What Is A Gerd
The GERD diet is not just a list of foods to eat. It works to retrain your approach to eating.
The GERD diet helps you to:
- Steer clear of foods and beverages that aggravate heartburn
- Choose more foods that can help control stomach acid production
- Establish eating habits that can reduce your symptoms
- Include a balanced variety of nutrient-dense and healthy foods that will help you maintain a healthy weight
To get these results, you have to learn to select the right food. Controlling when you eat and how much also plays a part.
If you have chronic GERD and get heartburn frequently, you can benefit from the GERD diet by following it long-term. Even if you experience symptoms infrequently, becoming familiar with and keeping a close eye on the consumption of trigger foods may help you prevent symptoms.
Unfortunately, avoiding trigger foods doesn’t guarantee that you will never get that burning sensation in your throat.
Can Apple Juice Help With Heartburn
Apple juice has a pH level of around 3.35-4.00. Unfortunately, apple juice is rather acidic as it doesnt contain nearly as much fiber as raw apples do.
Because of that, those especially sensitive to acidic foods and beverages might experience heartburn after drinking too much apple juice.
Still, this type of fruit juice is a great source of several alkalizing minerals.
So, if your stomach can tolerate some apple juice, try diluting it with some water and adding it to your diet.
Foods Making Your Heartburn Worse
If youve ever experienced a painful burning feeling in your chest or throat after downing a giant burrito at Chipotle, youre definitely not alone. About 60 million Americans experience heartburn, or acid reflux, at least once a month, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.
To fight back, most of us simply pop an antacid and go on with our day. But have you ever noticed that sometimes your symptoms come crawling back, even after youve had a TUMS? And then the meds work just fine at other times? If youre nodding your head yes, its likely because of what youve eaten after self-medicating.
According to the National Institutes of Health, certain foods exacerbate heartburn and acid reflux symptoms by carrying additional acid into the stomach and up into the esophagus, making you feel even more miserable.
Not only is this super uncomfortable, over time reflux can damage the esophagus, so its important to know how to identify these sneaky culprits so you can nip your heartburn in the bud!
To help you out, weve identified some of the top offenders below.
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Changes That Make A Difference
One small study published in June 2018 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology found that people with GERD who took 5 grams of supplemental fiber in the form of psyllium twice a day had a significant increase in lower esophageal resting pressure and far fewer episodes of heartburn or reflux after only 10 days.
“That’s where the glimmer of hope lies â that by changing your diet and possibly supplementing with fiber, you can take control of this condition and improve it,” he says. “Eating an apple does make sense because an apple can be part of that healthy diet.”
Certainly apples have a lot to offer, according to the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health. They’re high in fiber, vitamin C and phytochemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Apples have been the subject of research on type 2 diabetes, weight control and cancer. Though some studies have been mixed, overall apples are associated with positive benefits in those areas.
Heartburn Trigger: Citrus Fruits And Juices
Replacement: Citrus fruits and juice are also amongst the most common causes of heartburn.
Lemons, oranges and tomatoes are highly acidic, while many soft drinks also contain citric acid to help give them their tart flavour.
Replacing acidic drinks with plain water or a heavily diluted squash may not only help you avoid heartburn but your dentist will also thank you!
Meanwhile, fruits such as berries, apples, pears and bananas are less acidic than citrus fruits and can be a great replacement.
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Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss
Like heartburn, obesity and overweight are two health problems that millions of Americans live with. But while heartburn can be difficult to treat since its exact cause is hard to pinpoint, losing excess weight isnt as complicated. Still, many people prefer trying natural remedies before committing to a weight-loss diet or exercise plan. Apple cider vinegar is widely used for weight loss, but how effective is it really?
Apparently, quite. In 2018, researchers tested the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar for weight loss on 39 participants, who were divided into two groups. Both groups consumed 250 fewer calories than usual during the day, but one group received a daily dose of 30 ml of apple cider vinegar in addition.
At the end of the trial, it was found that participants who followed a calorie-restricted diet and drank apple cider vinegar lost an average of 8.8 pounds over 12 weeks. The other group only lost 5 pounds over the same amount of time. Furthermore, those who received apple cider vinegar had lower cholesterol levels.
Identify Your Trigger Foods
Trigger foods are foods that cause heartburn. Everyones trigger foods for heartburn are different, but some common trigger foods include fatty foods, spicy foods, and foods made with tomato-based sauces.
Following a diet for heartburn may help reduce your symptoms while allowing you to discover your trigger foods.
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You May Find Yourself Needing To Use The Bathroom More Often
If you’re eating multiple apples throughout the day, you may have to make more beelines to the bathroom than you normally do.
“Apples are rich in fiber, which is a positive thing since fiber can help reduce cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugars, and increase satiety. However, increasing fiber in the diet quickly may result in more frequent bowel movements until the digestive system adapts,” explains Gariglio-Clelland. And if you want to make your belly more comfortable, check out the 15 Best Anti-Bloating Foods.
Erosion Of Tooth Enamel
Acidic foods and beverages have been shown to damage tooth enamel .
Soft drinks and fruit juices have been more widely studied, but some research shows the acetic acid in vinegar may also damage tooth enamel.
In one lab study, enamel from wisdom teeth was immersed in different vinegars with pH levels ranging from 2.73.95. The vinegars led to a 120% loss of minerals from the teeth after 4 hours .
Importantly, this study was done in a lab and not in the mouth, where saliva helps buffer acidity and a person would not hold vinegar in their mouth for 4 hours. Nevertheless, theres some evidence that large amounts of vinegar may cause dental erosion.
A case study also concluded that a 15-year-old girls severe dental decay was caused by consuming 1 cup of undiluted apple cider vinegar per day as a weight loss aid .
The acetic acid in vinegar may weaken dental enamel and lead to loss of minerals and tooth decay.
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Ginger May Help To Soothe Inflammation In The Esophagus
Ginger is a fragrant root that is commonly viewed as a stomach-soothing ingredient but this spicy food can actually help with heartburn as well.
If you find that raw ginger has too much kick to eat by itself, try tossing a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger into a smoothie or adding a few slices of the root to your tea.
Acid Reflux Is Caused By Many Things Such As:
- Increased pressure on the abdomen from being overweight or pregnant
- Ingesting a very heavy or large meal
- Eating or snacking right before bedtime
- Eating certain food such as citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, other spices, onion, or fatty foods
- Drinking certain beverages such as alcohol, soft drinks, excess coffee or tea
- Taking medication such as aspirin, ibuprofen, muscle relaxers and some blood pressure medication
Reflux pain is no joke.
Acid reflux diagram
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The Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Heartburn Acid Reflux And Gerd
Apple cider vinegar can be a safe way to help get your stomach issues in line as long as you dont take excessive amounts.
If youre under a doctors care for heartburn, acid reflux, or GERD, make sure to check in first to avoid any possible drug interactions. Its important to rule out chronic issues like IBS before beginning any alternative treatment.
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Can Apples Cause Heartburn
While generally, apples are good for acid reflux symptoms, some varieties might be more acidic.
For example, green apples tend to be sourer, increasing the risk of heartburn, especially in people particularly sensitive to acidic foods.
As a result, if you know youre prone to heartburn, try avoiding green apples and sticking to red apples, which are sweeter and easier for your stomach.
Apples also contain a lot of vitamin C. Also known as ascorbic acid, too much of this vitamin can lead to acid reflux symptoms, which include heartburn.
While a single apple a day wont cause that, its important to keep that in mind, especially if youre sensitive to acids and acidic foods.
Luckily, this adverse side effect of vitamin C often occurs after taking too many supplements and rarely from food.
Because of that, they might help you feel better if you tend to experience these symptoms after eating acidic foods.
Apples also contain pectin, which is a type of soluble fiber that helps soak up excess stomach acid, preventing it from refluxing up your esophagus and causing heartburn.
Fiber also helps you feel full after eating, which stops you from eating too much and gaining weight.
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How Can I Prevent My Symptoms Of Gerd
As you can see, there are many types of foods to avoid if you have GERD or acid reflux disease. However, you may or may not experience symptoms after eating one of these foods as each case is different. This list of foods is meant to give you general guidelines of foods to avoid.
With that being said, the most reliable way to know which foods you should avoid is to keep a food journal. Pay attention to what you eat, then record whether or not you experience symptoms after.
You should also pay attention to which situations lead to your symptoms. For instance, do you experience symptoms in the morning before youve eaten, or after a large lunch? Or, perhaps you notice symptoms at night after eating a late dinner or dessert.
If you have more questions about preventing GERD or acid reflux symptoms, talk with your doctor. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may give you a prescription to help soothe your heartburn.
Prescriptions usually include histamine-2 blockers , proton pump inhibitors , and promotility agents. These are usually short-term prescriptions for acid reflux treatment while you make dietary adjustments.
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Adding The Right Foods
Among the foods the GERD diet recommends you eat more is fiber.
In a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, people with heartburn who had low-fiber diets were given 15 grams of a psyllium fiber supplement each day. After starting the extra fiber, they had increased esophageal sphincter pressure, fewer incidents of acid backing up, and fewer heartburn symptoms.
A 2016 study published in Diseases of the Esophagus found that eating a Mediterranean-style diet is associated with a lower risk of GERD. That makes sense because the Mediterranean diet is known for being lower in fatty meats and processed foods. It’s also higher in seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Both the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Gastroenterology recommend a diet-first approach to treating GERD.
In addition to improving your symptoms, this way of eating may lead to some weight loss. Being overweight puts you at a much higher risk of GERD, and research has found that losing weight is one of the best strategies to prevent the condition.
As little as a 10% reduction in weight improves GERD symptoms and often allows people to go off prescribed acid blocker medications .
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Heartburn: Why It Happens
A muscular ring between the end of the esophagus and the beginning of the stomach normally keeps stomach acid where it belongs in the stomach. But in people with frequent heartburn, this area, the lower esophageal sphincter muscle , may not prevent stomach acid from splashing up into the esophagus.
Does this mean you just have to live with heartburn? No! A recent survey conducted by the National Heartburn Alliance revealed that 92% of frequent heartburn sufferers point to food as the primary cause of their digestive discomfort.
So, if a change in diet can help you avoid heartburn, which foods should you choose to lose to help head off the pain?
When Should I See A Doctor
If you experience heartburn frequently, talk to your doctor. This is particularly important if youre prone to heartburn and have other symptoms, like chest pain, weakness, or difficulty breathing.
The best way to treat heartburn is to avoid acid reflux and other GERD symptoms.
Other conditions, like stomach cancer, can be the cause of heartburn. For example, if youre prone to heartburn, talk to your doctor if youre having any unexplained stomach discomfort.
Heartburn can also be a symptom of an ulcer. Ulcers are infections in the lining of your stomach.
If your stomach lining is infected, you may have an ulcer. Ulcers are often caused by bacteria. For example, if youre prone to heartburn, talk to your doctor if you:
- Eat a lot of fatty foods
- Have a lot of stress
- Have a high-fat diet
- A severe headache
A heart attack is a medical emergency. If you think youre having one, go to the emergency room.
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What Is Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is essentially fermented apple juice. Fermentation occurs when yeast ferments sugar which then produces alcohol. Bacteria then turn the alcohol into acetic acid, which gives apple cider vinegar its strong and unique taste.
Apple cider vinegar is sold both plain and with the mother, which is a combination of yeast and bacteria that form during fermentation of the sugars in the apples. The mother usually appears in white strands and can be used to make future batches of vinegar.
You can take apple cider vinegar orally or in supplements, such as apple cider vinegar gummies and capsules.
Triggers To Avoid For Acid Reflux
Most folks who live with acid reflux have some idea of what triggers the pain, such as spicy foods, fatty foods, sugar, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, or simply too much food.
Here are some acid reflux triggers that you may not know.
Prescription Medications , including:
- Osteoporosis drugs known as bisphosphenatesincluding blockbusters like alendronate , ibandronate , and risedronate
- Blood pressure medication
You can read more at 9 Medications that Can Cause Heartburn at Health.com.
Fish Oil Supplements Fish oil is great for many things, but it doesnât agree with everyone. I take mine with meals.
Timing of meals My husband is prone to acid reflux, and he finds that if he eats too late in the evening, heâs more likely to get acid reflux at bedtime. Be sure to give your meal plenty of time to process before you lay down at night.
Peppermint Sometimes peppermint is stomach soothing, but you can have too much of a good thing. I like my peppermint nice and gentle, steeped in an occasional glass of tea.
I hope this post is helpful to you if you suffer from acid reflux. Remember, if pain is severe or persistent, see a trained healthcare professional. Pain is our bodyâs way to get our attention.
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Are Apples Bad For Acid Reflux
Apples are generally safe to eat, but some varieties may aggravate acid reflux symptoms.
Red apples do not typically worsen symptoms for those with acid reflux. Some people may experience discomfort eating green apples due to their higher acidity.
But this is not generally the case with red apples. Red apples are a good option if you have acid reflux and are looking for a safe fruit to eat.
Eating Spinach Can Potentially Help Reduce Stomach Acidity
“Spinach is rich in calcium, which increases bone health, and it’s highly alkaline, which helps the stomach to reduce acidity levels,” Scabardi said. Spinach is a versatile ingredient that can be added to recipes or smoothies in order to get the most out of its potentially soothing impact on heartburn.
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Time Your Apple For Acid Reflux
Apples are good for your stomach. When to eat them?
- Eating an apple right after a heavy meal wont do you much good. If you have an apple for dessert, it just sits on top of your meal, filling a stomach that is already too full. Too much of a good thing is still too much. So an apple for dessert provokes heartburn rather than solving it. Of course, if you must have a dessert and you have to choose between an apple or a chocolate cake for dessert, the apple will do less harm
- The best way to start your day is drinking a glass of water on an empty stomach. Give water a couple of minutes to clean your stomach and then eat piece of fruit. This can be an apple, a kiwi or any other that you like. Fruit on an empty stomach passes quickly and will not give you heartburn. An apple can be the ideal starter that provides you with energy without stomach troubles.
- If you have histamine intolerance, apples are better than kiwis or bananas because they dont contain any histamine
- If you want to stop acid reflux with apples, you need to eat them between your meals. Your apple makes your stomach content less liquid which helps to keep the acid content inside.