The Mediterranean Diet for GERD and Acid Reflux

The Mediterranean Diet for GERD and Acid Reflux

Published on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 by Alyssa Carpenter

The Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating plan. 

It mostly focuses on plant-based food, such as whole grains, veggies, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are included as well in moderation, with red meat and sweets, and sugary beverages recommended only on occasion. 

Why is the Mediterranean diet good for you?

  • Limits saturated fats and trans fats
  • Encourages healthy unsaturated fats
  • Limits sodium
  • Limits refined carbohydrates
  • Includes foods that are high in fiber and contain antioxidants

Benefits of the Mediterranean diet:

  • Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Helps maintain a healthy body weight
  • Helps maintain healthy blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels
  • Helps with living a longer, healthy life

How the Mediterranean Diet has been helping me…

I recently went to the doctor and was told my cholesterol was high. High cholesterol runs in my family; however, since I am still young, I am working on getting it down without medicine and trying to lose weight while doing it. The doctor told me that the Mediterranean diet would be the best thing because it would help me have a balanced diet and help with getting my cholesterol down.

You may be asking what the Mediterranean Diet has to do with acid reflux and GERD. 

Well, the diet has been shown to decrease inflammation and promote a healthy digestive tract. One cross-sectional study found that adults who follow a Mediterranean diet are less likely to be affected by GERD than someone who follows a Western diet. The Western diet is low in fruits and vegetables and high in fat and sodium. Also, the Western diet is known to have higher calories and a higher fat and sugar content. 

The Mediterranean diet avoids food and drinks known to cause issues for people with acid reflux and GERD such as higher calorie and fat-containing processed meat and foods, sweets, alcohol, butter, whole-fat dairy, and sugary drinks. Avoiding these foods and beverages reduces the chances of someone being affected by acid reflux and GERD because these foods may contribute to unhealthy eating patterns leading to overeating and weight gain, as well as being well-known triggers for these conditions. 

When following the Mediterranean diet individuals have found it has helped with bloating and stomach pain and it can even improve acid reflux, and GERD symptoms.

One cohort study out of the Journal of the American Medical Association Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery identified patients with LPR who were treated with either proton pump inhibitors (PPI) and standard reflux precautions versus a plant-based, Mediterranean diet, alkaline water, and standard reflux precautions found that the medical intervention (PPI) was not significantly more effective than the dietary intervention. If you are interested in what the Recommended Intake Amounts for each food group on a Mediterranean eating plan would include, this graph is a great resource from the USDA.

Here is what a day of eating the Mediterranean Diet might look like:

Breakfast: Spinach and Egg Scramble by Vered Deleeuw at Healthy Recipe Blogs with Raspberries

Snack: Greek Yogurt

Lunch: Vegetarian Protein Bowl from EatingWell

Snack: Popcorn

Dinner: Broiled Salmon (recipe below!) with Brown Rice, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Zucchini 

Desert: Fresh Fruit


Here is a recipe of a delicious recipe you can eat on the Mediterranean Diet:



  1. Mone, I., Kraja, B., Bregu, A., Duraj, V., Sadiku, E., Hyska, J., & Burazeri, G. (2016). Adherence to a predominantly Mediterranean diet decreases the risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease: a cross-sectional study in a South Eastern European population. Diseases of the esophagus : official journal of the International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus, 29(7), 794–800. 
  2. About the buzz: The Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of gerd? Have A Plant. (n.d.). Retrieved February 4, 2023, from 
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  7. Zalvan, C. H., Hu, S., Greenberg, B., & Geliebter, J. (2017). A Comparison of Alkaline Water and Mediterranean Diet vs Proton Pump Inhibition for Treatment of Laryngopharyngeal Reflux. JAMA otolaryngology-- head & neck surgery, 143(10), 1023–1029.
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