When one experiences the symptoms such as belching, stomach irritation, and heartburn, one is likely to be affected by acid reflux disease. Though this cannot be established until one has consulted a physician, there are several natural remedies that one can adopt so as to get rid of this condition. Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is mainly a condition wherein the acids that aid digestion in the stomach are imbalanced, and thus, cause the food to go back up the esophagus.
As mentioned above, one may have already experienced the symptoms of an acidic stomach. One of the ways to control this problem is to identify and avoid foods that cause this condition. By doing so, one would prevent it from worsening, and manifesting in severe other problems such as esophageal cancer.
Foods to Avoid
Here are the foods that one ought to avoid in order to control the symptoms of this disease. Only after one does so, one would notice the difference it makes to one's condition.
- Spicy Foods
It is natural that the consumption of foods rich in spices would start causing the symptoms of this condition, such as esophageal irritation and heartburn. Thus, it is necessary to prevent such foods, to prevent this condition and to keep it at bay if one is already affected by it.
Foods and drinks that contain caffeine are mainly chocolate, coffee, tea, and soda. Though they may be consumed in small amounts, regular and prolonged consumption is bound to aggravate the symptoms of this condition.
- Citrus Fruits
Though many scientists argue that the consumption of citrus fruits has nothing to do with this condition, several people who are affected by this problem have complained otherwise. Since citrus fruits and their juices such as lemons, oranges, grapefruits, pineapples, and even tomatoes, have citric acid, they are likely to worsen the condition. Since tomatoes are a part of this list, food items made from tomatoes such as ketchup, sauce, and tomato paste should be avoided.
- Garlic and Onions
Both garlic and onion, are known to contain compounds that cause foods to back up in the esophagus, resulting in heartburn, and therefore, they should be avoided.
Mint has always been considered as a soothing agent for stomach problems. However, research studies have now proven that consuming too much mint in the form of peppermint and spearmint, may actually trigger this condition and its symptoms.
- Milk and Other Dairy Products
What all have perhaps considered as a remedy to this condition till today, is probably one of the most common foods that causes this problem. Dairy products including whole milk, cream and cheese, are all foods that take very long to digest and thus, increase the production of acids in the stomach.
- Deep-Fried and Fatty Foods
Foods that have been deep-fried, and other fatty foods, are likely to initiate this condition, and further aggravate it, if not avoided. Thus, all types of pizzas, hamburgers, cheese, fries, and even one's favorite dessert, should be kept away. Even meat products that are rich in fats should be avoided.
The prolonged consumption of alcohol is likely to weaken the stomach muscles, and make the process of digestion further difficult. This means that the stomach would require to produce more acids for digestion, and thus, result in this condition. As such, a social drink would not harm but a drink everyday should definitely be avoided.
These foods also cause acid reflux during pregnancy. It is thus important, to keep these away at such a crucial time in a woman's life. This is because, not only do these affect the mother, but also their babies, via the means of breastfeeding. Another cause for this condition in babies may be the introduction of solid food too early in life. Babies have weak stomachs which develop over time, and are unable to easily digest solid foods, thus causing this problem at an early stage. Thus, this problem should be eliminated at the root, rather than allowing it to manifest further in infants.
Foods to Eat
Since several foods are off the list, one ought to know about the various foods that are good for this condition. These foods are enlisted below.
- Fibrous Foods and Vegetables
Eating foods that are rich in fiber are not only helpful in combating this disease, but are generally good for the digestive system. Green, leafy vegetables are included in this list. However, do not overcook these vegetables and definitely do not use too much oil in preparing them. One should rather boil, steam, or grill them and consume them. Other fibrous foods include nuts, legumes, and whole grains that are rich in complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, multi-grain bread, and whole-wheat pasta.
- Lean Meat
Instead of indulging in red meat, consume white meat in the form of fish and chicken. These can be prepared in delicious non-fattening ways and can easily help take care of the problem. These are also rich in proteins and omega-3 fatty acids (particularly fish), that are healthy for the body in more ways than one.
Apart from the citrus fruits, feel free to indulge in bananas and apples (found to be the most natural remedy for acid reflux), melons, and berries. Further, one may consume them in any manner as they please, though it has been found that juices are not as effective as the fruit itself. So, try to consume them fresh and in their raw form.
Drinks that are free of caffeine, and low-fat milk or skimmed milk are the perfect choices for those affected by this condition. Also, soy milk is an option that one may have to develop a taste for to enjoy it. Furthermore, one would have to avoid carbonated drinks. One can have some fresh buttermilk instead.
Thus, it is wise to nip the problem in the bud than to get affected by its more severe forms in the future, simply by following this guide on foods, and instead consume the foods that are safe for the condition. Do note that if one does not feel any difference upon following this diet, one should consult a physician immediately to identify and eliminate the root cause of this problem.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.