Dos and don'ts for avoiding heartburn while you enjoy your favorite holiday foods.
Eat smaller meals and don’t eat too late. Eating dinner earlier in the evening helps give food more time to digest before you lie down for bed.
Eat fewer calories and reduce carb intake. Consuming fewer calories means you’ll consume less acid and keep weight under control, both of which decrease acid-reflux symptoms. Low-carb foods reduce symptoms associated with acid in the throat by lessening stomach distention, according to some research.
After meals, chew sugar-free gum, which can raise pH levels in the throat and reduce heartburn. Look for natural gums that contain xylitol instead of artifical sweeteners such as aspartame.
Drink carbonated beverages, coffee, Camellia sinensis (nonherbal tea), or alcohol. Caffeine has been shown to relax the esophageal sphincter, triggering heartburn. Drink herbal teas instead. Also avoid wine and beer; acidic alcoholic beverages like these tend to cause the most heartburn.
Eat fatty foods. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms increase three or four hours after eating fatty foods, which relax the esophageal sphincter and allow acids back into the esophagus or throat. These foods also are associated with weight gain, which increases acid-reflux symptoms.
Consume peppermint and spearmint, which also relax the esophageal sphincter, allowing acid into your esophagus.
Lie down after eating a meal. Remaining upright while digesting food will help keep food in the stomach and out of the esophagus.