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Green smoothies

5 Food Substitutes for GERD Triggers

Going grocery shopping.

Ordering delivery on your lunch break.

Going on a date at a fancy new restaurant.

Getting together with friends for a potluck.

There are countless occasions in our lives in which food is involved. It’s no wonder that when we’re told to rule out certain foods or add in food substitutes to our diets, things can get complicated.

Several decades ago, attempting to eat a certain way might have raised eyebrows or elicited a “come again?” from a waiter.

However, these days, people are becoming more educated on food sensitivities, and it’s easier to adjust their diets to coincide with their bodies’ unique dietary needs.

If you suffer from acid reflux or GERD, you know all too well that certain foods will activate pesky and uncomfortable symptoms such as indigestion and heartburn.

However, rather than lamenting the fact that you can no longer consume your grandmother’s famous tomato sauce, you can choose to be proactive in finding delicious food alternatives that won’t trigger your GERD symptoms.

Here are five food substitutes to replace common GERD triggers.

#1: Instead of White Rice…Try Quinoa.

quinoa

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White rice, among other grains such as wheat and corn, is highly acidic and acid-forming.

On the other hand, grains such as quinoa, amaranth, and wild rice are alkaline-forming, which won’t trigger GERD.

Quinoa also has the benefit of being super high in protein and has twice as much fiber as other grains–a healthy option overall!

The next time you’re selecting a grain for the base in a veggie dish, think twice before grabbing white rice and go for something like quinoa.

#2: Instead of Coffee…Try Ginger Tea.

Ginger Tea

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Having a daily cup of joe is a ritual that’s deeply ingrained in many cultures around the world.

If you consider yourself a coffee addict, you may have a hard time giving it up.

However, caffeine tends to relax the esophageal sphincter, allowing acid to flow back up through the esophagus. Dealing with the resulting unease and discomfort in your body is never quite worth it.

If you must satisfy your need to enjoy a warm and cozy beverage in the morning or evening–opt for ginger tea with honey.

In addition to reducing the likelihood of stomach acid flowing up through the esophagus, ginger also reduces inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract.

Sounds like a win-win all around!

#3: Instead of Beef…Try Fish.

pan fried salmon(Source)

When it comes to the consumption of protein-rich foods, your mind may drift to beef or other meat sources.

However, beef and other meats that are high in protein and fat can take longer for your body to digest, which puts pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter for a longer time.

The result? Increased instances of acid reflux.

On the other hand, fish and poultry are both lean proteins and are often recommended for acid reflux sufferers.

That said–everyone’s body is different–so if you notice that fish or poultry still triggers your symptoms, try switching to plant-based proteins such as soy and sprouts.

#4: Instead of Orange Juice…Try a Banana-Kale Smoothie.

Banana and Kale smoothie

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Perhaps you have cravings for something sweet in the mornings, and you typically fulfill these cravings with a glass of OJ.

I’m sorry to tell you that due to their high acidity, citrus-based juices are not your friend if you want to minimize GERD symptoms.

Not to worry–there are plenty of other delicious juices and smoothies you can enjoy that aren’t acid-producing in the way citrus fruit juices are.

For example, a banana and kale smoothie is a sweet non-citrus alternative that can help you start your day off on the right foot.

If you want to give it a try, check out this banana and kale smoothie recipe!

#5: Instead of Tomato Sauce…Try Pesto.

Pesto sauce

(Source)

Tomato sauce may have been your go-to when it came to eating pizza or pasta, but with the high acidity of tomatoes, which often leads to heartburn, I strongly advise you seek alternatives.

Fortunately, there are other sauce options that can be equally tasty–such as pesto.

With the combination of basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and garlic, pesto provides a wonderful aromatic scent in addition to a tasty kick to a range of dishes.

Whether you add it to pasta or pizza or spread it on a sandwich, there are various ways to incorporate pesto in your meals.

Making dietary changes for your health may feel like a burden, but feeling better in your body is always rewarding.

Beyond the foods listed above, probiotics are terrific options for people who suffer from GERD or acid reflux. Here are five probiotic options to add to your shopping cart this week!

7 Recipe Ideas for GERD Patients 

The nausea, bloating, and burning symptoms of chronic acid reflux can create problems that extend beyond physical discomfort.

Like others with GERD, you may find that your favorite foods begin to trigger your heartburn. The result can be an ever-narrowing diet that leaves you frustrated.

As eating at a restaurant becomes difficult, you may begin to cook at home. But you still face the challenge of a limited range of foods you can eat.

While last month’s article covered GERD-friendly foods, this month’s article will give you a handful of recipes for acid reflux sufferers. Here are 7 recipes that make life easier if you suffer from GERD.

  1. Melon Fruit Salad

As I mentioned last month, you’ll want to adopt the melon family into your diet if you experience constant heartburn. Lower acidity, the presence of magnesium, and other qualities make melons a safe choice for your diet.

If you’re looking for an easy way to prepare a melon dish, check out Betty Crocker’s melon fruit salad recipe for a tasty and colorful treat.

  1. Banana Popsicles

Banana popsicles are another great addition to your recipes for acid reflux. Making this treat can provide an easy, simple, and healthy snack that won’t trigger burning and bloating symptoms.

To make these popsicles, purchase several ripe bananas and peel them. Put each banana in a small, resealable bag, and place all of them in the freezer. After a day to harden, your bananas will be ready to enjoy.

  1. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is well known for its ability to provide digestive relief. While you can buy this tea prepackaged at a store, there’s nothing like the potency and freshness of homemade ginger tea.

To make it yourself, check out this ginger tea recipe. You’ll be happy to know that the instructions allow you to reheat any leftover tea. Simply double the recipe to make several cups for later.

  1. Fennel Salad

According to WebMD, fennel is known for treating digestive issues such as…

  • Heartburn.
  • Intestinal gas.
  • Bloating.

Because of this, you’ll want to include fennel dishes among your recipes for acid reflux.

If you’re looking for a healthy way to include fennel in your diet, try this fennel salad from Allrecipes. Not only will you benefit from the fennel, but you’ll also get a good helping of beets, green onions, and parsley.

  1. Broccoli Salad

As WebMD explains, broccoli and other green veggies are less acidic than other food choices. If you’re accustomed to red pasta sauce, citrus fruits, or other acid-reflux-triggering foods, broccoli dishes are a better choice.

Be sure you try this broccoli salad recipe for its flavorful mix of broccoli, almonds, bacon, and other ingredients.

  1. Cauliflower Substitutes

If you struggle with GERD, it’s important you help your digestive system repair by avoiding pizza, white bread, and other high-starch choices. However, giving up your favorite foods can make healthy eating unnecessarily difficult.

The good news is that cauliflower can substitute for many wheat-based foods you enjoy. If you love pizza, check out this cauliflower pizza crust recipe, and couple it with a white sauce to avoid acidic tomatoes.

If you enjoy your morning bagel, but need to lose weight for your GERD, try this recipe for cauliflower bagels.

  1. Oven-Roasted Asparagus

Recipes for acid reflux don’t always require swapping your favorite ingredients with substitutes. If you struggle with GERD, you can still enjoy a gourmet favorite—roasted asparagus.

According to WebMD, asparagus is another veggie that ranks low on the Ph scale. You can enjoy how gentle this vegetable is for your GERD with this oven-roasted asparagus recipe that’s seasoned with tasty garlic, olive oil, and almonds.

Changing your diet to support digestive health can ease your symptoms and help you avoid a path that leads to dependence on antacids, PPIs, and other medications.

But if you suffer from chronic acid reflux, making minor adjustments in your diet can be insufficient. In cases like these, digestive healing may require comprehensive evaluation and treatment.

If you need a solution to address the root cause of your GERD, join the Cure Your Acid Reflux Program. This physician-supervised program can help you repair and heal your digestive system from the inside out.

To get the support and direction you need, join the Cure Your Acid Reflux Program today.

5 Healing Foods for GERD Patients

Many people who suffer from GERD and acid reflux can feel like food is their enemy. After all, many types of food can trigger bouts of heartburn, nausea, and esophageal pain.

Once you understand the underlying causes of acid reflux, you’ll find there are many food which are not only safe, but can also help you manage your acid reflux.

It’s fully possible to develop a diet which fits both your lifestyle and avoids your GERD symptoms. To help you get started, here are 5 foods that are great choices for healing and managing your acid reflux.

1. Melons

Melons are a great food choice for your GERD: not only are they benignly acidic (with a pH of 6.1), but they also contain a high percentage of water and fiber.  In addition, melons are a good, natural source of magnesium.

While magnesium in over-the-counter medications can ultimately hurt more than help your acid reflux, the body does need magnesium. Among other things, magnesium can help the sphincter at the bottom of the stomach to let food pass into the digestive tract more easily (and ease the pressure in the stomach).

Only avery small percentage of people (1 – 2%) find that melons exacerbate their reflux symptoms.

2. Bananas

Bananas are mildly acidic, so many people believe they need to avoid this healthy snack. But the reality is that bananas are a great food choice if you suffer from heartburn, and here’s the reason why.

First, it’s important to remember that acid reflux is caused by too little acid in the stomach, not too much.

Second, as The People’s Pharmacy explains, bananas have long been used as a treatment for acute digestive issues, such as ulcers (with banana extract outperforming omeprazole in one study).

3. Ginger

Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a natural remedy for stomach discomfort, including nausea, morning sickness, and motion sickness.

One reason ginger is so powerful is because it contains melatonin. Researchers are beginning to understand the value of melatonin (commonly known as the sleep hormone) in alleviating the problems associated with GERD.

Melatonin can play two crucial roles as a remedy for acid reflux:

#1 One study has shown that melatonin can regulate the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), allowing it to close properly. It is when the LES doesn’t close completely that acid escapes the stomach and harms the lining of the esophagus (creating the burning feeling in heartburn).

#2 Melatonin reduces the acidity of the stomach (without the dangerous side-effects of PPI’s), and can speed the healing of ulcers that may have developed.

4. Fennel seeds

Fennel seeds can help provide relief for people trying to wean themselves off PPI medications.

Study of the compounds in fennel seeds have shown them to have a wide variety of beneficial, medicinal properties, including the ability to act as a digestive aid.

Fennel seeds can be taken as a supplement in capsule form, although many people take it as a tea for immediate relief from symptoms (and as an ongoing method for managing their digestive health).

5. Oatmeal

Oats are a common prescription for acid reflux, and for good reason: most American breakfasts are high in sugar, high in fat, or both. Unfortunately, for those suffering from acid reflux, both sugar and fat can contribute to their symptoms.

Unlike other breakfast choices, oatmeal is a high-fiber food, which means it’s easily digested. In addition, oatmeal contains a number of beneficial compounds which…

  • Aid in digestion.
  • Reduce the acidity of the stomach.
  • Heal the lining of the esophagus.

If you’re not used to having oatmeal for breakfast, and are concerned about needing extra preparation time in your mornings, here are two options for getting your oatmeal ready overnight: a slow cooker method and a no-cook method.

Freeing yourself from the daily pill can seem daunting, but ultimately will result in better long-term health.

Instead of covering up your symptoms with medication, solve the issues that are causing your acid reflux. Heal your digestive system naturally and without the negative side-effects of dangerous pharmaceutical drugs.

Enroll in the Cure Your Acid Reflux Program to discover how you can find relief from  your acid reflux symptoms.