Known by various names such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), gastric reflux, etc, Acid Reflux is a result of damage to the mucous membrane lining of the esophagus due to the rising of stomach acids from the stomach into the esophagus. Occasional rising of acids may cause “heartburn” but in chronic conditions, there is damage and inflammation of the esophagus. The causes include obesity, eating large meals and lying down immediately, high blood-calcium levels, certain types of hernia, side-effects of certain medications etc. The symptoms may mimic heart-disease and cause great distress and anxiety in patients. There are certain foods that ramp up the symptoms – so stay away from these!
1: No OJ
If you love your morning glass of freshly-squeezed orange-juice or snacking on citrus fruits, there’s bad news for you! These tangy, refreshing foods are a firm favorite with weight-watchers, but they trigger reflux because they relax the lower esophageal sphincter and contain more acid than other fruits. Typically, symptoms are associated more with citrus-juices than whole-fruits. If you’re suffering from GERD, avoid eating them on an empty stomach or better still, avoid them completely!
Have you observed that citrus increases your acid reflux?
2: Spice Watch
Keep a watch on how you spice your foods. Avoid heating spices like chilli, curry-powder, pepper etc which are a staple ingredient in Mexican food, South-Asian and Indian subcontinental cuisines. Americans are specially prone to acid reflux after eating spicy stuff.
One solution is to gradually introduce milder versions of spices in your food and avoid over-indulging in oily, spicy snacks. Read the labels of packaged foods carefully and when eating out, request the waiter to hold back the spices.
Looks like acid reflux sufferers need to deprive themselves of good stuff! Tomatoes are delicious, chockful of lycopene, and the weight-watcher’s best friend. But they promote stomach acidity and lower the esophageal sphincter and that means bad news again. Watch out for tomato based sauces in pizzas, pastas and soups. One solution is to stimulate saliva in the mouth by popping a sour ball candy after eating tomato – this seems to help acid reflux sufferers.
Did you know tomatoes produce GERD?