First of all, you should avoid the food and drinks that are causing you to experience the reflux. This particularly concerns chocolate, fatty, spicy, and fried food, canned food, brown bread, pepper mint, coffee, sodas, orange and tomato juice, any citrus fruits, mayonnaise, cakes with cream, vinegar, garlic, black, red and white pepper, cinnamon, broth made from meat, fish, or mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers and apples.
Also, avoid gas-producing foods, chewing gum and food served at fast-food restaurants. Additionally, it is important to note that raw vegetables and fruits should be avoided when the symptoms of GERD are at their peak.
Here is a list of tips concerning your food habits which can substantially decrease the symptoms of GERD:
- Drinking a full glass of water before a meal will substantially lower the acidity of the stomach content.
- Ensure that your diet is rich in fibers. Studies have shown that people that had a fiber-rich diet (as opposed to control group) felt a lot better and suffered from symptoms of GERD a lot less frequently.
- You can neutralize the excessive acidity in the stomach by chewing and swallowing a small piece of raw potato, nuts, or white bread before having a meal.
- Don’t drink alcohol or smoke before meals and after meals as they can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax.
- Some people have a habit of taking a nap after a meal. Since it is easier for gastric acid to enter the esophagus when your body is horizontal to the ground, you should break this habit. If the symptoms of GERD are very severe, the person should take his or her meals while standing and walk around after a meal for at least half an hour. These people should also avoid lying down for at least three hours after a meal.
- Late night snacks should also be avoided at all cost.
- Try to avoid overeating as it can immediately cause you to feel unbearable heartburn.
- It is also a good idea to drink a glass of chamomile tea before going to bed and lie down on your left side.
- The key to avoiding symptoms of GERD is by having small meals that are evenly spaced throughout the day (at least 4-5 meals), which should be washed down with at least a few gulps of water or tea. Also, make sure that you thoroughly chew your food before swallowing. This ensures that you eat slowly, making you full by having a smaller meal, since the satiation center of the brain actives only 20 minutes after the start of the meal.
- Black tea with an addition of some milk is probably the best beverage to drink while eating your meals. You can also wash down your meals with some noncarbonated mineral water or with a sweet juice (peach or pear juices are good examples). A tea made from rose hips is also a great remedy to combat the heartburn. Just place the dried rose hips into boiling water and the tea will be ready after six hours.
- Fermented milk products are probably the number one remedy to alleviate the symptoms of GERD, since they normalize the motor function of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Other foods that help against heartburn include bananas (it is better to eat them in the morning after breakfast). If you don’t like bananas, you can substitute them with dried fruits (with the exception of dried apples).