I won't write you a long list of what you shouldn't eat. Everyone has something specific that triggers heartburn. But I think there are generic guidelines which you can follow. First of all - avoid very spicy food. "Very spicy" is a bit tricky to define but you should draw a line for yourself after which you know you will have a guaranteed heartburn.
Another advice here is "no acidic food". Actually let's say it this way. NO ACIDIC FOOD. Any acidic or sour food that gives you burning sensation is going to make your heartburn worse.
Do not overeat. Overeating is when you have to force food into your stomach. Controlling it is very hard to do because it looks like all restaurants in United States are designed to make you do it. But remember: putting too much food in your stomach will cause your stomach to stretch and esophageal valve to relax. And you'll get more heartburn as a result.
Do not eat too fast. Again you should define it for yourself. But the faster you eat - more air you swallow. And if you don't chew your food enough your stomach will have more work to do and more acid to produce.
Try to see what will happen if you stop drinking tea and coffee for couple of weeks. You will be surprised by results. For me heartburn is guaranteed if I have more than one cup of coffee a day.
Heartburn and tea
When you have heartburn any caffeine containing drink will make it considerably worse because caffeine relaxes lower esophageal valve. So when I had severe heartburn or when I have heartburn now I switch to Rooibos tea.
Rooibos tea contains no colors, additives or preservatives, making it a natural beverage. It contains no caffeine which makes it a perfect warming tea if you have heartburn. According to studies conducted in South Africa and Japan Rooibos has been shown to aid in health problems such as insomnia, irritability, headaches, nervous tension, and hypertension.
Studies also showed that this tea contains anti-spasmodic agents, which can relieve stomach cramping and colic in infants.
In South Africa Rooibos has been used to treat allergies such as hay fever, asthma and eczema very effectively.
It is also used to treat irritated skin. Rooibos is brewed and placed directly on infected areas. Rooibos contains antioxidants which can help slow the aging process and boost the immune system.
Rooibos is a great thirst quencher and is an excellent beverage for active people, including children. Most kids will drink Rooibos without added sugar or sweeteners.
This tea contains almost no oxalic acid, making it a good beverage for people prone to kidney stones. Rooibos contains the following minerals: copper, iron and potassium, calcium, fluoride, zinc, manganese, alpha-hydroxy (for healthy skin) and magnesium (for the nervous system) are also components of this tea. In South Africa pregnant women and nursing mothers drink Rooibos because it contains no caffeine.
Heartburn and coffee
If you have severe heartburn and you're on three months heartburn elimination scheme then coffee is a no go. For this period you may consider switching to hot chocolate since it have a nice taste and much less caffeine. But do not switch to Starbucks hot chocolate please. This is a pure sugar and even 2 sips of it will cause heartburn (I'm not talking about diabetes): Purchase some quality hot chocolate like Ghirardelli and make it at home. It tastes much better, cost less than Starbucks one (much less actually) and won't cause any heartburn.
Banana and apple are considered safe by some people but apples always cause acid reflux for me. So I would stick with bananas until heartburn is gone and then start with sweetest apples you can find.
Another good fruit safe for heartburn is avocado. It has no acid in it and has natural fat which is good for your health.
For some people, the best choice is pineapple and papaya, as both can help neutralize the stomach content. Peach, grapes and the various berries (rasp-, blue-, straw- and cranberries) might be consumed with discretion. The acidic citrus fruits like orange, lemon and grapefruit should be avoided, just like the tomato, which is one of the most irritating foods for your stomach.
Tomatoes are a definite no - this is a classic example of heartburn causing food.
Green beans, peas, carrots and broccoli are recommended, while onion and garlic can be also eaten if the symptoms are not too severe.
Yams, potato and rice are ok and won't cause heartburn unless you eat too much of it. They all neutralize acid and should help if you have bad heartburn.
In general, grains such as cereals, bread, rice and crackers are safe, as they neutralize the stomach juices. Having hot oatmeal cereal every morning can significantly reduce your heartburn symptoms during the day.
Juices good for your stomach
Well if you have severe heartburn you know that most of juices are not for you. Orange and apple juices were my favorite ones - but now I have to pass them since they cause heartburn even in mild quantities.
Here is a list of replacements I like:
Pear juice - the best one - no heartburn at all. I get this one in Whole Foods which is quite expensive. If you have any idea how to get it cheaper let me know.
Apricot juice, pear juice, mango juice - all of them are not very acidic. But you should see for yourself how you react to them.
Birch sap - I used to drink it when I lived in Belarus but I have no idea where to find it in US.
Also you can try nectars - they are the same as juices but less concentrated - so they may be easier on your stomach.
For a while I also tried acidic juices diluted by water. They are less tasty than originals but much better for stomach.
Other conditions and treatments pages:
Get more information about hiatal hernia and heartburn.
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