Acid reflux occurs when there is acid backflow from the stomach into the oesophagus. The foods you eat affect the amount of acid your stomach produces. Eating the right kind of food is key to controlling acid reflux or gastro oesophageal reflux disease (GERD). What can make a difference is the diet here. Onlymyhealth got in touch with Nutritionist Kavita Rastogi, Founder - Nutriremedy on the essentials of the diet practices that one should follow while dealing with the issue of acid reflux:
Foods to avoid
If you have acid reflux, do not eat these listed food items. It may worsen the condition:
- Fatty, greasy and fried foods
- Whole milk or dairy products
- Acidic foods such as tomatoes, grapefruit, cranberry and orange juice
- Caffeine containing drinks like tea, coffee, etc.
- Carbonated drinks
- Alcoholic beverages and smoking
- Spicy and hot foods
- Egg yolk and red meat
- Raw salad-onion, radish, cabbage, peppers.
- Cheese items and junk foods
Listed below are the foods allowed for those suffering with the issue of acid reflux:
- Low fat dairy
- Fresh fruits such as apples, bananas, papaya, melon, mango, pear, peach, dates, figs, pomegranate, grapes, strawberries.
- Egg white, fish and chicken
- Whole grains
- Vegetables like asparagus, baked potato, broccoli, carrots, green beans, lettuce, peas, sweet potato
- Beverages like coconut water, lassi, buttermilk, clear soup, herbal tea, non- citrus fruit drinks.
Remedies for Acid reflux
Read below to know basic remedies to treat or prevent acid reflux by making some specific changes in the diet:
- Non/low fat milk can act as a temporary buffer between the stomach lining and acidic stomach contents and provide immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.
- Ginger is one of the best remedy as it's alkaline and anti-inflammatory in nature. Sipping on ginger tea can surely work for you.
- Lemon juice is generally considered very acidic, but a small amount of lemon juice mixed with warm water has an alkalizing effect.
- Fennel/saunf has always been recommended by our elderly to treat gastric troubles. It treats indigestion and also soothes acid reflux. One can directly chew fennel seeds or have fennel tea for relief from acidity and heart burn.
- Rich in natural antacid, overripe banana is a simple yet effective treatment for acidity. It helps in maintaining the acid level in your stomach.
- Boil a cup of water and add one teaspoon of srilankan rolled cinnamon/ceylon cinnamon in it. Let it rest and then drink it. Other ways to incorporate cinnamon into your diet is by adding it into soups, desserts and salads. Cinnamon calms your stomach by improving digestion. It is a wonderful natural antacid and heals gastrointestinal tract infections.
- Drink buttermilk few times a day. You can add a dash of black pepper powder and cinnamon powder to it too.
- Take a few mint leaves chop them finely and add to a glass of water. Boil it and drink it when at room temperature. It improves digestion and has a cooling effect. It helps in decreasing burning sensation and pain during the condition.
- Boil one cup of water with one teaspoon of cumin seeds/jeera. Strain it, bring it to room temperature and drink. Cumin aids digestion and is a great acid neutralizer. It also relieves stomach ache caused due to the acidity. It helps cure stomach ulcers and calms upset stomach.
- Having a small piece of raw/chemical free pure jaggery after meals gives a quick relief.
- Do not lie down immediately after the meal. That’s when acid production is at its peak. So plan early dinners and avoid bed time snacks.
- Avoid large meals, especially late in the day. Try to make breakfast and lunch your main meals. Go light at dinner.
- Eat small frequent meals.
- Avoid large gaps between meals.
- Avoid consuming water with the meals. Water should be taken at least 45 minutes after meals.
- Try to maintain ideal body weight.
- Try chewing gum (mint gum). The saliva generated helps move food through the esophagus, easing symptoms of heartburn.
- Have vegetables like drumsticks, beans, pumpkin, cabbage, carrot and spring onions.
- Regular physical activity is strongly recommended as sedentary lifestyle leads to such problems. Simple walking and yoga is good to go.
With inputs from Nutritionist Kavita Rastogi, Founder - Nutriremedy
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