Heartburn or acid reflux can wake you up in the middle of the night make your day miserable. The burning sensation in your throat and esophagus that can sometimes radiate through your chest can be too much of a burden.
While there are prescription meds and over-the-counter antacids that can alleviate your suffering, you can actually prevent heartburn by simply changing your eating habits and improving your lifestyle.
1. Eat Smaller Portions of Food and Time Your Meals Properly
What, when, and how you eat are often the biggest causes for heartburn symptoms. Notice how all-you- can-eat buffets can trigger this burning sensation almost every night. When your stomach is full, it can cause the valve in the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to push the stomach acids to your esophagus because it is in its relaxed state.
What to Do: Divide your meals into smaller portions throughout the day, instead of just the normal three: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
2. Know Which Foods and Beverages to Avoid
Some foods can cause heartburn, while some can aggravate your condition. Regardless of how bad your acid reflux is, you should know which foods to avoid eating, especially before going to bed. These foods and beverages include the following:
- Tomatoes and tomato products (such as salsa, ketchup, and tomato sauce)
- Citrus fruits
- Foods that are spicy and fatty
- Onions and garlic
- Peppermint or mint
- Coffee (including decaf)
- Tea (both caffeinated and caffeine-free)
- Soda and other carbonated beverages
3. Other Eating Habits to Change
Aside from eating in smaller portions that are divided into several meals per day and avoiding the mentioned foods and beverages above, there are other habits you need to change when it comes to eating and these include:
- Eat slowly
- Don’t lie down right after you eat
- Have a good posture when and after eating
- Eat bananas, boiled chicken, and other foods that ease heartburn
4. Reach a Healthy Weight
Being too heavy can actually trigger heartburn symptoms. As a matter of fact, most of those who are overweight experience heartburn, so start eating healthy and exercising to shed extra pounds.
5. Stop Wearing Tight Clothes
Be comfortable, especially at nighttime. Wear loose clothing and get rid of your tight belts to avoid putting pressure on your stomach.
While there are medications that block acids, you shouldn’t take them regularly. These prescription meds do help eliminate the symptoms, but the real cause of your heartburn will not be treated. Talk to your doctor if your heartburn is causing you stress and pain almost every day. This may be a sign of an underlying medical condition.