What not to eat? Avoid foods that are difficult to digest & harsh to stomach. How not to eat? Eat in excess, urgently, swallow and eat in standing.
What not to eat, which aggravates heartburn
Certain foods that are difficult to digest, heavy, toxic, gas forming foods, LES relaxing foods, reflux triggering foods, acidic foods, refined foods, food additives, and certain flavors; can trigger acid reflux as well as aggravates GERD.
1. Difficult to digest foods for people with GERD are most gluten containing grains, such as wheat, corn, barley, oats, and basmati rice. Short length rice is ok, broken rice is much more easily digestible.
2. Beware of ingredients called modified food starch, modified vegetable starch, caramel coloring, hydrolyzed vegetable starch, dextrin, malt, and maltodextrin; they are all code words for ingredients that contain gluten. Even antacids often contain fillers and binders that contain gluten.
3. Avoid heavy to digest foods such as Fatty, deep-fried, creamy foods, dairy products (such as whole milk, cheese exception yogurt), saturate fat, processed meats (such as bacon & bologna), and chocolates.
4. Stop taking gas-farming foods such as carbonated drinks, potatoes, and beans. Carbonated beverages causes burps of gas force the esophageal sphincter to open and trigger reflux.
5. Avoid GMO foods: A genetically modified organism is the laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. Most common GMO foods are soybeans, corn, rapeseed, sugar beets, dairy, and papaya.
6. Many different things relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter that include coffee or tea (whether caffeinated or not), alcohol, tobacco, and spicy foods. Alcohol (including wine and beer) consumption leads to inflammation or burps gas and puts stress on the liver.
7. Refined carbohydrates and energy drinks causes bacterial overgrowth and candida, which produces excess gas from undigested foods and acid reflux.
8. Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavor or enhance its taste and appearance. Most of these additive is not friendly to your guts additionally, enemy too.
9. In some individuals, acid-containing foods may trigger GERD symptoms. Some of such foods are tomatoes (contain citric and malic acid) and citrus fruits (such as lemon). Mostly this happens in people with ulcers on their esophagus.
10. Mint and anything containing mint oil (such as Peppermint and Spearmint) can trigger acid reflux.
11. Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt, erythritol, and maltitol generally poorly absorbed. However, can ferment by gut bacteria, potentially causing gas, bloating and acid reflux.
12. Too much of sugar: excess of sugar consumption is detrimental to overall health including GERD.
While everyone’s gut is different like their fingerprint and has different food sensitivities as well as triggers for acid reflux. Thus, take this as a reference, learn, how your body is reacting to various foods, and include/avoid accordingly.
How not to eat, which triggers heartburn
1. Do not swallow foods: Swallowing foods reduce surface contact area for the enzymes in the saliva. Swallowing lower the saliva secretion, thus proper lubricated movement of the food from mouth to stomach is affected. Low saliva secretion means low enzymes and low trigger to secrete stomach acid, thus hamper healthy digestion.
2. Do not drink with meals: Alternative medicine insist drinking lot of liquid with meals will dilute stomach acid and other secretions. Take warm water and herbal teas about half an hour before or one hour after eating.
3. Do not eat before bedtime: This is the golden rule for people with acid reflux; never eat anything for three hours before bedtime. Even eating within three hours for a single day severely make the condition worst.
4. Do not bend after food: Bend over after eating puts more pressure on stomach as well as gravity invites acid reflux and heartburn.
5. Do not eat when standing: When you are standing, gravity causes blood to pool in your legs. Your body compensates by increasing heart rate and constricting blood vessels. Still there is some drop in blood circulation to digestive system and thus digestion. In the other hand, sitting on chair or sitting cross leg improves blood circulation to digestive system and thus digestion.
6. Do not eat when upset: Our body has two brains; familiar one encased in the skull and a lesser-known important one found in the gut. The two brains are interconnected; when one gets upset, the other does, too. Thus, do not eat when you are angry, anxious, depressed, etc. Take some time to breathe deeply for few times until you feel good, and then have your food.