Millions of people know too well the painful symptoms of heartburn. This digestive disorder is marked by a burning feeling that rises up from your stomach to the throat. Keeping to a heartburn diet can bring you effective relief from this health problem.
Heartburn Diet: Foods and Beverages to Avoid
There is lots of stuff that can trigger heartburn. They may seem harmless to you but later on your stomach will tell you a huge NO. So pay close attention to your meals and get a diary to keep track of what you eat, drink and what medications you use throughout a day. Thus, if you experience the episode again, you would know exactly what causes your heartburn.
The most common heartburn triggers are:
1. Citrus fruits and juices. They are high in acid and should be a no-no. You may try substituting them with low-acid orange juice or other non-citrus juices like apple or mango.
2. Chocolate. If you have a sweet tooth, you can switch to carob (a chocolate substitute) or enjoy caffeine-free chocolate and fat-free chocolate puddings.
3. Caffeinated or carbonated drinks, such as coffee, tea, colas and other sodas. You’d better reach for caffeine-free cocoa or herbal tea. Even decaffeinated coffee can trigger heartburn.
4. Fatty or greasy foods. They are extremely hard to digest and tend to relax the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) muscle, which leads to a heartburn attack. Eliminate cheese, burgers, chicken wings, sausage, fries, etc.
5. Raw onions and garlic, tomatoes or tomato-based products, and sauces. They are acidic and high in fat, thus causing heartburn. Choose low-fat salad dressings.
6. Mint/mint oils (as found in chewing gum, breath mints, mouthwash, or toothpaste).
7. Spicy foods. Spices can irritate the lining of your stomach and trigger heartburn.
8. Alcohol. Drinking alcoholic beverages ‘ especially beer and red wine ‘ can stir up more acid and make heartburn more severe.
9. Dairy products. Due to the high content of fat, they can also trigger painful bouts. Instead, consume low-fat varieties of dairy items.
Foods & Beverages to Choose While You Are on a Heartburn Diet
Focusing on the balance of alkaline and acid in the diet is sure to improve your health. You should eliminate all beverages and foods with a pH lower than 5 for two weeks. The higher the pH, the lower the acidity. Eat more high-alkaline foods and fewer high-acid ones.
1. Oatmeal. It doesn’t cause heartburn and it is filling. Even instant oatmeal with raisins won’t do any harm because the acidity of the raisins is absorbed by the oatmeal.
2. Chicken and turkey. Poultry can be baked, boiled, grilled but never fried. The skin is high in fat and that’s why it should be removed.
3. Fish and seafood should be cooked in the same way as poultry.
4. Rice is an outstanding food for heartburn.
5. Roots and greens. Eat pretty much of asparagus, green beans, celery, parsley, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower and other greens. They are great for stomach function improvement.
6. Salads. Be sure to add low-fat dressings. NO vinegar-based or creamy dressings should be used.
7. Bananas make a nice snack and are great for heartburn sufferers, though 1% of people state bananas worsen their condition. So be aware that you may belong to this 1%.
8. Vegetables and vegetable juices (like raw carrots, potatoes, radishes, cucumbers, or beets) in big quantities.
9. Ginger. It’s one of the best foods for heartburn. Use it raw, in capsules or consume as ginger tea.
Also take pains to eat smaller meals but more often (e.g. 6 times instead of 3) and try not to eat at least 2 hours before going to bed. Overeating and sleeping on a full stomach are known to aggravate heartburn.
You can read more information about how to get rid of heartburn.