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Diet Management in Acidity and GERD

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux disease is defined as a disorder in which mucosal damage is produced by the abnormal reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus or food pipe.

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This is commonly due to transient or permanent changes in the region between the esophagus and the stomach, referred to as lower esophageal sphincter.

Diet Management in Acidity and GERD | Nutritional Management in Acidity

Acidity occurs when there is excess secretion of acids by the gastric glands of the stomach. It is a problem which is aggravated when one has poor eating habits.

Acidity is generally accompanied by heartburn, which is characterized by a pain accompanied by burning in the chest behind the sternum (breast-bone). It occurs after having meals and is caused by conditions associated with excess intra-abdominal pressure like lifting weights or straining. It can also occur while lying down and is relieved when the individual sits upright.

The digestive gland of the stomach and intestines also secrete various types of enzymes. Pepsin is one of the enzymes that breaks down and digests food. These enzymes could also contribute to symptoms of heartburn.

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Doís in Acidity

Diet modifications advised in patients with acidity and heartburn are:

Dates, figs, apple, papaya and pomegranate can be added to the diet.

Diet Management in Acidity and GERD: Apple

Carrot leaves, celery leaves and curry leaves are helpful in controlling acidity. Celery has a high level of magnesium and iron as well.

Vegetables like carrot and beet root are good for relieving acidity.

Diet Management in Acidity and GERD: Carrots

Spices like cumin seeds, coriander and cardamom should be taken.

One should include barley, jowar and wheat as staple food.

Diet Management in Acidity and GERD: Barley

A glass of cold milk is also helpful.

Almonds are also a good remedy for relieving heartburn and acidity.

Take some mint leaves and chop these, then boil in a cup of water and sip slowly after meals.

Eating bananas is also helpful in preventing the symptoms of acidity.

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Basil (tulsi) leaves help to get relief from burning, nausea and gas.

Eating a serving of cucumber or watermelon is useful to fight against acidity.

Diet Management in Acidity and GERD: Watermelon

Ginger is very useful for digestive disorders. Make a fine powder by adding equal amounts of ginger powder, black pepper, dried mint leaves, asafoetida (hing), anise seeds, coriander seeds, cumin, fennel and common salt. Take about 1 teaspoon of this powder with water, twice a day after meals. Do consult your doctor before taking it.

It is advised to drink 10-12 glasses of water daily. Drinking water gives immediate relief to symptoms like gas and acidity.

Drinking 1-2 glasses of lukewarm water early morning keeps one healthy and relieves one from acidity.

Diet Management in Acidity and GERD: Drinking Water

Remain Calm: One may find that doing yoga or other stress-reducing activities will be very effective for their acidity.

Use Gravity: When you feel acid reflux symptoms, remain upright. This also means that you should not lie down soon after you've had a meal.

Loosen Clothing: Wear loose clothes. By undoing a belt, removing tight-fitting panty hose, or releasing any other kinds of tight waistbands, pressure is released from the stomach.

Eat small, regular meals based on whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals and moderate amount of proteins such as lean meat, eggs.

Dontís in Acidity

Here are some of the things you should avoid in case you suffer from acidity:

Spicy foods such as chili and barbecue sauces made with hot pepper.

Indian dishes containing thick curry and Chinese recipes that contain red pepper.

Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit as they are high in acid.

Diet Management in Acidity and GERD: Oranges

Full fat dairy products such as sour cream, cheese or ice cream.

Fatty foods like hamburger or cuts of meat with excess fat.

Eggs, tuna and sandwiches made with cold cuts like cheese.

Coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks.

Diet Management in Acidity and GERD: Tea

Peas, beans, broccoli and cabbage.

Tomatoes and onions.

Pickles, oily, spicy food.

Cheese items and junk food.

Diet Management in Acidity and GERD: Junk Food

Raw salad vegetables like onion, radish, cabbage, and peppers.

Carbonated beverage, tea and coffee which stimulate the stomach and irritate the esophagus.

Alcohol and smoking.

Diet Management in Acidity and GERD: Smoking

Preservative-containing food, which are irritant to esophagus producing backflow of food content into mouth.

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