A sort of gastroesophagus Reflux disease (GERD) Diet is an important part of the treatment of GERD, a chronic disease. It also helps with occasional heartburn (also known as acid reflux).
The diet focuses on reducing certain foods in the diet to reduce the chance of stomach acid refluxing into the esophagus.
This article explains how changing your diet can help you avoid heartburn and GERD symptoms. It also explains how to follow the GERD diet, including how to adjust accommodation to meet all your needs.
Benefits of the GERD Diet
The GERD diet focuses on eliminating foods that can cause acid to re-enter the esophagus and cause discomfort and possible health problems.
Specifically, this eating plan attempts to avoid foods
- reduce pressure on the muscles between the esophagus and stomach
- slows the passage of food from the stomach into the intestines
- increase stomach acid
GERD occurs in the lower muscle at the bottom of the esophagus esophageal sphincter (LES), getting weak and staying too relaxed when it shouldn’t. This allows stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus, leading to persistent symptoms such as heartburn, coughing, and swallowing problems.
In more severe cases, GERD can cause other problems, such as:
- respiratory problems
- narrowing of the esophagus
- Increased risk of esophageal cancer
A GERD diet can help your lower esophageal sphincter work better and stay closed after you eat, so you’ll have fewer of these problems.
avoid some foods
One of the reasons the LES opens when it shouldn’t is that the stomach doesn’t empty quickly enough. This condition, known as delayed gastric emptying, puts pressure on the muscles between the stomach and esophagus, causing stomach contents to push up through the LES.
High-fat foods are often the cause of slower digestion. Also, high-acid foods can increase stomach acid that stimulates the esophagus.
The GERD diet focuses on avoiding foods that research shows are more likely to trigger reflux and symptoms.
add the right food
The GERD diet recommends that you eat more foods that include fiber.
published in World Journal of Gastroenterology, Heartburn patients on a low-fiber diet took a 15-gram psyllium fiber supplement daily. After starting the extra fiber, they had increased esophageal sphincter pressure, fewer episodes of acid reflux, and fewer heartburn symptoms.
A 2016 study published in Esophageal disease Eating a Mediterranean-style diet was found to be associated with a lower risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease. This makes sense, since the Mediterranean diet is known for being low in fatty meats and processed foods. It’s also higher in seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Both the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Gastroenterology recommend a diet-first approach to treating GERD.
In addition to improving your symptoms, this way of eating may cause some weight loss. Being overweight puts you at a higher risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease, and studies have found that losing weight is one of the best strategies for preventing the condition.
A 10% weight loss improves GERD symptoms and usually allows people to stop prescribed acid blockers (with doctor’s approval).
Food has an effect on the muscles between the esophagus and stomach. Choosing foods that are low in fat and acid will not encourage these muscles to open. This can help you avoid painful reflux.
What is a GERD-friendly diet?
The GERD diet is more than a list of foods. It can retrain the way you eat.
The GERD diet can help you:
- stay away from foods and drinks that can exacerbate heartburn
- Choose more foods that help control stomach acid production
- Establish eating habits that reduce symptoms
- Includes a variety of nutrient-dense, healthy foods to help you maintain a healthy weight
To get these results, you must learn to choose the right foods. It’s also important to control when and how much you eat.
Acid Reflux Lifestyle Tips
If you have chronic GERD and have frequent heartburn, you can benefit from following a GERD diet long-term. Even if you rarely experience symptoms, being familiar with and paying close attention to trigger food intake may help you prevent symptoms.
Unfortunately, avoiding trigger foods doesn’t guarantee that you’ll never have that burning sensation in your throat.
what to eat
A GERD diet should be tailored to your taste preferences, but should focus on foods that are low in acid and fat. Check out these lists to see GERD diet- or approved foods that should be eliminated and foods that don’t. Remember, it’s important to monitor your portion sizes, especially if you’re overweight.
fruit (with some exceptions)
vegetables (with some exceptions)
Whole and Shredded Grains
low-fat dairy or non-dairy products
Lean meats (such as lean beef, skinless chicken, seafood)
Whole soy foods (such as tofu or tempeh)
Lentils, chickpeas and other legumes
Nuts, Nut Butters and Seeds
healthy fats like olive oil and avocado (in moderation)
The mildest herbs, spices and seasonings
Psyllium Fiber Supplements
Tomatoes and Tomato Products
Heavy-duty food (such as Mexican, Thai, or Indian)
greasy or greasy fried foods
mint or spearmint
Powerful spices like chili powder, paprika, and cinnamon
any other foods that often bother you, such as vinegar, onions, or garlic
coffee, mint tea
Fruits: Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, and pineapples (for some people), may trigger reflux due to their acid content. All other fruits are good choices, unless they disagree with you.
Vegetables: Avoid tomatoes, ketchup, and peppers; note that some people find onions and garlic irritating as well. All other vegetables are good choices and can help add fiber.
To increase your fiber intake, add a variety of GERD diet-approved fruits and vegetables to half of each serving (meal and snack).
Whole and chopped grains: oats, brown rice, Quinoa, farro, 100% whole wheat, bran, and all other whole grains are good sources of fiber. Eat a small serving with each meal.
Dairy: Limit whole milk, cream, ice cream, and full-fat yogurt. Dairy products can increase stomach acid, and high-fat foods can relax the esophageal sphincter. Choose small servings of low-fat versions or non-dairy products.
Meat: Avoid high-fat and heavily-spice meats such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, hamburgers, fried chicken, salami, pastrami, pepperoni, etc. Choose lean beef or pork, skinless poultry and seafood.
Fats: Use healthy fats in moderation, such as olive oil and avocado. Avoid fried foods like French fries and greasy foods or gravies made with meat fat.
Spices, Herbs, and Seasonings: Stick with fresh or dried herbs like basil, parsley, oregano, or thyme, and avoid strong/hot spices like cinnamon, curry powder, paprika, cayenne, or chili powder. Peppermint, especially peppermint, can be a trigger for many people.
Chocolate: Chocolate increases stomach acid, so it’s best to avoid any sweets, desserts, or baked goods that contain it (this also applies to real hot chocolate).
Beverages: Plain or fruit water or decaffeinated herbal tea can be soothing. Avoid peppermint or spearmint, but licorice or fennel tea may help relieve heartburn and heal the mucous membranes in the esophagus when irritated.
Avoid coffee and alcohol, which increase stomach acid and irritate the stomach and esophagus. Many people also find carbonated drinks annoying, whether they contain caffeine or not, so avoid those too.
when and how to eat
When you eat, what you eat has the same effect. The most important meal to time properly is dinner. Try to eat dinner at least two to three hours before bed, skip any late-night snacks, and stay upright until bedtime. Gravity will help you digest your food faster and reduce the chance of your food and stomach acid compressing your lower esophagus while you sleep.
It’s not necessary to schedule breakfast or eat on a schedule, but it’s important to eat small, frequent meals, not more. Large meals create more stomach acid, take longer to digest, and put extra pressure on the lower esophagus, all of which make heartburn more likely.
Instead of eating three large meals, you may feel better by eating five smaller meals first and spreading them out to allow them to be digested before you eat again.
For healthier meals with fewer calories and less fat, use healthy cooking methods such as sautéing, roasting, roasting, stewing, or roasting. Avoid frying. If you miss the crunchiness of fried foods, try an air fryer that uses only a small amount of oil.
Stock your pantry or refrigerator with spices from the compliance list above in place of hot spices, onions, and garlic.
Following a GERD diet doesn’t mean rejecting yourself delicious food. But it does mean you need to think about what you’re eating and plan your meals. The GERD diet consists of a variety of fresh and non-processed foods. Avoiding fatty, fried, and spicy foods will help you reduce acid and reflux-related pain.
Aside from the foods that should be avoided, the GERD diet can and should be very flexible. It’s important for this diet, and any diet, to work with your lifestyle, so feel free to add more of your favorite foods and pay attention to how they affect your symptoms.
Try new foods and flavors to replace whatever you’re missing. The GERD diet may open up a new and healthier way for you to eat.
The GERD diet is actually a very good diet anyone can follow because it emphasizes more high-fiber foods, fewer fatty foods, and smaller meals, all of which can help you maintain a healthier weight.
Its emphasis on the Mediterranean diet and high-fiber dietary patterns is in line with the 2020-2025 USDA Dietary Guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Heartburn and GERD are uncomfortable but manageable problems. While managing your symptoms, you can avoid reflux by choosing a variety of delicious and healthy foods.
To stay motivated to follow a GERD diet, remind yourself of how high-fat and acidic foods affect your body, and that GERD symptoms put you at risk for other health problems, such as an increased risk of esophageal cancer.
There is no one-size-fits-all GERD diet. Certain foods may trigger reflux but are not a problem for others with heartburn or GERD. Tracking what you eat can help you avoid painful symptoms. Sharing tips and recipes with others is a great way to have fun recommending foods and keep you committed to a healthy eating plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I drink for acid reflux?
There are some beverage options that may help with acid reflux. Ginger tea, a small amount of apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water, and lemon juice and warm water mixed with honey can ease acid reflux. Some people may also find that small amounts of skim milk and non-dairy products can help relieve symptoms.
Which foods can cause acid reflux?
Foods that contain a lot of fat, salt, and spices can be a trigger for acid reflux. This includes french fries, fried foods, fast food, fatty meats like bacon, paprika, and processed foods that contain a lot of salt. Not everyone with acid reflux needs to avoid these options. In fact, some people may be able to tolerate small or moderate amounts of them. Avoiding trigger foods and eating in moderation are key.
What are non-acidic fruits?
Non-acidic fruits include choices such as cantaloupe, watermelon, and bananas. These fruits have a higher pH than citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits, which can trigger symptoms in people with GERD. Alkaline foods are those with a high pH and should be a priority for people with heartburn and GERD.