Many people suffer from Acid Reflux, they feel pain and burning in the throat and in the chest region behind the breast bone. Sometimes the pain begins after eating, but it can also occur while lying down or bending forward. It is common to have a chronic cough or to feel the need to clear the throat frequently. A prescription drug to stop the production of acid from the cells in the stomach is the most common treatment for GERD. While this drug may be helpful in the short term, it does not address the underlying cause of the problem and if this drug is taken for a prolonged time there can be devastating health consequences. (1)
There is no age in which we see more cases of GERD, it can happen in children and adults alike. People with a hiatus hernia can suffer from it and many sufferers have a floppy sphincter, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that does not work efficiently to keep the acid from the stomach from splashing back into the throat.
Keeping the digestive tract moving well, meaning there is a well-formed bowel movement one to two times per day is important for the management of GERD. This means eating a diet that is high in fiber and avoiding foods that slow the rate of digestion. (2)
The tissues in the throat can become inflamed from being in contact with the stomach acid, and with prolonged acid exposure, these cells in the throat can become cancerous. It is for this reason that we want to minimize the production of acid in the body and we want to protect the cells from being irritated by hot and spicy foods as well as acidic foods.
Dietary food choices are an essential part of helping the body to reduce the production of acid and they can help with the healing process. Let’s look at 6 foods to avoid if you suffer from acid reflux.
- Fatty foods, fried foods, oils: These foods slow the digestive process. With GERD (acid reflux) it is important to keep the digestive tract moving. Foods that slow this process should be avoided.
- Nuts and Seeds: these are high in fat and will slow the digestion
- Chocolate and Caffeine: These create an acidic environment and worsen the reflux.
- Spicy foods: These hot foods include hot curry, cayenne, hot pepper aggravate inflamed tissues.
- Alcohol, Wine, Beer: These drinks create an acidic evironment in the body.
- Acidic Foods: tomatoes, citrus fruits can aggravate the inflamed tissues
1.Gaby, Alan R. Nutritional Medicine. Fritz Perlberg, 2011.
2. Pizzorno, Joseph E., and Michael T. Murray. Textbook of Natural Medicine. Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone, 2013.
Dr. Judith Snider is a Registered Nutritionist, a Chiropractor, and a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner. She is married with three grown children and 1 grand-dog (Joey). The promotion of health and wellness has always been her goal, and she loves to share healthy living tips with her patients.