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Four Tips for Heart Burn

Four Tips for Heart Burn

Ouch! Heartburn – if you know, you know!  It’s a burning sensation in the stomach that can extend up as far as the throat or jaw – and it can be really unpleasant. The feeling is caused by stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus.  Several things can impact its severity – stressful lifestyle, being overweight, certain medications, pregnancy, alcohol, nicotine or simply wearing clothes that are too tight are just a few. Diet, however, can also play an important role when it comes to avoiding heartburn. Here are 4 tips to help you to escape that unpleasant burning feeling after eating.

Tip 1: Choose whole grain products

Whole grains such as whole wheat bread, brown rice and whole grain pastas can help alleviate discomfort for those with heartburn.  While the refined versions of these grains may cause heartburn research has found that fiber-rich options have an inverse relationship with these symptoms.  Meaning that as fiber in grains goes up, acid reflux symptoms will go down! 

Tip 2: Limit high fat and spicy foods

You may have noticed that you are more likely to get heartburn after very rich meals. Greasy and spicy meals literally upset the stomach and can be a cause of heartburn. Choose high-quality oils, such as olive, avocado or flaxseed oil more often and choose leaner cuts of meat and fish such as chicken breast or cod.  Low-fat dairy products can also be easier to tolerate if you have heartburn.

Tip 3: Pay attention to protein

Protein can help if you frequently suffer from heartburn. Early studies found that eating more protein helps to increase lower esophageal sphincter (LES) tension, in turn allowing it to close more effectively. Protein-rich foods include eggs, lentils, beans, poultry and fish.

Tip 4: Keep an eye on your intake of acidic foods

You may not even realize it, but foods such as carbonated drinks, juices, some fruit (citrus fruits and tomatoes), some fermented dairy products and vinegar are acidic. Luckily, there are plenty of basic, more alkaline options such as:  apples, bananas, lettuce, carrots, cucumber or spinach, to name just a few. Chocolate is also known to be a trigger for heartburn.  Cocoa tends to be acidic, combined with its high fat content can encourage the LES to relax and causing acid reflux! 



Published November 1, 2021

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