Heartburn is a painful burning sensation in the top section of your stomach, which spreads up into your throat. This happens when acid rises into your oesophagus, the tube that connects your stomach to your mouth.
Also known as acid reflux, it can come from spicy foods, overeating in general, or from stress. There are also some medications that can cause heartburn.
Heartburn symptoms can range from burning in the chest to a sour acidic taste in the back of your throat.
To keep acid reflux at bay, avoid the following triggers:
Spicy foods are often a popular choice, but can be a big problem if you suffer from heartburn. While it may be best to avoid spicy foods, you don’t have to settle for bland meals. There are always tasty alternatives to give you the flavourful taste you’re after, minus the burn.
Replacement: Try swapping the spices in your food with herbs like oregano, thyme, basil, and ginger. These spices add both flavour and nutrition to your meal, without the heartburn afterwards.
Citrus fruit, juices and fizzy drinks
Citrus fruit and fruit juices are common culprits for heartburn. Many soft drinks contain citric acid to help give them that tart flavour.
Replacement: Oranges, lemons, and tomatoes are highly acidic fruits. Swap out the acidic drinks for good old water. You can also add pieces of fruit to your water for taste Fruit like berries, apples, pears and bananas are less acidic than citrus fruit and can be good and healthy alternatives.
Garlic and onion
For many, the usual base of any meal starts with garlic and onions, however these are regular heartburn triggers.
Replacement: Dehydrated versions of garlic and onion are just as flavourful, but less acidic than their fresh counterparts.
Sometimes even looking at fried food can cause heartburn! Not really, but this is another common cause. Fat slows down the speed at which food leaves your stomach. That helps to keep you fuller for longer, but also means there is a greater chance of reflux
Replacement: Go with healthier cooking methods that include baking, grilling, poaching or roasting.
Antacids may be taken after meals, at bedtime, or when needed, to bind excess acid in the stomach and to coat the oesophagus. If you’re about to eat a meal that you know will cause heartburn, take one of these at least 30 minutes beforehand. You can get this over-the-counter medication from your local pharmacy or doctor.