Experiencing an unusual discomfort in your chest, behind your breast bone? Or a bitter, unpleasant taste in your throat and mouth? Are nausea, regurgitation, vomiting, and bloating occurring more frequently? If you’ve answered a “yes” to all three questions, then you are certainly experiencing heartburn and/or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) like millions of people in the country do every month.
Heartburn is a trigger of acid reflux from your stomach back into the esophagus and is quite common for most people. GERD, on the other hand, is a more severe condition that you experience when you leave acid reflux unattended for a long time. Here’s an opportunity to go shopping for the right ingredients and substitute the things in your pantry with the following foods to prevent heartburn and GERD.
- Keep away from citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, tomatoes, peaches, pineapples, grapes, and plums. Include more alkaline fruits like bananas, berries, apples, pears, melons, and other such fruits in your breakfast or snack portions.
- Replace tomato sauce as a side dish for sandwiches and french fries, and in your salsa and pasta. Try healthier, less acidic options like greek yogurt and dill dip, or pesto sauce.
- The same principle goes for abstaining from raw onions in salads, mayonnaise, vinegar, and lime juice. You can instead add some salt and fresh or dried herbs along with some olive oil as a dressing.
- Adding spice to your foods might improve their flavor, but it’s best to keep away from the fiery stuff like black pepper and red chilies. Fresh herbs like basil, parsley, coriander, cilantro, cinnamon, thyme, curry leaves, and tarragon do not cause any acid reflux symptoms but can be added as seasoning because of their natural fragrance and taste.
- Instead of deep-frying foods and using margarine, lard, or butter, have raw, boiled, sautéed, grilled, baked, poached, or roasted foods. Use healthier alternatives like olive or sesame oil, and that too sparingly.
- After having your meal, abstain from alcohol, caffeinated and/or carbonated drinks like tea, coffee, beer, and wine completely. Alternatively, enjoy a glass of ordinary mineral water, or some warm water with some cumin seeds. These will help reduce gas and bloating that are symptoms of acid reflux.
- Enjoy white or lean meat like skinless chicken or turkey as against dark or red meat. These are less acidic and can still provide you with healthy proteins. Plus, leaner meats are less fattening and do not make you obese, which again might contribute to heartburn.
- Whole milk and full-fat dairy stay longer in your system and create more stomach acids that can induce heartburn. Instead use low fat or reduced-fat products of milk, cream, yogurt, cheese.
- Eat more leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, cucumber, avocado, cauliflower, green beans, celery, peas, parsnips, carrots, sprouts, and other such low fat, high-fiber vegetables. It’s best to remove onions, garlic, and leeks from your diet.
- Instead of heavily processed and sugary products like white bread, soda, packaged juices, chocolates, coffee, tea, mint, and peppermint-flavored foods, and alcohol, opt for wholesome fresh foods and add plenty of plain water, buttermilk, and coconut water to your diet.