Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Dr. Jorge, author of the best-selling health and cook book, The Acid Reflux Solution, offers advice, information, and even a few recipes to help you live a better life, without sacrificing any of its great pleasures.See all posts »
Summertime Tips: Avoiding Heartburn, Part 2
In my last blog I spoke about the entrée portion of a BBQ, but what about the sides? In many instances these are much more dangerous for your GERD—let’s look at some of the most popular.
Foods to Avoid: Corn
The funny thing about this “vegetable” is that it’s actually a grain. Corn is a domesticated grass. Its wild cousin looks nothing like your image of corn stalks as high as an elephant’s eye —you could walk past it and never know the two were related!
The corn you buy at the supermarket is starchy, high in sugar and not of particular nutritional value. However, the fact that it is high in fiber will help the rest of what you eat leave the stomach quickly. Remember, fiber makes the stomach empty, and therefore reduces your chance of experiencing acid reflux. However, if you soak it in butter, all bets are off! If you are trying to lose weight, you could make wiser, more nutritious choices: arugula, spinach, cabbage, artichokes, or asparagus. Go green when looking to balance your summer meals.
Foods to Add: Watermelon
Watermelon is actually one thing you’d want on your plate on a hot summer day— with mass of a melon being 92% water, eating it can even help prevent dehydration. It is also high in fiber, which will cut down on digestive troubles such as GERD or frequent trips to the bathroom. Researchers have found the antioxidant lycopene (which gives watermelons their reddish hue) can reduce the risk of heart attacks and cancer. It also has a low glycemic index number, which means your blood sugar won’t spike and crash. It is also high in vitamin A and vitamin C. Some food for thought – watermelon can be more than a sweet treat. In Asia, the rind (the white portion your mom told you never to eat because it caused an upset stomach) is stir-fried and pickled. It can also be made into preserves or juiced as well.
The key here is to have sides that are as natural as possible. If you are going to make a summer “salad” stay away from fatty mayonnaise, and think instead of using flavorful oils like olive or sesame. These options are better for your digestion and have fewer calories, and skipping the mayo can also decrease the risk of getting food poisoning, most of which occurs due to Staph aureus growing in high carbohydrate mixtures that have been left in the sun for too long.
Check back later this week for more summer time tips — in my next blog I will give you a great recipe for a delicious summer chicken salad alternative!
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Summer Time Tips: Avoiding Heartburn, Part I