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Foods to Eat and Avoid to Prevent Heartburn and GERD

Foods to Eat and Avoid to Prevent Heartburn and GERD

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) results in food and stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus, which leads to a burning sensation in the throat and chest area. Reflux usually occurs after a heavy, greasy, or spicy meal, but it can also be a result of going to bed right after a meal. The symptoms of the condition may also lead to issues with sleep patterns and cause you to become reluctant to eat.

Dietary changes can help manage the symptoms of GERD, so you must understand which foods are beneficial for the condition and which ones trigger the symptoms. This can help you avoid trigger foods to prevent heartburn and GERD.

Foods to eat
Foods that can help prevent heartburn and GERD mainly include alkaline foods as they neutralize stomach acid. This reduces the likelihood of excess acid, which can lead to reflux. Alkaline foods comprise fruits and vegetables like kale, celery, cucumber, broccoli, eggplant, apples, bananas, avocados, apricots, and raisins.
Also, adequate consumption of water is necessary to manage this condition.

Foods to avoid
Heartburn can be prevented or the symptoms can be relieved by making small but effective dietary changes. This includes avoiding certain foods and drinks that trigger heartburn and other symptoms of GERD. Some of these foods are listed here:

  • Carbonated beverages
    Fizzy soda is always bad, and it’s worse if you suffer from GERD as it expands in the stomach and causes pressure and strain. This hinders the digestive process and results in acidity and heartburn.
  • Chocolate
    Though chocolate is one of the most loved foods, it is a trigger food for heartburn or GERD. The combination of cocoa, fat, and caffeine leads to acid reflux.
  • Citrus fruits
    Citrus fruits are known to cause acidity, so ensure that you keep fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits off your plate. Excessive consumption of these can trigger the symptoms of GERD, so it is best to replace them with other fruits in your diet.
  • Fried and spicy foods
    Ensure that you avoid foods that are fried, spicy, or both to prevent heartburn and GERD. These include French fries, onion rings, fried chicken, and such. Instead, you can opt for roasted, boiled, or baked versions of these foods.
  • Tomatoes
    If you are experiencing heartburn or any other symptoms of GERD, tomatoes, as well as foods made with them, need to be avoided to prevent heartburn and GERD. So, leave out marinara sauce, tomato soup, and ketchup. Additionally, most pizzas are prepared with tomato sauce, so look for alternatives like pizzas made just with cheese, but also keep an eye on the fat content.
  • Late-night snacking
    Late-night snacking or going to bed right after dinner increases the chance of acid reflux, so maintain a gap of at least two hours between a meal and going to bed. This will help reduce other digestive issues as well.
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