Don’t Feel the Heartburn this Summer

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It’s estimated that more than 50 million people experience heartburn more than twice a week, and half of those people suffer daily from symptoms. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, the flowing of acid from the stomach back into the esophagus. For people who live with heartburn, summer can mean facing many foods that can worsen heartburn symptoms, including tomatoes, barbecued meats, beer, and citrus fruits. If you suffer from heartburn, learn how to enjoy the season of picnics and cookouts without aggravating your acid reflux.

  • Cut the grease. For many people, grease and excess fat can make heartburn worse. If that’s the case, stick with grilled or raw foods. If you’re in the mood for a burger, make sure it’s made from lean cuts of meat.
  • Skip the tomatoes. Top your salads with mild vegetables like carrots, beans, and jicama. Top your lean burger with guacamole instead of ketchup.
  • Practice moderation. If, for example, chocolate tends to give you heartburn, eat one or two Hershey’s Kisses instead of an entire slice of rich chocolate cake. In fact, smaller portions in general can reduce acid reflux because it puts less pressure on the valve between your stomach and esophagus.

In addition to what you eat, when you eat could help you prevent heartburn. Avoid eating right before bed and give gravity a few hours to pull your food and digestive juices down into the digestive tract. How much you eat can also help, especially if reducing your portion sizes helps you lose weight, since being overweight or obese is a common risk factor for acid reflux.

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