Acid reflux and heartburn is something that many people suffer on a daily basis. This is caused by the lower oesophageal sphincter muscle being weak and relaxing too frequently which then allows stomach acid to make its way up into your esophagus. There are many different forms of acid reflux treatment that you can find, but one of the easiest things that you can do immediately to try and ease the pain is to look at the foods that you are eating and plan your meals accordingly.
Carry on reading to find out our top tips for meal planning to help prevent acid reflux.
Avoid Lying Down
The first tip to prevent acid reflux is to make sure that you don’t lie down for two to three hours after you have eaten. It is physically easier for your stomach contents to rise up into your LES when you are lying down versus when you are standing up and gravity helps to keep food down.
Avoid Large Meals
To avoid acid reflux, it is a good idea to stick to smaller meals as the more volume that you have in your stomach, the more likely it is that your stomach contents will move up your LES. Instead of eating two to three large meals in a day, try switching to four or five small mealtimes to see if this helps improve the problem.
Avoid Triggering Food
When meal prepping, you should try to avoid certain foods that are known to trigger acid reflux. This includes high fat meals, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, peppermint, tomatoes, and chilli. If you’re looking for some professional information on an acid reflux diet, London Gastroenterology Centre have a number of recipes on their website along with a table on what to eat and what to avoid.
Avoid Alcohol and Cigarettes
We all know that alcohol and cigarettes are bad for our health, but they are also a main triggering factor for acid reflux. Try and avoid them before, during and after meals as this will weaken the LES muscles.
Exercise at Certain Times
Exercise is one of the best things that you can do for your overall health and wellbeing, however, if you suffer from bad acid reflux then we would recommend avoiding it at certain times. This includes waiting at least two hours after a meal before you start any exercise.
There aren’t many situations where you will be encouraged to chew gum, but acid reflux is definitely one of them! Chew gum after meals to stimulate saliva production. This will in turn neutralise the acid and help move contents in your stomach along to the intestines quicker.
Drink a Small Glass of Water
At the end of your meal, grab a small glass of water. This will help to dilute any stomach acid that many be working its way up your oesophagus. Non-citrus juices and decaffeinated tea are also good options, while we would recommend that you avoid juices, alcoholic beverages and sodas as these drinks may irritate your stomach even more.