In this article I want to explain to you what a weekly menu suitable for a person suffering from hiatus hernia and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) should be like and I will share with you a weekly menu . I will also explain what foods and habits to avoid and which ones to promote.
What are the symptoms of someone with gastroesophageal reflux?
If you experience heartburn, trouble swallowing, bad breath, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, a dry cough, or trouble breathing , you likely have gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known by its acronym GERD. Among the most common causes of GERD are:
- Hiatal hernia: part of the stomach passes through the diaphragm into the chest area
- Problems with the cardia (sphincter)
- Abdominal obesity, tobacco and alcohol
How is GERD diagnosed?
The diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux is made through the questionnaire known by the acronym GERDQ to find out how often the mentioned symptoms occur. If there is vomiting, bleeding or malnutrition, they will surely ask for a gastroscopy . There you can see if there is a hiatal hernia or not. You could also have two other diagnostic tests: phmetry and manometry (sphincter pressure)
What does the treatment consist of?
Regarding treatment, the first thing that is indicated is the improvement of habits and probably some specific medication. You can get more information about these symptoms and by reading other content on the Alimmenta website .
Before starting with my recommendations for your menu, it is important to point out that these are general guidelines that will guide you but do not replace a personalized guideline, since they do not take into account the particular characteristics of your pathologies, or your preferences or schedules, that is, I mean, it doesn’t consider your particular reality.
What foods should you avoid if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux?
It is advisable to avoid pastries, sausages, fried foods, batters, sauces due to excess fat, spicy foods, chocolate and caffeine, as they are stimulants and because caffeine also does not favor the sphincter to close properly.
It is also necessary to avoid carbonated drinks and excessive amounts of food, that is, abundant dishes, because they will favor reflux and from there, it is necessary to assess what individually may or may not suit you: such as tomato, vinegar and citrus fruits, due to their acidity, whole foods or flatulent vegetables, because they are not so easy to digest, mint because its action can be similar to that of coffee and also oily fish due to its fat content.
What foods should be avoided in case of GERD?
The diet should be based on fruit, vegetables, tubers, farinaceous, and if we are omnivores also fish, dairy and lean meats and eggs. You should try to include legumes, nuts, rice, pasta and wholemeal bread, and introduce them assessing the person’s digestion.
Habits to avoid and promote
It is also necessary to avoid habits such as tobacco, alcohol, dinner and immediately going to bed, and above all avoid eating excessive amounts, that is, very abundant dishes or intense exercise after eating.
On the other hand, it is advisable to promote habits such as sleeping on the left side , raising the head of the bed, having dinner 2 hours before going to sleep, using soft cooking such as boiling, oven, microwave, steam, iron (without burning), eating slowly, chewing well, make smaller portions but more distributed throughout the day.
Menu suitable for people with gastroesophageal reflux
To design this lunch and dinner menu, I have taken into account everything that I have mentioned previously and I have distributed the food in a balanced way, so that the menu includes vegetables, lean proteins and carbohydrates every day.
As you can see, it is a menu in which I have prioritized steamed, grilled, oven and microwave preparations, which are gentle forms of preparation, something key if you suffer from GERD . In addition, I have prioritized non-flatulent plant-based foods such as carrots or the aubergines. However, I have kept others such as cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, whole legumes and lettuce because the tolerance of these foods will depend on each person. I have also avoided very fatty protein sources , but I have kept some oily fish, because there are people who tolerate it well.
To complete the menu I am going to offer you desserts and snacks based on seasonal fruits or low-fat dairy products. For breakfast we could have, for example, a yogurt with oatmeal or decaffeinated coffee with milk or a vegetable drink and a toast or sandwich that can be, for example, fresh cheese, sugar-free jam or avocado.
Zucchini bechamel recipe
Ingredients: 2 courgettes, 1 onion, 250 cc of milk, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, pepper, salt and nutmeg.
Preparation: Peel and cut the vegetables into very fine pieces. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and fry until transparent. Then add the zucchini and cook 5 more minutes, while stirring. Add the milk, nutmeg, salt, pepper and cook for 20 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat, let cool and blend.
The importance of customizing menus in a dietitian-nutritionist’s office
As I mentioned at the beginning, it is a general menu and customization will be required so that it adapts to the particular needs of each person . If this is not the case, it could happen that you start to make the menu and you do not see that your symptoms improve, either because you cannot lower your abdominal perimeter or simply because the menu does not adapt to your day to day life. Therefore, if you want to obtain better results and learn to eat according to your needs, the ideal is to contact a nutritionist.