GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a chronic condition characterized by burning discomfort, belching, and bloating upon the consumption of food. The severity of this condition often relates to one’s lifestyle habits and diet. Because GERD is a digestive disorder, making certain dietary changes can go a long way towards treating the problem. Here, we have listed some of the best foods to eat and avoid for GERD.
Foods to Eat
A healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and protein is considered the best for people with GERD.
Fruits: While certain citrus fruits, such as lemons and oranges must be avoided, there is a variety of non-citrus fruits that can help to reduce the symptoms. You can choose from pears, apples, and bananas among others. Melon, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe are all low-acid fruits and can really be beneficial for people with chronic acid reflux.
Vegetables: Mild green veggies, such as lettuce, sweet peppers, and celery are easy on the stomach and do not cause any bloating.
Chicken breast: Chicken breast is also great for people with GERD, given the amount of protein it contains. Make sure to remove the fatty skin. Also, go for boiled, baked, or grilled chicken instead of fried.
Brown rice: Brown rice includes a complex carbohydrate that is mild, and at the same time, filling, making it a safe option for people with digestive troubles.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a high-fibrous food that makes you less likely to overeat. It is a healthy option that you can eat for lunch or breakfast.
Fennel: Fennel is a low-acid crunchy vegetable. It has a slight licorice flavor and provides a naturally soothing effect. It is highly suitable for people who experience excessive heartburn and acid reflux.
Ginger: Chewing on some low-sugar dried ginger is good for upset stomach. You can also opt for a comforting cup of caffeine-free ginger tea.
Foods to Avoid
If you are wondering which foods to eat and avoid for GERD, you must stay away from acidic, fatty, or highly caffeinated items. Listed below are some items that should be avoided:
Carbonated beverages: The bubbles in carbonated beverages expand in your stomach, creating an increased amount of pain and pressure.
Tea and coffee: All caffeinated beverages can further aggravate the symptoms of acid reflux. If you really wish to have a cup, go for de-caffeinated teas or coffees.
Fried foods: Fried foods, such as onion rings, French fries, fried chicken are extremely bad for people with GERD. They further increase acid reflux and increase the intensity of digestive problems.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are naturally high in acid. One must also avoid tomato ketchup, tomato soup, marinara sauce, etc. to keep the symptoms at bay.
Alcohol: Although alcohol relaxes the sphincter valve, it also stimulates acid production in the stomach that can lead to increased episodes of reflux.