Diet Recommendations to relieve heartburn and GERD

If you suffer from heartburn and GERD, it is likely that you are also at an increased risk for more serious conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. The best way to start treating frequent heartburn and acid reflux is through diet. Follow these simple tips to start relieving pain today:

1. Say no to junk food.

Not only is junk food bad for your health, the typical junk food meal is loaded heartburn triggers. Buttery cookies, high-fat brownies, chocolate candy, donuts, and fried chips are a recipe for disaster. Pizza slices, slathered in melted cheese, tomato sauce and pepperoni are filled with fats and acids—a definite no-go.

2. Cut out caffeine.

Caffeinated beverages can also trigger acid reflux, so cut out the soda habit and drink more water, or choose an herbal, caffeine-free tea. You don’t have to completely eliminate caffeine, but reducing your intake to a small cup of coffee in the morning or one diet soda a day will make a big difference.

3. Re-think spicy.

Spicy foods rich in peppers and hot sauces can cause heartburn. Even peppermint, which is a cool spice, may relax the lower esophagus, and lead to heartburn. You can still enjoy your favorite curry; just dial down the heat a little bit. Try skipping the additional hot sauce in your chili. Remember, there are other ways to add flavor to foods that don’t require a four-alarm fire.

4. Write it down.

Everyone is different, so what triggers heartburn for you may not trigger it for someone else. Keep a food journal and record what you eat, when you eat it, how much you eat—and whether you experienced heartburn. This will help you identify diet habits that you need to change.

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