What is GERD and what are its symptoms?
GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is a digestive issue that affects the muscle between the lower esophagus and the stomach. This problem cause problems in digestion, heartburn, indigestion and sometimes a burning sensation in the throat. The symptoms may persist throughout the day or after food depending on the intensity.
How to reduce GERD symptoms?
GERD can be controlled to a large extent by making food and lifestyle changes and also by trying simple home remedies. Like any home remedy, you will have to stick on the the remedy at least for a month to start seeing significant results. Drinking lots of water is key.
Foods and herbs that can help reduce GERD
Banana is a fruit that is available all year around. This fruit is simple and soothes the stomach. For some, bananas may worsen the condition. Please try a little banana first and if it suits you, it can be used in a variety of snacks and desserts.
Water melon or cantaloupe or any other melon can be a great snack and can also reduce heart burn. Cantaloupe juice with little palm sugar can also be consumed.
Ginger tea or ginger candy can be beneficial for GERD. You can boil a few slices of ginger in water. And drink it after adding a few drops of honey. Ginger tea stimulates the production of saliva and alkalizes and by doing that helps to reduce the acid reflux.
You can also make ginger a part of your daily diet. Add grated ginger to soups, salads, gravy or any other suitable dish. While ginger in any form can help to reduce symptoms, ginger tea and ginger candy are the most effective.
Oat meal can be a very good breakfast option for those with GERD. Oatmeal is rich in fiber and is one of the few foods that your stomach can tolerate. While giving you the required energy for the day, fiber rich foods are also known to not aggravate symptoms.
Bread is another good breakfast option. Bread can be had with eggs, with milk (milk though is not the ideal drink for those suffering from GERD), non-citrus fruits like banana, apple or melon or with an egg omelette. If you make a sandwich, use low fat ingredients like lettuce and olives. Tomatoes and cheese are a definite no – no.
Aloe vera instantly cools the digestive tract and reduces heart burn. Make fresh aloe juice by following the below steps:
- Take a slice of aloe.
- Scrap the gel from the slice slowly with a spoon or knife.
- Blend it along with little parley ad water in a blender into a smooth juice.
- Drink this juice 12 or 20 minutes before food to reduce symptoms of GERD (acid reflux).
If you do not have fresh aloe, you could also buy some aloe juice from pharmacy and grocery stores. Check if it unadulterated pure aloe.
You might be tempted to add lemon while blending, but citrus fruits aren’t good for your stomach when you have GERD, so stick to just aloe.
For all digestion related problems including GERD (acid reflux), parsley is a one stop cure. The digestive enzymes present in parsley improve digestion and help to cure GERD. A tea can be made with fresh or dried parsley leaves and you can drink this once or twice a day to slowly get rid of the symptoms.
- Take a handful of parsley leaves.
- Chop them finely.
- Boil water in a vessel.
- When the water is boiling, add the chopped parsley leaves to it.
- Allow it to boil for a few more minutes.
- Switch off and allow it to cool down a bit.
- Add a few drops of honey and drink this tea while it is still warm.
You can also use dried leaves instead of fresh ones. Both will work well. You can drink the tea when it is warm.
Make a simple fennel tea to reduce GERD symptoms.
- Boil water in a vessel.
- Chop fennel and add to the boiling water.
- Allow it to boil well for 7 – 8 minutes.
- Switch off and allow it to cool.
- Strain well to get the extract.
Drink this tea twice a day to reduce GERD.
You can also add some ginger slices when preparing the fennel tea.
Lifestyle changes needed
- Those who have the habit of drinking or smoking should avoid these if they have symptoms of GERD. Both these habits aggravate the condition.
- Do not eat dinner too late or just before bed.
- Eat small portions frequently instead of three large meals.
- Reduce spicy and hot food.
- Cut down on fatty foods.
Foods to be avoided
Those with GERD should avoid the following foods
- Tomatoes and tomato sauce
- Garlic and onions
- Caffeine and Tea
- Soft drinks