Heart burn is a common sensation experienced by people of various ages at one time or the other. Though occasional heartburn need not be considered a serious health issue, experiencing this condition frequently can be matter for concern. Characterised by a burning sensation in the chest, heart burn can cause great discomfort and sleepless nights. This problem can be avoided by making a few lifestyle changes.
Here are a few rules you need to keep in mind to avoid heart burn
Stop Eating Heavy
Heavy meals before going to bed are one of the top reasons for heart burn. Consuming too much food puts pressure on the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) and as the muscle gets weakened, it temporarily loses its ability to stop the acids from flowing in the wrong direction, triggering acid refluxes. So if you have the tendency for heartburn, think twice before stuffing yourself before going to bed.
Smoking is another key reason for heartburn. The culprit here is the nicotine in tobacco, that weakens the sphincter muscle. Inspite of following a relatively healthy diet, acid reflux can become a reccuring problem if you do not quit smoking or using other tobacco products.
Your sleeping position can alleviate your heartburn problem to a great extent. Sleep with your head raised by placing extra pillows or try raising your bed into an inclined position by placing wooden blocks. This prevents the acids from flowing back in the wrong direction. Also, sleep to your left side as lying down to the right side often results in increasing the problem of heart burn.
Say No To Alcohol
Alcohol is one of the major triggers for heartburn. Alcohol consumption not only affects the function of the Lower Esophagus Sphicter, but also induces the production of excessive acids in the stomach. hence limit your alcohol consumption and try to avoid it altogether at night time.
Caffeinated beverages like coffee and soft-drinks can also contribute to heartburn especially when consumed in excess. If it is a persistant problem, avoid these drinks in the evening and in the night.
Avoid Spicy Food
Spices in excess are known to cause uneasyness in the stomach. late night meals rich in spices can result in heart burn. Turn your dinners into wholesome meals rich in fiber with moderate spices. If spicy food becomes unavoidable, consume smaller portions.
One more lifestyle habit to avoid to stay away from heart burn is taking late meals at night. Ideally, a gap of around 3 hours is required between your dinner and sleep time. This allows proper digestion of the food and the acid reflux can be avoided as indigestion of food can often result in heart burn. Also, do not lie down immediately after taking meals.
Oats To The Rescue
If heart burn is a reccuring problem, a few changes to your diet might solve the problem. Try switching to oats for your breakfast and you will notice that the painful symptoms of heartburn no longer harass you. Oats are rich in fibre that keep you satiated for a longer time and resolve the problem of acid reflux.
Avoid Fatty Foods
Those delicious creamy pastries, doughnuts and fries do tingle the taste buds but might not be very friendly to your digestive health, especially when consumed on a regular basis. Fatty foods do not get digested fast and can cause discomfort when had in excessive amounts. If boiled food tastes unappetizing for you, try baking, grilling or shallow frying your food.
Chocolates are the comfort food for a lot of people but can be problematic for those with acid reflux problems. Chocolate contains components that make the smooth muscles weaken. As a result, the LES weakens and acids flow backwards causing heartburn. Try to limit chocolate intake if this is a frequent problem.
Fruits like Oranges, grapefruits, lemons that belong to the citrus family can induce heartburn, especially when taken on an empty stomach. So avoid these or restrict their intake depepnding on the severerity of the problem.
Limit Water Intake
Though many would resort to water to get relief from heartburn, water itself can become a trigger for it. There is more than one reason for this. Firstly, acid reflux can occur when water is gulped down fast and air also gets swallowed in the process. Secondly, drinking too much water after a heavy meal will put pressure on the LES, causing it to open up. To avoid heartburn problem, do not drink a lot of water right after a meal or during the meal. If at all you have to, take small sips but do not guzzle down a lot of water.
Heartburn can be avoided by avoiding certain foods but one more important thing to avoid is excess fat! The extra pounds around your tummy can be a very good reason for your frequent bouts of acid reflux. The extra fat puts pressure on your stomach as a result of which the LES is bound to open, letting the acids flow backwards.
Avoid Fatty Meats And Switch To Lean Meats
If heartburn is a consistent problem for you, stay away from red meats and fatty meats. Consume lean meat and poultry. Fish is also fine as long as it is not too spicy or deep fried.
Say No To Processed Food
Processed foods contain high amounts of sodium and sugars. They are rich in carbohydrates and often rank low in fibre. They also contain several synthetic flavoring substances and preservatives. In short, processed foods taken frequently are the perfect way to damage your gut health. The resulting indigestion and poor gut health can lead to acid refluxes and lead to heartburn.