If you’ve ever had a tickle in your throat or perhaps have felt some dryness or mild irritation, you might have thought not much of it. Perhaps the weather is dry, you are thirsty or you’ve chocked it up to allergies. Albeit benign, this could be a sign of acid reflux. If it happens more often and you start to notice more issues with your throat, including but not limited to a “lump sensation” and/or throat burn, it’s best to consult your doctor.
Left untreated, acid reflux can only get worse. Did you know 20 percent of people with acid reflux will develop GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)? And up to 10 percent of those with GERD will develop Barrett’s esophagus, putting them at a greater risk for developing esophageal cancer. Sadly not everyone with this issue is treating with their diet. Meds may be necessary, but pill-popping without managing your food intake won’t help you in the long run. Your diet and when/how you eat is certainly as important as your meds. But just because you can’t eat spicy foods or enjoy citrus or caffeine doesn’t mean your meals have to be bland or that you can’t enjoy a good treat (see my recipe below).
Here are some guidelines for managing acid reflux:
- Eat smaller portions.
- Avoid spicy foods, citrus, mint, coffee and other sources of caffeine (including chocolate), sugars and excess fat.
- Eat foods that are less acidic, a PH of 5.6 or above.
- Eat slowly.
- Leave plenty of room between meals, approximately 3-4 hours.
- Don’t eat 3-4 hours before going to bed (and elevate the head of your bed).
- Take your medications every day and, if necessary, take an antacid between meals. Your proton pump inhibitor, or PPI — the group of drugs that reduce stomach acid — takes time to work and an antacid can help in the interim.
- Drink plenty of water throughout your day: 8-10 glasses
And now for an acid-watcher friendly recipe:
Carob Date Bread
Serves 16 thin slices
- 1 ¾ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- ¼ cup carob powder
- 1 tablespoon date syrup
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 5 eggs
- Grease and flour a baking pan (you can use coconut flour).
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Combine almond meal, flaxseed, coconut flour, carob powder, coconut oil, date syrup, baking soda, apple cider vinegar and sea salt into a food processor and process until well combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time, pulsing after each addition, until well blended.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Cover with foil and bake another 10 minutes until firm but moist. Do not overcook.