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Natural Remedies for Managing GERD

Various high fiber foods are grouped together on a gray marbled background.

If you’ve been diagnosed with GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, you aren’t alone. About 20% of the population experiences this acid reflux condition, which is diagnosed by a doctor.1 Other symptoms include chest pain, nausea and trouble swallowing.2 While medical treatment for GERD may be necessary for some, many people look to natural remedies for acid reflux to manage their symptoms at home.2

Adopt a GERD Diet

The foods you eat can play a huge role in controlling the symptoms of chronic acid reflux, which makes changing your diet the first line of defense against GERD.1 Thankfully, there are plenty of foods that actively help prevent acid reflux and can help treat your symptoms naturally.1

  • High-fiber foods make you feel full, so you’re less likely to eat until you’re stuffed, and may help prevent acid reflux.1 Try whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal, root vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots and green veggies like asparagus and broccoli.1
  • Low acid foods have a higher pH and are less likely to cause acid reflux.1 The range of pH is thought to extend from 0 to 14, with a pH of 7 being completely neutral.4 Foods with a pH of greater than 4.6 are defined as low-acid foods.4 Bananas are a common low-acid option with a pH of 4.5-5.2, as are melons (Watermelon has a pH of 5.18-5.6), turkey (pH of 5.7-6.8) and even graham crackers (pH of 7.0-8.5).1,4,5
  • Watery foods can dilute and weaken stomach acid due to their elevated water content.1 Choose cucumbers, celery and watermelon for the greatest benefits, but brothy soups are a great option, too.1

Avoid Trigger Foods

Just as there are foods that can help your heartburn, there are those that can trigger it, which is why they’re commonly known as trigger foods.1,2 These culprits can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax and allow stomach acid to seep out, delaying the digestive process by letting food sit longer in the stomach.1 The most common trigger foods are those high in salt, fat and spice:1,2

  • Pizza
  • Processed snacks like potato chips
  • Fried food
  • Fast food
  • Cheese
  • Fatty meats

There are other trigger foods and drinks as well:1,2

  • Mint
  • Tomatoes and tomato-based sauces
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Chocolate
  • Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Onions and garlic

If you eat these kinds of foods regularly and are experiencing heartburn, try eliminating them from your diet to see if it makes a difference.2 Something as simple as avoiding the food that causes your acid reflux is one of the simplest home remedies for GERD.

Natural Treatment for Acid Reflux

While there are foods that can prevent heartburn and foods that can cause heartburn, there are also food that may offer relief from heartburn!1

  • Ginger is considered an excellent digestive aid because it eases irritation in the digestive tract.1 It’s also a low acid food, which helps to neutralize acid.1
  • Frequent sips of water may help clear acid from your lower esophagus and calm a GERD-induced cough. Try a sip or two every 15 minutes.3

Change How You Eat

What you eat when you have GERD is may affect your reflux, but how you eat also plays an important role in the frequency and severity of your heartburn.2 Not only should you eat slowly, but you should avoid overeating, as this can put pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter.2 You may want to try eating multiple small meals throughout the course of the day, rather than three large meals.2

Another tip to manage your GERD symptoms is to stay upright after eating and to make sure that there’s at least three hours between your last meal and bedtime.2 When you’re upright, gravity helps to keep your stomach acid where it belongs, but when you lie flat, it can seep out and irritate your esophagus.2

While not exactly a natural remedy for acid reflux, you can use Nexium 24HR to treat frequent heartburn. Although Nexium 24HR isn’t intended for immediate heartburn relief (it may take 1-4 days for full effect), it provides long-lasting heartburn relief; check the label for full dosing instructions.

If you have more questions about heartburn, check out our YouTube page at NEXIUM24HR - YouTube!

Source Citations:

  1. GERD Diet: Foods That Help with Acid Reflux (Heartburn). Johns Hopkins Medicine. Accessed 10/11/23.
  2. 9 at-home treatments for acid reflux. Harvard Health Publishing. Accessed 10/11/23.
  3. Frequent Sips of the Water for the Management of Gastroesophageal Reflux Induced Refractory Cough: A Case Report and Review of the Literature. Accessed 01/05/24.
  4. Food Technology Fact Sheet. Oklahoma State University Food & Agricultural Products Center. Accessed 1/18/24.
  5. pH Values of common Foods and Ingredients. Clemson University. Accessed 1/18/24.