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A Diet to Stop Heartburn: 7 SECRETS

Jun 9, 2008
Will a diet bring permanent relief for your heartburn? Classical medicine has been a disappointment for millions of heartburn sufferers on this score, because of its ineffectiveness over the long-term and the undesirable side effects that it produces. Will the right mix of a special heartburn diet and healthier lifestyle changes make for a safer option? Studies done recently show that new diet habits can really relieve heartburn and at the same time make big improvements in your overall quality of life.

Because heartburn is just a symptom of a complex medical problem known as GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) or acid reflux, we need to know if new diet plans will target the real causes. It is important to understand that chronic heartburn cannot be healed in a permanent way without a full holistic solution that clearly works on the root causes.

GERD is provoked when a gatekeeper muscle at the junction of the stomach and the esophagus weakens and fails to block the flow backwards of gastric juices into the esophagus. This muscle is called the lower esophageal sphincter. The result is that acid then corrodes the epithelial cells in the esophagus, which is the reason for the unpleasant burning sensation called acid indigestion or heartburn.

New diet habits must reduce excessive acidity in the stomach but also work in cooperation with a debilitated sphincter. Therefore new diet habits must handle both aspects that result in acid reflux. We set out seven simple rules for diets below as the initial move towards a holistic, all-natural GERD treatment:

1. Eat smaller meals. Big meals stress the digestive system unduly, more stomach acid is manufactured and an existing acid reflux condition can be worsened. Instead of 2-3 big meals per day, eat 5-6 smaller meals.

2. Make your last meal of the day a light one and go for a short walk if you can, to help digestion. This gives your stomach a better chance to function properly in the 2-3 hours for digesting a light meal, compared to 5-6 hours for a heavy one. It also means when you are lying down, the time window for acid to flow back into your esophagus is reduced.

3. Don't gobble your food. Chew it properly to prevent air being sucked in, which makes the stomach balloon and pushes open the esophageal sphincter, this opening the way for stomach acid to reflux.

4. Make way for herbal tea instead of coffee as well as reducing intake of high-fat or spicy meals, peppermint, citrus juices, soda and alcohol, coffee and caffeine, chocolate and any food with a large amount of tomato. Don't eat food that irritates the inside of your digestive tract, which in turn can cause your esophageal sphincter to malfunction and relax at the wrong moment.

5. Studies done in Sweden support the theory that acid reflux danger can be reduced by 50% by adopting a high fiber diet and that high-fiber diets are effective for optimizing digestion and sweeping away toxic matter.

6. Reduce intake of dairy produce, in particular milk. Milk encourages acid, allergies and mucus, which in turn encourage Candida overgrowth and further digestive problems leading to GERD.

7. Because obesity and excess weight also act to lever open the lower esophageal sphincter, reduce calorie intake as well.

The right plan based on the diet principles above will reduce the chance of GERD and make you healthier and fitter at the same time.

A food plan to combat heartburn with the right inner balance is the first part of a full natural and holistic program against acid reflux. It is the only way to permanently improve this condition. Diet plans are just one part of the whole solution, in the same way that heartburn is a fragment of the whole acid heartburn picture. All the factors need to be treated by the solution in order to bring an effective resolution of the problem.
About the Author
Jeff Martin is a certified nutritionist and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, Heartburn No More . To Learn More About Foods that Might Trigger Heartburn Visit: Food and Heartburn
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