Acid reflux, or commonly known as heartburn, is a burning pain in the part of your chest, usually in the area of your heart (That’s why it got its name!). The pain is stinging and burning, beginning at the breastbone then towards your throat.
Heartburn occurs when the acid in the stomach backs up to your esophagus. Regularly, sphincters, a band of muscles, keep stomach acid from back flowing to your esophagus. However, there are times when this muscle weakens or abnormally relaxes, allowing stomach acid to reflux and cause heartburn. That is why lying down or bending over may cause heartburn.
Most of the foods that cause heartburn are foods that trigger too much acid production, such as spicy, fried foods, and chocolates, as well as those acidic such as citrus fruit, vinegar, soda drinks, and coffee and caffeine beverages. Large meals may also induce acid production.
So, what’s for dinner?
People can still enjoy flavorful meals. You may want to include the following to your next dish:
Lean proteins such as chicken without skin, fish, and red meats without visible fat
Non-citrus fruits such as papaya or banana
Starchy foods like rice, potato, or oatmeal
And to make your meals with many flavors, you can use fresh herbs. Fresh herbs are non-refined and, therefore, will be less irritating if you are hypersensitive. Just be mindful of spice blends with cayenne and chili powder.
Also, two critical things to remember are to keep your meal pattern to small but frequent feeding and to avoid lying down right after eating a meal. These will keep acid production at bay and manage heartburn better.
Yet, if you feel the following, you should see a physician as dietary changes may not be enough to manage your acid reflux:
Occurs more than twice a week
Painful and difficulty in swallowing
Mouth sores and ulcers
Persistent vomiting or nausea
Sudden weight loss (maybe due to loss of appetite or difficulty of eating)