There are certain combinations we know can lead to disastrous consequences.
Oil and fire. Alcohol and painkillers. Toddlers and Sharpies.
If you have been diagnosed with acid reflux, you may already be aware of the particular foods you need to avoid to prevent a flare-up of symptoms.
Sure, there’s a whole market of products that have been developed to ease symptoms after they appear, but the best thing you can do for your health and well-being is to avoid experiencing them in the first place.
It can be a difficult adjustment at first to stay away from certain foods or beverages that may have been a staple in your pre-GERD or acid reflux life.
From grapefruits to coffee, French fries to hamburgers, as much as you miss consuming them, it’s never worth the heartburn and indigestion you feel afterwards.
In order to avoid temptation and remain healthy and comfortable, here are five strategies I recommend you use…
#1 Avoid certain food establishments.
The fact is, there are certain cuisines and types of restaurants that will have a larger selection of trigger foods and limited options for what you can viably eat.
There are three primary restaurant types I generally recommend you bypass when you go out for a meal…
- Fast Food: With the amount of fried foods served up at fast food joints, it’s no wonder this is the first type of establishment on the list. Even if you weren’t living with acid reflux, it’s common wisdom to avoid fast food if you want to live with optimal health.
- Italian Food: Acidic fruits and vegetables like tomatoes are culprits in igniting acid reflux. Unfortunately, tomatoes are a staple food in pizzas and pasta, which tends to make up most of the menu at Italian restaurants.
- Chinese Food: Although Chinese food doesn’t usually fall into the “fast food” category, a lot of Chinese dishes tend to be fried. From General Tsao’s Chicken to Egg Rolls, it’s hard to find items that haven’t been cooked in this way.
If you do end up at these types of restaurants, I suggest you see if they have any fresh salad options. That way you can still eat at the establishment, but won’t feel regret down the line.
#2 Become your own chef.
One of the most empowering things you can do if you have a chronic condition–like acid reflux–that affects your diet is to learn to cook for your specific digestive needs.
Cooking meals at home can be fun and allows you to have an “out of sight, out of mind” approach when it comes to avoiding trigger foods.
There’s a host of food blogs online for acid reflux sufferers that provide a wide selection of amazing recipes for foods that both taste good and make you feel at the top of your game healthwise.
Additionally, if you want to learn more about which foods to specifically avoid while cooking for your unique health needs, I recommend taking an immunoglobulin G food sensitivity test.
#3 Prevent conditions that make you crave trigger foods.
We don’t always eat because we’re hungry.
We may get excited about fried foods during a late night out with friends, or turn to pizza when we are stressed and want comfort food.
Becoming aware of what feelings and activities trigger cravings tends to make you gravitate away from inflammatory foods and allows you to take small steps to change your lifestyle and manage emotions appropriately.
#4 Be strict with yourself.
Following these rules and staying away from foods you may have been able to eat in the past with no symptoms is easier said than done. It takes discipline and requires you to be honest with yourself.
We tend to do things we know aren’t good for us, and it can be hard to remain strict about what you can and cannot do. Finding strategies to help remind yourself of your dos and don’ts is imperative in staying on the path for optimal health.
#5 Find healthy alternatives to trigger foods.
There are plenty of delicious and healthy foods that can replace the trigger foods you have turned to in the past.
For example, green tea can replace your coffee fix. In moderation, roasted and salted nuts can give you that satisfying salty taste you may be craving as opposed to French fries.
My recommendation is to stop indulging in foods that cause your symptoms to flare up and using band-aid solution medications such as antacids or H2 blockers.
To ensure that your health thrives and that you don’t experience the discomfort of those burning symptoms, try and begin to incorporate these suggestions into your lifestyle.
If you’re looking for a way to ease your acid reflux symptoms, join the Cure Your Acid Reflux Program to gain the knowledge, tools, and support you need to restore your health and ease your GERD.