Dietary Guidelines for the Management of GERD

By      26-Nov 2021       Reading Time: 5 Mins

Dietary Guidelines for the Management of GERD

Are you also worried by constant heartburn, burping, or acid reflux caused by Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)? Many individuals suffer from GERD due to the consumption of certain food items and other lifestyle factors like being overweight, irregular sleeping patterns, smoking among others. Dietary changes like less spicy and fatty foods, enough protein intakes, and avoiding alcohol can help you effectively manage GERD. You don’t need to worry anymore as we have listed all the necessary dietary guidelines you can follow to combat the symptoms of GERD with ease.

  • Regulate your protein intake: According to studies, protein increases the LES pressure thereby allowing the closure of the sphincter and reducing reflux. Low-fat and lean sources of protein also reduce symptoms. Protein-rich options for you are chicken, seafood, tofu, and egg whites. The best cooking method to prepare them are baking, boiling, poaching, or grilling.
  • Go for healthier fats: Fat is a type of nutrient that is high in calories but a necessary part of your diet. Avoid saturated fats (usually from meat and dairy) and Trans fat (in processed foods items). Try replacing them, in moderation, with unsaturated fats from plants or fish (avocado, peanuts, soybeans, tofu, and fatty fish like salmon, trout).
  • Consume whole grains: High fibre, whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-grain bread helps to stop symptoms of acid reflux. They are a good source of fibre and also help absorb stomach acid.
  • Include probiotics in your diet: Probiotics not only support your digestive tract but also provide a soothing effect to an already irritated oesophagus. Yogurt is one such example that is also loaded with proteins.
  • Limit chocolate and caffeine: Both chocolate and coffee contain methylxanthine, which causes muscles to relax and lowers the LES pressure. In addition to this, coffee can even stimulate gastric secretions, which can promote reflux. If the symptom stays persistent, completely avoid these items.
  • Avoid citrus fruits over others: While most likely avoiding citrus fruits and juices, like oranges and lemons as they can contribute to acid reflux, choose from a variety of non-citrus fruits such as bananas, papaya, melons, apples, and pears among others.
  • Restrict fried & fatty foods: Fried foods, high fat baked goods, cream, ice cream, high-fat cheeses, sausages, bacon, potato chips, etc. should be avoided as fatty foods have resulted to delay gastric emptying and decrease the LES pressure thereby prolonging the oesophageal exposure time to stomach acid and the volume available for reflux.
  • Cut down on spicy foods: Spicy foods make acid reflux worse in two ways. The capsaicin present in many spicy foods can slow digestion. But before it even gets that far, it can irritate an already irritated oesophagus on its way down so it is better to avoid them.

Over to you:
Acid reflux, that irritating backflow of stomach acid up into your oesophagus, is often triggered by what you eat and drink. Eat the wrong food and you are sure to feel the burn. Certain foods are known to cause reflux more than others. Abide by the dietary tips listed above to manage GERD. Consult a doctor immediately, if the situation persists for a long period.

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Nmami Agarwal

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