Heartburn: what foods to avoid?

Heartburn, acid reflux … Several words for the heartburn that can easily ruin our lives. A healthy diet is key to avoid this. Here we have outlined the foods to eat to prevent this ailment.

What is this phenomenon of gastro-oesophageal reflux. Normally, the bolus moves through the esophagus into the stomach through a tight junction: the lower esophageal sphincter. This opens the passage for food, and then closes, preventing the backflow of gastric contents. But this mechanism is sometimes faulted, due to the relaxation of the sphincter(not shutting tightly), allowing a backflow or “reflux” of the stomach contents into the esophagus. The acidity causes burns in its wall, causing pain. Among the ways to prevent or remedy this dysfunction, dieting is a very key element.

Avoid fats

First step to improve digestion: Do not consume foods with hight percentage of fat. So take a break from thick meat, cheese and whole milk meats or other pastries. Indeed, the influx of lipids promote the relaxation of the sphincter, while increasing the acid secretions of the stomach, in case of reflux, the pain will be more intense. In addition, fats tire constrictor muscle of the stomach, hindering proper digestion. Opt for lean meats such as poultry (turkey or chicken), fish, eggs and yogurt with 0% fat.
Also attach importance to the method of preparation of the foods you consume: fried things should be avoided. Instead, choose the steam cooked, stewed or barbecued food. And take care not to spice up your dishes too. These agents can also attack the stomach lining and cause pain.

Bright pulses

Some dishes have the property of not varying the acidity of the stomach. This is the case, for example, with foods containing complex carbohydrates. Starches from cereals such as bread, pasta and brown rice does not produce any increase in the acidity of the stomach. It is the same with the fiber-rich foods, such as beans, lentils or chickpeas, which neutralize stomach acids, making these foods ideal for sufferers of gastric reflux.

Choosing the right drinks

First drinks to avoid if you suffer from heartburn: alcohol, which promotes relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter while acidifying the gastric contents. In the list of factors generating heartburn, fruit juices are also included, which can sometimes be poorly tolerated by the acidity of their constituents. In sight, of course, citrus fruits such as orange, grapefruit or lemon, but also tomatoes. In addition to these products, you should also limit consumption of beverages containing caffeine, such as cola, which is thought to increase burns. Note however that people with heartburn are we often advised to drink milk. This recommendation is only temporary and a long term solution. The milk has a temporary calming effect, but it also promotes the secretion of gastric juices. The best thing is to stick to bottled water, flat or slightly carbonated.

Generally, it is advisable to reduce the amount of food ingested: you should take some light snacks that two very large meals a day. Lying down immediately after eating can also prove to be a trigger for these pains. Finally, know that obesity is one of the factors aggravating burns, as well as the stress and smoking.

Having a healthier lifestyle is essential for proper digestion. Your stomach will thank you, and the rest of your body too!

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