Acid reflux, also referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition caused by the back flow of the acid, from the stomach into the esophagus. The esophagus or the swallowing tube, carries the food from the throat to the stomach.
The lower part of this tube has a specialized muscle around it, known as the lower esophageal sphincter which usually stays closed, opening only to allow food and liquid into the stomach. This prevents the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus.
However, with the weakening of this muscle, the liquid contents of the stomach are regurgitated into the esophagus, leading to the symptoms of acid reflux, heartburn, and nausea. This not only causes painful discomfort for the sufferer, but can also result in inflaming and injuring of the esophagus.
Additionally, when these acidic juices make their way into the throat, mouth and air passages of lungs, they can cause hoarseness, dental erosion and asthma respectively. Although it affects people irrespective of age and sex, people suffering from obesity, hiatal hernia, recurring vomiting, or scleroderma are more prone to be affected by this condition.
While there are antacids, conveniently available over the counter, the best way to combat acid reflux disease is to follow a proper diet. Most dietitians who have worked on food plans for acid reflux say that the safest foods to eat are those that are alkaline or neutral in nature. Also, certain foods need to be completely avoided or taken in moderation.
Recommended Acid Reflux Diet Plan
Diet for Acid Reflux: Foods to Avoid
There are certain foods which need to either be completely avoided, or consumed in moderation. These include high fat content or spicy foods, junk foods, and foods with lots of refined sugars. People suffering from acidity, should avoid citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit.
Avoid fatty meat such as sausage and bacon, and refrain from using all animal or vegetable oils while cooking. A strict no-no for any acid reflux diet, is the intake of beverages like alcohol, coffee, carbonated beverages, tea and mint tea.
Along with this, it is recommended that people suffering from the condition stop smoking immediately, as smoke has a tendency to damage the sensitive lining of the esophagus, making it difficult to recover from the harmful effects of acid reflux.
It is also important to remember that frequent meals are much better than having three large meals, as they exert less pressure on the stomach. A great idea, based on the recommended foods, is maintaining a food log which will allow you to adjust the diet accordingly.
Remember that a food diet for acid reflux, is basically a trial and error method for those who suffer from its painful symptoms.
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.