GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is a chronic digestive disorder where stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus, causing symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing. Diet can play a significant role in managing GERD symptoms.
Tips for Managing GERD through Diet:
- Portion Control: Overeating can put pressure on the stomach, increasing the likelihood of acid reflux. Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
- Stay Upright: Avoid lying down immediately after eating. Give your stomach time to digest before lying down.
- Avoid Trigger Foods: Common triggers include citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate, mint, caffeine, fatty foods, spicy foods, and acidic foods.
- Sugar Control sugary foods can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscular ring that separates the stomach from the esophagus.
- Carbohydrates: White bread, rice, and sugary cereals, can lead to changes in the gut microbiota, potentially affecting digestion and reflux. Opting for whole grains and complex carbohydrates like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and quinoa
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking water can help dilute stomach acid, potentially reducing the severity of reflux. 1 ounce per ½ your body weight a day.
- Low-Fat Diet: High-fat foods can delay stomach emptying. Opt for lean protein sources and avoid fried and fatty foods.
- Fiber-Rich Foods: Incorporating fiber-rich foods into your diet can help maintain a healthy weight and promote digestion.
It’s important to note that everyone’s tolerance to specific foods may vary. Keeping a food diary can help you identify which foods trigger or worsen your GERD symptoms. Be your best advocate.