If you’ve felt the burning, blistering, and nauseating effects of GERD, you know how uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating the condition can be. What if there was a diet plan you could follow that would help to provide long-term relief from GERD symptoms? There is!
The following 7 day GERD diet plan has been specifically designed to help control acid reflux and heartburn. It includes plenty of nutritious foods that are low in acid, as well as foods to avoid. By following this plan, you can help to keep your GERD under control and minimize the symptoms.
But first we’ll need to understand a little bit more about how GERD works.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a condition that occurs when stomach acid and other contents of the stomach flow back up into the esophagus. This can cause heartburn, chest pain, and regurgitation (6).
GERD is caused by a weak or dysfunctional esophageal sphincter, which is the valve that separates the stomach and esophagus. When this valve isn’t working properly, stomach acid and other contents can flow back up into the esophagus, causing the symptoms of GERD (6).
Several things can contribute to a weak or dysfunctional esophageal sphincter, including:
When you’re overweight, the extra pounds can put pressure on the stomach and esophagus, which can cause the esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach contents to flow backwards (11).
During pregnancy, the growing fetus puts pressure on the stomach, which can cause the esophageal sphincter to relax (13).
A hiatal hernia occurs when part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. This can put pressure on the esophageal sphincter and contribute to GERD symptoms (14).
Several medications can relax the esophageal sphincter, which can lead to GERD symptoms (22). These include:
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Several over-the-counter medications can help to relieve the symptoms of GERD. It would still be wise to speak to your doctor before starting these. They include (20):
If over-the-counter medications don’t provide relief, your doctor may prescribe a stronger medication, such as (20):
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat GERD. This is typically only recommended for severe cases that haven’t responded to other treatments (18).
A healthy 7 day GERD diet plan can help to control the symptoms of GERD and improve your overall health. This plan includes plenty of foods that are low in acid and are GERD-safe.
Certain qualities of food make it safe for people with GERD. In general, these foods will be:
GERD is caused by acid reflux, which means that foods with a high acid content might make your symptoms worse (19). To avoid this, you’ll want to focus on low-acid foods, such as:
Fiber helps to keep things moving through your digestive system, which can be helpful if you’re struggling with constipation or diarrhea (9). Foods that are high in fiber include:
When you’re dealing with GERD, you want to make sure that the foods you’re eating are easy to digest. This means avoiding fatty, greasy, or fried foods as well as spicy foods, which cause your stomach to produce more acid to break them down (19). Instead, opt for:
Sugar in small amounts probably won’t aggravate your GERD symptoms, but many sugary foods contain other ingredients that might, such as chocolate or a lot of fat. Furthermore, sugary foods often cause weight gain that can aggravate GERD symptoms (4).
This includes things like candy, cake, soda, and other processed sweets. Instead, try to get your sugar from:
Prebiotics and probiotics are two types of “good” bacteria that can help improve gut health. Prebiotics are a type of fiber that helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut, while probiotics are live bacteria that help to balance the levels of good and bad bacteria in your gut (5).
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fat that has been shown to be beneficial for gut health. They help to reduce inflammation, which can be helpful if you’re struggling with GERD (12). Some good sources of omega-3s include:
Sodium is a type of electrolyte that helps to balance the fluid levels in your body. However, too much sodium can cause fluid retention, which can make GERD symptoms worse (15). To avoid this, you’ll want to LIMIT THESE FOODS:
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Your body needs fat to function, but not all fats are created equal. Saturated and trans fats can aggravate GERD symptoms by stimulating the production of acid in your stomach (1). To avoid this, you’ll want to LIMIT THESE:
Instead keep your portion sizes moderate and focus on eating healthy fats, such as:
The following 7 day GERD meal plan has been specifically designed to help control acid reflux and heartburn. It includes plenty of nutritious foods that are low in acid, as well as foods to avoid. By following this plan, you can keep your GERD under control and minimize your symptoms.
Along with following the complete acid reflux diet plan, there are several changes in lifestyle that you can make to ensure long-term relief from your symptoms. Some of the most important lifestyle changes to consider are:
Obesity is closely linked to GERD, as extra weight puts pressure on the stomach and can lead to the opening of the LES (11). If you are overweight or obese, even a small amount of weight loss can reduce your symptoms.
In addition to helping with weight management, exercise appears to be protective against some GERD symptoms (7).
As mentioned above, certain foods are more likely to trigger GERD symptoms, but your individual triggers may be specific to you. Avoiding these foods can help prevent flares.
Alcohol consumption can relax the lower esophageal sphincter and lead to heartburn (14). If you do drink alcohol, it is best to do so in moderation.
Smoking can irritate the lining of the stomach and esophagus, making GERD symptoms worse (16). If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Small, frequent meals are easier on the stomach than large meals and can help reduce symptoms. Also, if you experience heartburn after eating, try waiting a few hours before lying down.
When you eat quickly, you are more likely to swallow air, which can lead to gas and bloating. Chewing your food thoroughly also helps digestion and reduces the risk of developing GERD symptoms (3).
Eating while lying down or lying down soon after your meal can increase the risk of GERD symptoms (3). Try to eat when sitting or standing up to reduce the risk of heartburn. Taking a walk after eating a meal can also help.
Tight clothing can put pressure on the stomach and lead to heartburn (3). Wearing loose-fitting clothing can help to prevent this.
If you are taking medications for GERD, make sure to take them as directed by your doctor. Do not stop taking them or adjust them without first talking to your doctor.
Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, can help to keep the digestive system moving and reduce the risk of constipation, which can trigger symptoms (21).
As mentioned above, stress is a common trigger for GERD symptoms (17). Finding ways to reduce stress, such as through relaxation techniques or exercise, can help to prevent flares.
Eating late at night and going to bed soon after can put pressure on the stomach and lead to GERD symptoms. Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening and avoid snacking too close to bedtime.
The 7 day GERD diet plan is a great way to get started on reducing your symptoms. However, making lifestyle changes and talking to your doctor about medication are also important for long-term relief. Consider making some or all of the changes listed above to help keep your GERD under control.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!