Healthcare providers suggest dealing with heartburn problems the natural way. This helps to avoid any complications. Taking medications may cause side-effects or allergic reactions. To avoid any further risk, alternative cure through lifestyle change is the best solution.
A heartburn (acid reflux or GERD) patient should be aware of the food they eat. Meals that are high in cholesterol and acid contribute to the occurrence and severity of acid reflux. Adding more acid to the body, especially during the digestive process, may result an acid build-up in the stomach, eventually breaching the LES and flow to the esophagus.
Another alternative method to treat heartburn is to stop eating large meals. The normal eating habit of an individual is to eat 3 times a day — usually large servings. Overloading your stomach may lead to heartburns. To avoid this, you can change your meal plan by incorporating 5 small meals a day taken in regular intervals.
Meal Plan to Lessen Acid Reflux
The best way to cure heartburn or acid reflux disease is to come up with a meal plan for it such as:
1. Food to Avoid
For starters, acid reflux or GERD patients should avoid foods that are high in cholesterol and acid; such as:
- Fruits (orange, lemon, grapefruit, cranberry, tomato)
- Vegetables (mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, raw onions)
- Meat (ground beef, sirloin, chicken nuggets, and buffalo wings)
- Dairy (sour cream, ice cream, milk shake, cheese)
- Grains (spaghetti with tomato sauce, macaroni and cheese)
- Alcoholic drinks
- Salad dressings
For individuals who are suffering from throat infections due to acid reflux, spicy foods should be avoided specifically chili and black peppers. Also, alkaline rich foods should be implemented into the diet to reduce the acid levels in your stomach. Alkaline can be found in vegetables.
2. Avoid Alcoholic Drinks
We often find it a habit to drink wine or beer after a heavy meal to aid in digestion. For acid reflux patients, this is one of the things that needs to be avoided — since alcoholic drinks can weaken the LES muscles in your lower esophageal tract.
3. After Meal Rituals
There are after meal rituals we should avoid or implement to reduce the possibility of heartburn (acid reflux) from occurring in our systems, such as:
- Smoking. This after meal ritual should be erased from your meal plan. Nicotine found in cigarettes can weaken the LES muscles.
- Sleeping. Sleeping after each meal should be avoided at all cost because it is easier for the stomach contents to easily access the esophagus.
- Water. Drinking water should be included in your meal plan. Drink lukewarm water after each meal to flush out or dilute acids in our stomach.
- Chewing Gum. Our saliva has natural properties to break down acid. Chewing on gum after each meal will increase saliva production.