When it comes to defining it Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a disease that occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus and even the mouth. It is a known fact that normally the esophagus has a muscle, called the lower esophageal sphincter, which closes it tightly to prevent the stomach acid from flowing back to the esophagus. Sometimes when the muscle is weakened stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. An amazing fact is that the stomach is designed such that it can handle the strong gastric juices needed for digestion of food, but the esophagus is not and when the stomach contents flow back to the esophagus then the acid corrodes the walls of the esophagus resulting in pain for the patient.
Certain foods aggravate this condition and need to be avoided and some foods help patients manage the effects of the condition. Most diet guides focus on foods to avoid but rarely do any guides show people suffering from GERD what food they can take to help alleviate the symptoms of GERD.
It is important to state that foods that should be added to the diet include the following: pineapple, papaya, iodized salt and Omega-3 fatty acids. The truth is that pineapples contain bromelain and papaya contains papain, which are natural proteases that help break down proteins. These hormones take over the function of pepsin, which is produced in very acidic conditions in the stomach and thus papaya and pineapples are recommended for those patients that are on acid reduction treatment and they may find digestion of proteins difficult. It is amazingly true that adding pineapples and papaya into the diet can alleviate some of the symptoms that come with protein indigestion such as pain.
Contrary to popular dietary recommendations salt is a good thing people suffering from GERD. A majority of people are using sea salt, which has no iodine, and this can result in hypothyroidism, which is associated with acid reflux. It is important to highlight the fact that using iodized salt in food increases iodine levels, prevents and treats hypothyroidism thus reducing incidences of hyperthyroidism. If the person is contraindicated in taking salt, then the person can take iodine supplements instead of iodized salt. Apart from the extra iodine that salt intake increases it also so increases the sodium levels which helps prevents the incidences of acid reflux.
An amazing fact to state is that adding Omega-3 fatty acids in the diet has been reported to reduce the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is amazing to note that this is ironical since fish by itself is among the foods that people suffering from GERD should avoid but some people report that they can comfortably eat salmon and tuna without any adverse effects. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for boosting immunity and repairing the damage done by the stomach acid. If a person is unable to eat fish or take fish oil then they can take fish oil supplements that also have Omega-3 fatty acids.
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