GERD Awareness Week

GERD Awareness Week is this month and actually falls on the week of Thanksgiving. I guess it’s appropriate since that’s when almost everyone has experienced at least a twinge of heartburn. GERD is an acronym for gastroesophageal reflux disease, more commonly known as heartburn. Approximately 10-20% of Americans experience GERD and the majority of those people are 50-70 years old.

If you are experiencing heartburn or GERD, you probably already have a list of foods to avoid. But do you have a list of what to eat?

Here is a list of foods that are packed with nutrients needed to help to heal your gut:

Seven foods that can help to decrease GERD:
1. Green leafy vegetables, along with other vegetables, are naturally low in fat and sugar and help balance stomach acid. Options include green beans, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, lettuce, potatoes, and cucumbers.
2. Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s a natural treatment for heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems. You can add grated or sliced ginger root to recipes or smoothies or drink ginger tea to ease symptoms.
3. Oatmeal is a breakfast favorite, a whole grain, and an excellent source of fiber. Oatmeal is soothing to the lining of the stomach and esophagus. Whole grain rice can also help.
4. Non-citrus fruits such a melons, bananas, apples, and pears.
5. Lean meats like grilled, broiled, baked, and poached chicken, turkey, fish, and seafood are low-fat and reduce symptoms of acid reflux.
6. Egg whites are an option, but ignore the yolks as they are high in fat and may trigger reflux symptoms.
7. Healthier fats such as avocados, walnuts, flax seed, olive oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil. Reduce your intake of saturated fats and trans fats, and replace them with these healthier unsaturated fats.

If your reflux is chronic or persistent, talk to Dr. Melissa or any of the doctors at FCNM. There are many naturopathic treatments for GERD and acupuncture can also be helpful.

Adapted from <http://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/diet-nutrition#Helpfulfoods5>