There’s a muscular ring between your esophagus and stomach and it is called lower esophageal sphincter muscle or LES. Its job is to keep acid from splashing out from your stomach and into the esophagus. Why? Because when acid travels to the esophagus, you will experience pain or a burning feeling in your chest. This is called heartburn and plenty of people suffer from this. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to avoid this; mostly, you just have to change your diet since, according to the National Heartburn Alliance, food is often the primary cause of heartburn. So if you are experiencing heartburn, avail caregiver services in Chicago or anywhere in the US now! Your caregiver can help create a healthy meal plan that will help you avoid heartburn.
When creating an effective meal plan with your caregiver, just remember to exclude the following food because they can trigger heartburn:
Coffee and Soft Drinks
Coffee and soft drinks have one thing in common – they both contain caffeine, which can trigger heartburn. How? Caffeine relaxes the LES, allowing acid to travel up from your stomach and into the esophagus. You can drink one cup of coffee every morning but refrain from drinking more throughout the day. Actually, if you can replace coffee with some other beverage, that would be better. After all, coffee is highly acidic and it prompts your stomach to release digestive acids which will make your heartburn worse. If you insist on drinking coffee, make sure to choose a brand that contains less amount of caffeine.
Burgers and Fries
Fried and greasy foods, like burger and fries, contain high amounts of fat. You should stay away from them for two reasons: First, these foods relax the LES, allowing stomach acid to surge up into the esophagus. Second, high-fat foods have the tendency to stay longer in your stomach. And slow digestion can lead to obesity which, in turn, can lead to conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – a digestive disorder that causes heartburn. So you see, they will affect you negatively now and in the future.
Like coffee and soft drinks, chocolates also have caffeine. Also, much like the two types of drinks, chocolate prompts the LES to relax, allowing acid to flow from stomach to esophagus. However, chocolates are much worse because they prompt the LES to stay open for a longer period of time. In this regard, it is imperative that you stay away from chocolates in order to avoid heartburn.
Unlike the first few items on this list, citrus fruits do not relax the LES. However, you should still avoid them because consuming them result to a rise in the acid production in the stomach. Stay away from lemons and limes because they have the highest amounts of citric acids compared to other fruits. You should also think twice before including grapefruit and pineapple in your meal plan as well. This doesn’t just mean refraining from eating these fruits, you should also avoid drinking their juices. In addition, you should be careful of the soft drinks that you buy; plenty of them use citric acid to make their drinks taste tangy.
So what are you waiting for? Sit down with your caregiver and craft a meal plan that excludes the mentioned foods above. This will not just prevent heartburn, it will also allow you to live a healthier lifestyle!