The Acid Reflux Solution- A cookbook and lifestyle guide for Healing Heartburn Naturally
By Jorge E. Rodriguez with Susan Wyler, MPH, RD
This book appealed to me instantly as it is written by a Doctor and Gastroenterologist whom himself suffered from reflux. More excitingly he combined the biomedical model of health with a more functional holistic look as he discusses lifestyle factors. Finally, culminating in a unique partnership with a chef first who then studied to be a dietitian to write delicious low acid recipes.
Dr Rodriguez starts explaining the science and alarming stats 44% people suffer reflux at least once a week. He openly discloses the detriments of long term prescription medicines most of which state never to be taken for more than 50 days.
I was horrified as he detailed the consequences of the following medications:
–Buffers: over the counter oral antacids (Ex Mylanta, rolaids) – contain calcium and if popped a couple of times a day can flood blood vessels with mineralised calcium – too much possibly contributing to heart attacks and fractures.
–Histamine-2 or H2 blockers (Ex Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac) – interrupt signal for the stomach to secret acid from 1 to 12 hours these interfere with other medications.
–Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs (Ex Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid) – shut down acid secretion pathway source/pure acid effects lasting for 24hrs to 3 days. Yet stomach acid is needed to break down food so the small intestine can absorb nutrients needed. Hence minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium cannot be absorbed without the presence of acid. Further B vitamins and B12 can only be taken into the body by intrinsic factor is shut down by protein pump inhibitors. Hence adversely again affecting the gut microbiome.
His solution is refreshing includes a program of three parts which I will summarise briefly:
- modifying your lifestyle
- raise the head of your bed (minimum 30 degrees)
- eat less and more often
- drink before and after meals not during
- chew your food well
- loosen your belt
- sit up straight when eating
- eat slowly
- remember gravity
- don’t eat within 3 hours of bedtime
- move it or lose it (minimum 2 ½ hours exercise a week)
- reduce stress
- quit smoking and cut back on alcohol
- eating to avoid reflux
- Eating too much at a time triggers reflux and detrimental to weight gain.
- Foods measured to increase stomach acid to avoid include;
- Mint and anything with mint oil
- Saturated fat
- Processed meats (bacon and bologna)
- Deep fried foods
- Carbonated beverages
- Any type coffee
- Natural foods are best foods
- Higher fibre as it promotes regularity and less constipation
- Drink enough water
- Walk enough
- Foods that aid digestion
- Ginger – fresh, dried, pickled or glaceed(candied) – increases motility speeds up passage of food from stomach to small intestine
- Fennel – relieves bloating
- reducing medication
- to avoid your bodies ability to absorb essential minerals like iron and calcium. If taking for longer than 6 weeks speak to doctor of intentions to get off and make some serious lifestyle changes.
Some Examples of Recipes
- Mediterranean Chickpea crepes
- Black bean and corn salsa with cilantro and lime
- Mushroom polenta tart
- Soups: Garden vegetable/ Fennel-scented lentil soup/cauliflower and watercress soup
- Spanish chicken and rice
- Moroccan spiced pork loin with apricots and chickpeas
- Almond polenta cake
- Banana pudding
- Apple coffee cake
- Apple pear fig turnovers
- Coconut flan
Overall, I am totally blown away to finally find a solution to reflux that looks at people as a whole. I encourage anyone on any type of reflux medication to speak to their doctor with an aim to reduce/cease these as soon as safely possible.