Heartburn diet

What helps it?

• Eating a properly composed diet helps alleviate heartburn quickly. Along with the following specific avoidances, taking care to eat properly is your best ally in combating gastritis, esophageal reflux and spasm, and plain old-fashioned heartburn.
Construct a diet based on those recommendations that provides you with plenty of lean protein to support your lean muscles and organs and that limits your intake of concentrated starches and sweets.

Heartburn dietHeartburn diet: The B vitamins are necessary for proper digestion. Recommendation: Take a vitamin B-complex at a dosage of 50 mg 3 times daily, with meals.

Heartburn diet. What makes it worse?

- A diet high in sugar makes heartburn worse. Sugar itself irritates the lining of the esophagus and stomach and increases stomach acid, fermentation of the sugar produces more stomach gas, and a high sugar content encourages the growth of certain stomach bacteria that recent medical studies say may cause chronic stomach ulcers. Recommendation: Eliminate or sharply curtail your intake of sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, and all food products made with mem.

* Alcohol is one of the few substances directly absorbed by the stomach; the small intestine does the work of absorbing the nutrients of most foods. Alcohol, like sugar, has a directly hostile effect on the stomach lining and also stimulates increased stomach acid, but it has the added deleterious effect of weakening the muscular sphincter at the end of the esophagus, making reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus more likely. Recommendation: Eliminate or sharply curtail your intake of alcoholic beverages.

* The volatile oils in peppermint and spearmint also weaken the closure power of the muscular esophageal sphincter. Recommendation: Avoid foods, mints, and chewing gums flavored with these oils.

* Chocolate, likewise, produces an almost immediate weakening of the closure power of the muscular sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach. The caffeine-like substance in chocolate seems to be the culprit in causing the problems. Recommendation: Eliminate or sharply curtail your intake of chocolate in all forms. Substitute carob for chocolate, if possible.

•  Again, through the caffeine content, coffee and tea may both relax the muscular sphincter and increase the output of stomach acid. Recommendation: Undertake a tapering schedule—see the one given under the coffee discussion of Headache—to rid yourself of your reliance on caffeine. Take it slow and easy so that you don't suffer the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal: sleepiness, irritability, powerful headache.

•  Eating a fatty meal almost immediately relaxes the muscular closure power of the esophageal sphincter, allowing easy access for stomach acid into the esophagus. Recommendation: Try to limit the fat content of your foods to 30% of your total calories per day and to spread those fat calories out throughout the day.

•  Milk, although you might intuitively think of it as a food to soothe the angry stomach, actually has only a transient neutralizing effect on stomach acid, followed later by a rise in stomach acid to an even higher level than it had been. Recommendation. Although you may indeed want to add some milk products to your diet for the high-quality protein, use it in conjunction with a full meal and not as a quickie heartburn remedy.

•  Heartburn dietOrange juice causes problems with the coordinated wave-like muscle motion of the esophagus that may contribute to spasm, especially if the lining of the tube is already inflamed by reflux of acid. Recommendation: Delicious as it may be. curb your intake of orange juice to small amounts (2 ounces) at a time.

• Spicy foods, especially those made with hot peppers or pepper powders, contain corrosive acids that directly irritate the stomach lining and contribute to heartburn. Recommendation: Especially during bouts of stomach trouble, try to avoid eating chili peppers, jalapenos, or other hot spices.

•  Tomato products, such as juices, pastes, salsa, and sauces, may irritate the stomach and esophagus lining directly and may also disrupt the normal wave-like muscular motion of the esophagus that propels food down the tube in a coordinated fashion.

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