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Dieting to Prevent Heartburn: 7 SECRETS

Jul 7, 2008
Does the combination of a particular heartburn diet and changes to a healthy lifestyle get you heartburn relief? Recent studies bring information to show that new diet plans can really lower heartburn and simultaneously make major improvements in quality of life in general. But the question remains, will a diet really bring permanent heartburn for you personally? Classical medicine has run foul of huge populations of heartburn victims in this respect, because of the potentially dangerous side effects that it produces as well as its poor record of results over a long duration.

Because heartburn is only a symptom of a more complicated medical condition known as GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) or acid reflux, we need to know if new diet plans will act on the true, underlying causes. It is important to know that recurring heartburn cannot be dispatched in a permanent way without a full holistic treatment that clearly identifies the root causes.

A circular muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a key part of the syndrome of heartburn. When acid escaping via the LES corrodes the cells lining the esophagus, this causes the unpleasant burning sensation known as acid indigestion or heartburn. GERD is the result of this valve-like muscle between the stomach and the esophagus weakening and no longer keeping the stomach contents away from the esophagus.

New diet habits must bring down this excess of stomach acidity, but must also take account of a malfunctioning sphincter. Therefore new diet habits must simultaneously work with both aspects of acid reflux. We describe seven simple axes for diets below as initial actions to get to a holistic, all-natural treatment for GERD:

1. Reduce the quantity of each meal. The bigger the meal, the more the stress on the digestive system, the more the level of stomach acidity and the greater the risk of compounding an existing acid reflux condition. 5-6 smaller meals per day is better than 2-3 big meals.

2. Allow your stomach to get its work done 2-3 hours for a light meal, rather than the 5-6 hours for a big one. This is especially important at the end of the day, so as to finish digestion and avoid lying down when acid can still reflux towards your esophagus. Therefore, eat a light meal for the last one of the day, before helping digestion by going for a short walk.

3. Chew and eat your food in a leisurely way. This prevents air from being ingested at the same time as the food, and avoids pressure in the stomach and bloating which all put extra pressure on the esophageal sphincter, with the resulting splash back of stomach acid.

4. Lessen coffee intake and drink herbal tea instead, as well as reducing intake of peppermint, soda and alcohol, high-fat or spicy meals, citrus juices, coffee and caffeine, chocolate and foods based largely on tomatoes. Don't eat food that irritates your intestines, because this in turn can cause your esophageal sphincter to open at the wrong time.

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. Dairy produce, especially milk, should be cut down. It causes for more acid, mucus and allergies, all conditions that stimulate Candida overgrowth and bring on further digestive problems contributing to GERD.

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

The right program using the diet guidelines above will reduce the risk of GERD and at the same time increase your fitness and health.

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 Heartburn Diet: Heartburn Diet
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