What to eat for… acid re­flux

Glamour (South Africa) - - Health -

Heart­burn – that un­com­fort­able sen­sa­tion in your up­per chest af­ter eat­ing – is the re­sult of acid leav­ing the stom­ach and head­ing back up your food pipe. “Any­thing that raises the pres­sure in your stom­ach can cause it, from preg­nancy and weight gain to stress and anx­i­ety. For some, heart­burn can run in the fam­ily,” says gas­troen­tero­log­i­cal sur­geon Dr Mar­cus Reddy.

Sugar-free gum “Re­mem­ber when your par­ents nagged you to sit up straight at the ta­ble, chew well, don’t gulp down your food and drink to­gether, don’t eat too late…? Turns out these are rules to live by if you have acid re­flux,” says Dr Reddy. But if the burn has al­ready hit, “Chew­ing gum en­cour­ages the pro­duc­tion of al­ka­line saliva, which neu­tralises the ris­ing acid,” he says.

- Spicy foods, toma­toes and

or­anges You guessed it: any­thing acidic. “These don’t cause acid in the stom­ach, but they can ag­gra­vate in­flamed tis­sue, mak­ing symp­toms worse,” ad­vises Dr Reddy.

Mint tea “Pep­per­mint can re­lax the valve that nor­mally stops acid leav­ing the stom­ach,” says herbal­ist Dr Chris Etheridge.

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