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How to Avoid Heartburn

November 28th, 2011 Healthy Living

As the holiday season approaches, many people who are prone to heartburn aren't feeling as excited as they probably should about the delicious meals involved. If you're afraid that you won't be able to enjoy the foods on the menu, consider these tips from WebMD and the Mayo Clinic, which can give you a better idea of the foods you should avoid and the foods that are okay to eat.

What heartburn is
Heartburn occurs when your stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, causing a burning sensation right behind your chest bone. It usually occurs after eating or at night, and the burning can get worse when you're laying down or bending over.

Common triggers
1. Eating too much food makes you more likely to experience heartburn. Eat smaller portions, and if you're not sure how much to eat, try using a smaller plate so that even if it's filled up, you're eating less.

2. Eating quickly doesn't allow you to digest very well and can make heartburn symptoms occur. Try not to eat on the go and make sure you're spending plenty of time chewing in between bites.

3. Fatty foods stay in your stomach longer, which makes them likely to cause discomfort. Fried foods should be especially avoided. Choose baked, broiled, roasted or grilled foods instead.

4. Acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus can also cause heartburn - especially if you eat them alone on an empty stomach. Just make sure to mix a smaller portion of acidic foods with more basic ones.

5. Drinking certain liquids can trigger heartburn, like including coffee, tea, soda and alcohol. Caffeine can boost acids in your stomach, while alcohol relaxes your esophageal muscles and makes them more likely to let in stomach acid. Choose drinks that aren't fizzy or and don't have caffeine - or drink smaller amounts.