid Trigger Foods
People suffering from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) often find that certain foods can trigger heartburn and other symptoms. In order to reduce the symptoms of GERD, individuals should avoid eating trigger foods whenever possible.
Common foods that can trigger GERD symptoms include:
- Fried and fatty foods
- Citrus fruits and juices
- Tomatoes and tomato-based products
- Spicy foods
While it is important to avoid these foods as much as possible in order to minimize GERD symptoms, it may still be possible to consume small amounts in moderation if they do not cause an adverse reaction. Additionally, people with GERD should try focusing on eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables in order to promote digestive health.
Eat Smaller Meals
Eating smaller meals is a crucial part of managing GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) symptoms. Eating large meals causes the stomach to expand, which can put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When this happens, stomach acid is more likely to escape up into the esophagus and cause symptoms.
Eating smaller meals can help you keep your LES regulated and reduce acid reflux symptoms.
It’s also important to avoid overeating. Eating until you feel full can put too much pressure on your LES and make it difficult for your stomach acid to stay down. Try:
- Eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day instead of three big meals.
- Waiting at least an hour after eating before lying down or going to bed so that gravity can help keep food in your stomach where it belongs.
Increase Fiber Intake
For those suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), increasing your fiber intake is one of the best ways to relieve symptoms. Foods containing fiber add bulk to the diet and can help move food through the digestive tract faster. This helps reduce the amount of pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, thus reducing acid reflux symptoms. High-fiber foods can also reduce inflammation in the body, which can be a contributing factor to GERD and other digestive ailments.
Foods rich in fiber include:
- Whole grains
Eating a balance of these foods every day will help increase your overall dietary fiber intake and alleviate GERD symptoms.
Avoid Carbonated Drinks
GERD sufferers should avoid Carbonated Drinks as they can cause GERD symptoms to flare up. Carbonated drinks contain carbon dioxide, which increases the pressure in your stomach and causes acids to push back up into your esophagus. This can lead to heartburn, indigestion, and other GERD-related symptoms.
Additionally, many soft drinks contain high levels of acid and sugar which can aggravate GERD symptoms even further. Instead of opting for soda, choose lower-acidic beverages such as fruit juices, herbal teas, or smoothies.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
GERD, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, is caused by the stomach acid flowing up into the esophagus and causing a burning sensation throughout the chest.
As part of an overall diet plan to reduce GERD symptoms, limiting or eliminating alcohol consumption is important. Alcoholic beverages can aggravate GERD symptoms because they increase stomach acid production and relax the lower esophageal sphincter. The lower esophageal sphincter normally prevents stomach acid from flowing back up into the esophagus; however, alcohol can make it easier for that to happen.
When following a GERD diet, it’s recommended to:
- Avoid all alcoholic drinks or limit them to a few occasions per week.
- Have smaller portions at mealtime in order to reduce reflux symptoms.
One of the dietary strategies for helping to manage GERD symptoms is to take certain supplements. Taking supplements can help to reduce inflammation of the stomach lining, aid digestion, and even prevent the formation of stomach acid.
Let’s look more closely at the supplements that can be beneficial for GERD sufferers:
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits when consumed. They are believed to help balance the natural bacteria in your gut, known as the gut microbiome. This can be beneficial for those suffering from GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).
Probiotics help keep a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria in the digestive system, which can improve digestion and reduce acid reflux symptoms. Probiotic supplements may be able to reduce inflammation that leads to GERD-based acid reflux, while they also increase the level of certain protective bacteria in the stomach and upper intestine – which helps guard against acid secretion and damage caused by it.
Probiotic supplements are widely available in many forms, including:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own, so they must be consumed in the diet to maintain good health. Research suggests that these fatty acids may be beneficial for GERD sufferers due to their anti-inflammatory properties.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in plant sources such as flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds, as well as fish sources such as salmon, herring, and tuna. Additionally, omega-3s may also be taken as a supplement in the form of fish oil or krill oil capsules.
For those with GERD who wish to take a supplement, it is recommended that the supplement should contain high levels of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). It is important to speak with your doctor before taking any type of supplement for GERD or other digestive disorders.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for improving stomach symptoms associated with GERD. It has been shown to help reduce the amount of acid reflux and helps enhance the protective lining of the esophagus, reducing irritation from acid.
Vitamin D is found naturally in some foods such as salmon, egg, mushrooms and dairy products, but it’s important to get enough vitamin D through your diet or through a supplement. People with GERD may benefit from taking a daily supplement of 1,000 international units (IU) each day depending on their health status. Vitamin D can be taken in capsule form or added to meals such as oatmeal or cereal. The dosage should be monitored and adjusted accordingly as too much vitamin D can lead to digestive issues and interfere with other medications that are being taken.
The best diet for GERD sufferers is a highly individualized one. However, there are some general dietary guidelines that can be followed to reduce GERD symptoms. These include:
- Avoiding foods that trigger reflux
- Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day
- Avoiding lying down after eating
- Fully chewing each bite of food
Additionally, certain drinks such as tea and water should be consumed in moderation, and foods such as lean proteins and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables should be emphasized. Finally, staying away from high-fat foods and those with high amounts of sugar may also help reduce symptoms of GERD.
By following these dietary guidelines and listening to your body’s needs, you can find an effective diet for managing your GERD symptoms.
FAQs about: Best Diet For Gerd
Q: What is GERD?
A: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation.
Q: What are the symptoms of GERD?
A: Common symptoms of GERD include heartburn, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and regurgitation.
Q: What is the best diet for GERD?
A: The best diet for GERD is one that is low in fat and acidity and high in fiber. Eating smaller meals more frequently, avoiding eating late at night, avoiding spicy and fried foods, and avoiding foods that trigger GERD symptoms are also recommended.