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What Are The Best Foods To Eat When Struggling With GERD?


Most people experience acid reflux at one point or another in their lives. Usually, you eat too much pizza or red sauce on your pasta and develop symptoms of acid reflux whic resolves after an hour or so. Then there are those who find themselves experiencing reflux symptoms more  often. If you suffer from acid indigestion two or more times within a week you may be experiencing GERD.

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when acid flows from the stomach back into the esophagus. The tissue that makes up the lower part of the esophagus can  become irritated and inflamed. This reflux of stomach contents can occur many times per week. A burning sensation is usually experienced which may be followed by difficulty swallowing.

GERD is becoming more and more common. The Standard American Diet usually consists of foods that are low in actual nutritional value, high in carbohydrates, are highly processed and filled with chemicals and excess sugar . Most Americans consume few fruits and healthy vegetables. Many times,  when acid indigestion symptoms occur,  people turn to an over-the-counter medication to lower their stomach acid level in an attempt to reduce their symptoms.  While this might provide temporary relief to their symptoms, when repeated over time, this will cause an acid imbalance in the stomach.

Most people find GERD  symptom relief after a few hours without medication. But others often turn to medications for relief. Relying upon medication to ease symptoms can actually create a situation where the stomach acid levels become too low.   The result is that when food is eaten,  the acid level which normally helps to digest the food has now been reduced, and instead of being digested,  the food can begin to ferment within the stomach,   producing gas and reflux symptoms.  So the problem becomes one of two little stomach acid and not too much stomach acid.

Additionally, GERD symptoms can occur when a hiatal hernia is present. When this occurs, the valve at the top of the stomach which normally closes  after food enters the stomach, becomes pinched and held open. This can occur when the esophagus and the connecting stomach valve rises above the diaphragm and becomes trapped by  the diaphragm itself.

Foods To Avoid With GERD

Many of us have heard to avoid tomato-based foods when experiencing acid reflux. There are actually many other foods that might be contributing to these issues.

  • Coffee
  • Fried foods
  • Acidic foods like- tomatoes, citrus fruits, onions.
  • Strong herbs like garlic and mint, pepper, salt
  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol
  • Sodas and Carbonated drinks 
  • Chocolate 
  • Sugary foods and drinks
  • Processed,  pre-packaged foods which are often loaded with toxic chemicals, food colorings and other artificial ingredients which often irritate and aggravate the digestive tract

Foods You Can Eat to Reduce GERD Symptoms

After the previous list, you might be asking yourself what in the world can you eat? When experiencing frequent reflux,  it is wise to reevaluate one’s diet. Eating a nutrient-dense diet full of vegetables, fruits, and healthy proteins may help ease GERD symptoms. Incorporating fiber-rich alkaline foods may be important for some individuals. This may help balance the pH and acidity in the stomach.  However, in some cases,  supplementation to help raise stomach acid levels may be appropriate.

Hydration is crucial but be aware of drinking too much around mealtime. Excessive water can also dilute stomach acid which can impede digestion. Also making a habit of chewing your food well rather than scarfing it down can improve digestion. Digestion begins in the mouth with our taste buds and saliva glands working in unison. This process of chewing our food not only helps begin to break down food in the mouth, but also stimulates the release of our natural digestive enzymes so our stomach doesn’t have to work so hard. 

Here are several foods that may help reduce GERD symptoms:

  • Healthy proteins from wild caught Cold Water fish,  Organic, free- range chicken, turkey, and other forms of poultry, Organic Lamb,  as well as grass fed and grass finished beef and Bison.
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes 
  • Fresh herbs like ginger and parsley
  • Yogurt (that is not loaded with added sugar!)
  • Non-citrus fruits 
  • Eggs
  • Healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, and some nuts and seeds
  • Lemon water 
  • Melons
  • Broths, such as chicken or turkey broth
  • Apple Cider Vinegar


Are You Still Unsure of Where to Start? 

Many patients with GERD find themselves feeling frustrated with conventional medical protocols. Patients overwhelmed with drug risks and side effects want an alternative approach. Functional medical practitioners are experts in alternative therapies. If you suspect that you have a hiatal hernia, ask your chiropractor if he or she is familiar with appropriate manual release techniques.

If you are looking for alternative approaches and a holistic practitioner, Dr. Melvin Mashner has been a Chiropractic Physician in Mobile, Alabama for over 28 years. He finds  that many times when clients change their lifestyle,  they help change the severity of their symptoms and diseases. His education-based approach helps teach people how they can take charge of their own health and help to heal themselves.

Through his health coaching, Dr. Mashner suggests dietary and exercise plans to help restore digestive balance. Dr. Mashner has developed a patient-specific program called “Foundations”  and a more detailed ” Premier”  program,  This approach utilizes diagnostic tests, protocols, and procedures to help identify what is stressing the body, and also ways to deal with the identified stressors. Health coaching is a great way to stay accountable for healthy lifestyle choices. 

Contact Our Office

If you find yourself at a dead end with your disease symptoms, consider a functional nutrition approach. Contact Dr. Mashner and his team at The Gut Authority. They have helped clients throughout Alabama , Southern Mississippi, and Florida. 

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