Foods that are high in fiber and protein, low in fat and low in acid are beneficial in managing gastroesophageal reflux disease. Health magazine particularly recommends oatmeal, applesauce, pasta, beans and ginger as helpful in reducing GERD. Lean meats such as chicken breasts, beef sirloin and fish are also good.
GERD can be triggered by meals that contain too much fat or are too acidic. It can also be triggered by large meals and lying down too soon after a meal. GERD is often associated with obesity, which puts extra pressure on the stomach.
Specific foods that can trigger GERD include citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato sauce, salsa, chocolates, spicy foods, onions and garlic. Coffee, tea, caffeinated beverages, carbonated beverages and alcohol are also common culprits. Some people with GERD may have poor responses to some of these foods, but not to others, so keeping a food diary can help identify foods associated with GERD attacks.
People with GERD should avoid self-medication with peppermint and its close relatives. While peppermint is a good natural remedy for indigestion and bloating, it acts by relaxing the muscles of the stomach and intestines, including the sphincter at the top of the stomach that normally blocks stomach acid from passing back up into the esophagus. Better herbs for natural relief of GERD include liquorice, marshmallow and turmeric.