Having GERD can be irritating. Especially when the onset of symptoms arise. GERD is the acronym for "gastroesophageal reflux disease." This condition occurs when a coral-type muscle based at the lower end of the esophagus, called the "lower esophageal sphincter" (or LES), is unable to close itself and seal off the upper opening area of the stomach. This allows some of the stomach contents back into the esophagus through a reflux method. In turn, heartburn can be felt, as well as other symptoms. There are a number of healthy foods available that can help alleviate symptoms of GERD.
A Must Avoid
It is very important for an individual who has GERD to avoid eating or drinking anything that could induce heartburn. Foods that contain heavy contents of oils and fats, those that are acidic, and those with spicy ingredients should be erased completely from the diet. Alcoholic beverages should be avoided as well.
Bean It or Wheat It
Lentils and beans are a rich source of protein and could provide a good dietary alternative. Replacing foods that contain animal fats with plant-type foods instead can decrease incidences of heartburn and stomach-liquid reflux. Some vegetables and fruits can be beneficial as well. However, lemons, oranges, tomatoes, avocado and onions, as well as any other types of citrus fruits or vegetables that contain natural acids, should be avoided. Rather, try eating lettuce, non-pickled vegetables, carrots, potatoes, small bananas, cucumbers, steamed broccoli and cauliflower instead. Whole-wheat and whole-grain breads are perfect as a single portion, no-more than twice a day though.
Avoiding fat within the diet is crucial when living with GERD. Avoiding dairy products altogether will be without much benefit, however. Skimmed milk, as well as other dairy products that are both low in fat and calories, are certainly to be enjoyed. Some of these would include low fat yogurt, low fat mayonnaise, low fat soya butter and soya-based products.
Eating white meat and fish is acceptable but how it is cooked is an important factor. Broiling and steaming methods of cooking can create an appetizing palette of fulfillment and reduce the fat and calorie intake at the same time.
Some examples of acceptable desserts for GERD patients are low fat frozen yogurt, non-citrus fruit salad, pick-a-grain fruit pancakes and smoothies. For heartburn and GERD dessert recipe suggestions, see References.
How to Eat with GERD
Eating smaller portions of food about 5-6 times a day can facilitate digestion and have a positive impact at the onset of a GERD attack. It is also advisable to chew food at least 10-15 times per mouthful before swallowing. This gives the stomach less to break down at once. Finally, ensure that you are sitting straight up while you are eating. This will enable the food you swallow to go efficiently through the path to its final destination -- your stomach.
Take notes of the food and drink that you consume and keep a record of when heartburn occurs. You could soon find the culprits that cause the irritation.