New study links the Mediterranean diet to reduced reflux symptoms
Consuming a plant-based Mediterranean diet and drinking alkaline water may be just as effective at controlling reflux symptoms as conventional medication, according to a new study published Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.
Researchers examined the symptoms of two groups of patients with laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), a disease where the contents of the stomach and upper digestive tract can reflux all the way up the esophagus, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. Symptoms of LPR include a sensation of burning, a bitter taste, or the feeling of something stuck in the back of the throat, the group adds.
The study examined two groups of patients as one group took conventional drugs known as proton-pump inhibitors, and the other group adhered to a plant-based Mediterranean diet supplemented with alkaline water. The researchers found that in the 184 patients they studied, there was a minimal difference in the symptoms of the two groups after six weeks.
Although the study examined a relatively small number of patients, the findings suggest that the effect of traditional medication on reducing reflux symptoms were not significantly better than that of the dietary and alkaline water approach, according to ABC News Chief Medical Contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton.
Ashton added that some other foods that are thought to lower reflux symptoms include vegetables, fruits, grilled fish and chicken, nuts and whole grains. Ashton advises minimizing your intake of coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, fried and greasy foods, soda, chocolate and dairy products, if you are trying to lower your reflux symptoms.
Mediterranean Diet 101: A Meal Plan and Beginner’s Guide
The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional foods that people used to eat in countries like Italy and Greece back in the year 1960.
Researchers noted that these people were exceptionally healthy compared to Americans and had a low risk of many killer diseases.
Numerous studies have now shown that the Mediterranean diet can cause weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and premature death.
A Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan
There is no one “right” way to do this diet. There are many countries around the Mediterranean sea and they didn’t all eat the same things.
This article describes the diet that was typically prescribed in the studies that showed it to be an effective way of eating.
Consider all of this as a general guideline, not something written in stone. The plan can be adjusted to individual needs and preferences.
- Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.
- Eat in moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.
- Eat only rarely: Red meat.
- Don’t eat: Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.