Constant Heartburn

August 30, 2011

Constant Heartburn

If you are one of the many people who suffer from constant heartburn, you can experience some relief simply by making a few changes to your diet. This includes re-evaluating your food choices, as well as establishing some new eating habits.

Certain foods can trigger heartburn in one of two ways:
(1) They irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing that familiar burning sensation in your chest.
(2) They encourage the sphincter muscle between the stomach and the esophagus to open wider, which enables stomach acid to travel upwards.

Common trigger foods include: acidic items such as citrus fruits, tomatoes and vinegar. In general, high-fat foods can cause heartburn because they take longer to digest and require more stomach acid production. Many people are sensitive to coffee, chocolate and other products that contain caffeine. A number of heartburn sufferers also identify alcohol as a trigger. Keeping a food diary and pinpointing specific foods that are problematic can help you avoid constant heartburn.

Heartburn can be caused not only by eating certain types of foods, but also by preparing them in a particular way. For instance, you should avoid cooking with heavy oils, due to their fat content, and nutrition experts recommend grilling, baking or broiling foods rather than frying them. These healthier cooking methods can help you prevent the discomfort of heartburn.

If you suffer from constant heartburn, try to include the following types of foods in your diet:

  • Low-fat foods, including dairy products. Stay away from high-fat items like cheese and ice cream, which can trigger heartburn. Seafood, lean meats and poultry are also suggested low-fat alternatives.
  • Foods that are rich in fiber, such as beans, brown rice and high-fiber pastas. Whole-grain breads and cereals also provide beneficial amounts of fiber when eaten regularly.
  • Non-citrus fruits, including apples, bananas and pears. You can eat fruit on its own, or you can incorporate it into healthy recipes. For example, replacing oil with applesauce is a popular method of making certain dishes lower in fat and healthier overall.
  • Most vegetables are considered safe, although some people are sensitive to raw onions and garlic. Cooking these items could help you prevent heartburn symptoms.

Making healthier food choices is only one factor when trying to prevent heartburn. Along with modifying your diet, you should also consider changing some related eating habits. For example, many people routinely overeat at meals. This in itself can trigger heartburn, so it may help to eat smaller meals, five or six times a day. You should not lie down immediately after eating or eat just before going to bed. Doing so will not give you the chance to digest your meal properly. Finally, drinking more water throughout the day can help reduce stomach acid production.

Of course, dietary modifications alone might not be enough to cure constant heartburn, which can be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux. GERD is potentially more serious than mild heartburn and should be evaluated by a physician. For more information on the causes and cures for heartburn be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at today!

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