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Alkaline Diet Plan: A Possible Remedy for Persistent Heartburn?

Video Transcript:

20% of the US population deals with this one gut issue on a daily basis. What is it? Persistent heartburn or known as gerd or even just acid reflux.

Acid reflux is when you have acid from your stomach that flows back into tear esophagus, which gives you that burning sensation and also that discomfort you feel.

Now if you struggle with acid reflux or gerd, you know how this affects you in your daily life and not only with your daily activities, but also just disrupting your digestion in general as well as compromising a good night of sleep.

Oftentimes, people are put on something called a proton pump inhibitor, which is a common medication that nearly 25% of the population is on.

So the question that we're going to go over today, is there a different way?

Is there a different way that we can help support your symptoms and get you to having reduced GERD, reduced acid reflux and a healthier gut?

My name is Marcie Vaske and I'm a functional nutritionist with Oswald Digestive Clinic, where I do see a lot of individuals who struggle on a daily basis with acid reflux GERD and are just really struggling with those symptoms.

And as well, we see all sorts of people who struggle with bloating, gas, constipation.

And so I'm going to link our website down below where you can easily make an initial appointment.

And I'm also going to add in there a free guide, which is 5 ways to improve your gut health. So if you're just looking for some extra information and just some little tidbits on how to keep your gut happy, that's going to be the free guide for you.

So let's jump back into what we're going to discuss today, which is a possible remedy that can help with GERD acid reflux, which is known as the alkaline diet plan.

The Alkaline Diet Plan - what is it?

Now, the alkaline diet is fairly straightforward, and what it really just focuses on is consuming foods that increase the alkalinity of your body with increasing the alkalinity of your body that helps to reduce the acidity of the stomach and keep our pH balance where we need to have it.

And when our pH balance is looking good, then we're going to have less of those heartburn symptoms.

And what's nice about the alkaline diet is it's not anything fancy or have to get special foods. It's really just focusing on keeping in plenty of fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins, and that way will it support that alkalinity of your body.

What foods to avoid on the alkaline diet?

The tricky part comes in is if you're consuming a lot of processed foods or high sugar foods, those kinds of things are really going to just imbalance that pH in our body, creating more acidity and then creating more symptoms.

So if you are eating a lot of packaged processed things like chips or cookies or breads, then at times you're going to have more symptoms.

So the way that the alkaline diet works is that it increases the alkalinity of your body, balancing out that acidity of your body.

And we know we need a proper pH to have a healthy balance. Now, it's not just directed to the stomach. Your whole body can be either acid or more alkaline. And so we need to have that balance.

What foods to include on the alkaline diet?

And so by consuming these foods that are higher and alkaline just naturally, you start to, your body starts to come back into better balance and you begin having less symptoms from heartburn reflux, gerd.

Now, as you might guess, just from the nature of the diet alone of what we're talking about, adding more vegetables and fruits and good proteins in there, that's going to be a lot of potential to putting an alkaline diet together for yourself.

But one of the things that the alkaline diet can really help with is reducing the inflammation that's in our esophagus.

Because if you've been dealing with gerd acid reflux for an extended period of time, sometimes we can get an inflamed esophagus, which then is going to can slowly get worse and worse, and the tissues in there just have less integrity.

And so by bringing in those healthy foods and getting better alkaline or better pH balance, that's going to reduce the inflammation.

Now, of course, just alone by adding in fruits and vegetables and healthy proteins, that alone is going to make you healthier overall.

But gut wise, what is great for that is that it also supports our microbiome. Now, our microbiome is the little epicenter of bacteria that's in our intestinal tract, and we need to have a lot of diversity in our microbiome. When we lack diversity, we often have a lot of gut symptoms.

And so by increasing the foods that I just chatted about, vegetables, fruits, proteins, that's going to give your body or your microbiome a lot more diversity.

So you may be thinking now, okay, well I am dealing with some heartburn, some acid reflux, maybe my pH is off.

What foods do I need to add in to improve acid reflux?

And it's easy things. Like I said, it's things that you already probably have in your house adding in plenty of higher alkaline foods like bananas or melons or lean proteins like Turkey, chicken, fish, and as well as some healthy whole grains like quinoa or wild rice.

Those things are all going to help bring down that acidity in the body and therefore acidity in the stomach.

So just a typical meal that could be all very good for an alkaline diet would be a little bit of chicken, maybe four or five ounces of chicken on your plate with a side of broccoli because broccoli is a nice high alkaline food, as well as then maybe having that half a cup or so of some quinoa.

And that's a beautiful meal, easy to make, and it's going to bring down heartburn or acid reflux symptoms.

So now you have a little idea of what to add in to help support a better pH balance in the body.

But there are things or are foods that we want to avoid or greatly limit until symptoms disappear.

You may be off your medications and then you can always try again. But specifically foods like spicy foods or highly acidic foods like coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, and definitely processed foods.

And so if you're feeling like, well, some of that stuff is in my daily diet, I'm having persistent heartburn, maybe just try taking them out and I would just take it out and then add in some of these alkaline foods for a while and just see how you feel.

I can guarantee you're going to feel better that way in the way of just bringing down inflammation and reducing that chronic heartburn and discomfort that you feel.

What lifestyle changes can help heartburn?

And there's going to be a few things.

Number one, after you eat, don't lay down.

So if you're really struggling with your uto acid reflux, you probably already hear that, already heard this and know it just from your own experience, but it's just a reminder that if you eat a meal, just don't lay down right away.

Give it like 20, 30 minutes for sure to just kind of let the body do some digestion.

In addition, you want to think about meal timing, and often people feel a little bit better when they spread their meals out throughout the day, and this won't be forever that you have to do this, but we're thinking about this alkaline diet as a healing aspect.

And so with that, you'd want to do few small meals.

Maybe it's a small breakfast, you have a little morning snack, you have a little smaller lunch, an afternoon snack, and then a smaller dinner always helps throughout the evening because when you get too full at night and you know this, if you're struggling with it, you just don't sleep as good.

And so to help promote healing, we definitely want to get better sleep.

So thinking about meal timing and meal quantity when you're about to incorporate this alkaline diet.

Exercise and acid reflux

Now, something else that's going to be really helpful in just helping with your symptoms is going to be regular exercise, and it doesn't need to be some grandiose thing.

It can simply be moving, going for a walk, moving around the house in kind of a manner or that's fasting, gets your heart rate up. Finding YouTube videos that you can do at home because I know this time of year, it's not like you want to go outside for a run or a walk.

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It's pretty chilly out. But getting that regular movement is going to help your body digest better. All of the systems in your body work better, and then in addition, you'll get some weight loss and obesity or being overweight does contribute to more heartburn symptoms.

And so by losing some weight, oftentimes we can reduce those symptoms just by doing that.

So what are some tips on implementing the alkaline diet?

I talked about the foods you can eat, the foods you should avoid, some maybe little lifestyle changes to be thinking about, but as you're thinking, well, I think I'm going to try the alkaline diet, you can do it gradually, so it doesn't have to be an all or nothing kind of situation.

You can take out some of those acidic foods first, some foods to avoid. Maybe you start taking out the tomatoes and then you start taking out if your coffee reducing or eliminating alcohol and just seeing, okay, how does that feel?

And then moving into adding in more of those alkaline foods like the melons and the apples and the vegetables like kale and broccoli and all the healthy proteins.

And I think it's helpful as well to kind of when you're going into a new diet per se, is to maybe write out some meal plans, be specific about what you need so that you have it on hand at the house and also so you can cook it and it's a healthy meal for you.

And reducing those symptoms because sometimes if we're not planning and preparing for this stuff, we end up going back to bad habits and then we end up with the symptoms again.

I also encourage people oftentimes to

Keep a food journal,

and sometimes this feels a little bit overwhelming or just kind of monotonous, but when you're doing a specific kind of diet to help a gut symptom, it's so informational for you.

If you just write down the foods that you ate through the day, it doesn't have to be perfect, but at least you know what you ate so that if you have a symptom, you can look back and say, okay, everything was about the same. I had this. That could be more of a trigger. I need to take it out. And that way you have more data.

The more data you have, the better you can control your symptoms as your body is healing.

And of course, I always encourage people too that if you're really struggling trying to figure out to do with your persistent heartburn, meet with myself or my colleague, we work with people with GERD and acid reflux on a daily basis. So lots of good tips there to help you overcome this and get off the medications that might be causing more symptoms.

So just to kind of wrap this up, it's really about being mindful and consistent with your food choices and your lifestyle choices.

But when you're going into thinking, okay, I'm going to do the alkaline diet, be a little bit methodical about it so that you know what is creating a trigger for you or what triggers are creating the symptoms as well as what feels really good because it can be different for everybody.

So thinking about taking out those acidic and processed foods are going to be huge. I would definitely do that first.

Then adding in those naturally alkaline foods, lean proteins, good vegetables, broccoli, kale, and also good fruits like apples, melons, bananas, and those grains of quinoa and wild rice. Those things are going to support you not only your heartburn or GERD symptoms, but also your whole microbiome and your digestion in general.

So I hope that helped you kind of think about a different way to treat or to be proactive with your heartburn symptoms.

There's so many things we can do, and I always think anytime we have a symptom in our body, it's just our body trying to tell us something.

So we need to listen. Instead of covering it up, we need to figure out what the root cause is.

Thanks for joining me today. Click the subscribe button below and we'll see you next week.

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If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic.  We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.

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Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH  


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