/ October 4, 2011/ Default, General/ 1 comments

A GERD-friendly Diet and Lifestyle

            There are certain foods and lifestyle changes that can help ease the symptoms of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Certain foods and beverages are more likely to trigger heartburn, including:

  • Citrus fruits—tomatoes, oranges, and their juices
  • Fried/fatty food: bacon, chicken skin
  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol, caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint, spearmint

Some of these foods, such as tomatoes, cause the production of excess digestive acids, while mint can cause the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach) to relax, which allows the acid to reflux.

 

A few lifestyle changes can also help minimize the effects of GERD. Here are some quick tips:

  1. Don’t smoke- smoking can increase acid production and cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax
  2. Don’t drink alcoholic beverages- alcohol irritates the stomach lining
  3. Avoid eating for two hours before sleeping
  4. Eat smaller meals
  5. Raise the head of your bed above the level of the stomach- you can do this by placing blocks under the legs at the head of the bed or you can place a foam wedge under the mattress at the head of the bed
  6. Reduce overall calorie intake if obese/overweight- obesity can contribute to reflux so it is important to exercise and follow a healthy diet

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About Alisha Mehta

My name is Alisha Mehta and I am a graduate student at Tufts University, working on my MS in Nutrition Communications and Didactic Program in Dietetics to become a Registered Dietitian. I grew up in Northern California where the Redwood forests, mountains, and beaches are abundant—of course, all these outdoor opportunities cannot come without allergies. I have been through (and continue to deal with) my fair share of allergy and sinus issues. As a weary sufferer of sinus problems, I became a daily user of Sinus Rinse ever since its development. I am passionate about natural health, food, nutrition, and fitness. Through this blog, I hope to create an ongoing dialogue on sinuses, allergies, and any additional health topics of interest. Please share any and all of your experiences and questions.

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