If you’ve ever experienced heartburn, it probably came after a spicy or fried meal. That feeling of burning in your chest, which seems to get worse when you lie down, can be quite uncomfortable.
To relieve the burning sensation you probably drink some milk or reach for an antacid, promising yourself you’ll stay away from those heartburn-inducing foods next time.
Food gets a bad reputation when it comes to heartburn, even though it’s often not to blame. Yes, we know that food plays a large role in heartburn – it is a form of indigestion after all – but there are other reasons why you’re experiencing that burning sensation time and time again – and it isn’t the hot tamales!
Here are five other reasons why you’re experiencing uncomfortable indigestion and what you can do to prevent it.
5 surprising reasons you experience heartburn
You eat too close to bedtime
Sometimes the food you’re eating is completely harmless, instead it’s the time of day that is triggering your heartburn. It’s well known that you shouldn’t lie down post-meal, so eating two to three hours prior to bed can have you tossing and turning in discomfort.
After you eat it, your food should be heading south to be properly digested, but if you decide to hit the sack instead, you could be increasing your odds of heartburn.
Aside from not lying down within three hours after eating, it’s also suggested that you take a stroll to better aid in digestion.
You eat large or frequent meals
The size of your meals, along with how often you’re having them, can contribute to heartburn. If your meals are large, you’re packing too much food into your stomach, which increases the risk of it creeping back up and causing you discomfort. Furthermore, eating too frequently can have the same effect.
Try to keep your meals small, especially if you eat frequently. Try to enjoy food in appropriate portion sizes as well – and you may not wish to opt for seconds.
You read that correctly; your scale reading can have an impact on your digestion – or lack thereof. When you carry around extra weight it slows down digestion, which creates additional pressure on the abdomen and keeps the muscles that normally keep food out of your esophagus open, leading to heartburn. Researchers advise losing weight to relieve pressure on the abdomen, so food can move slowly down into the stomach.
You drink too much…alcohol that is
A glass of wine a night has been shown to have health benefits, but excessive alcohol consumption relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, which means food is no longer contained to the stomach. If you’re drinking before bed or along with fatty snacks, you’ll notice increased effects of heartburn. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum if you want to reduce the risk of heartburn.
You eat the wrong foods
We know we said food isn’t always to blame for heartburn, but it still plays a roll nonetheless. Foods high in acid are often to blame for heartburn, but the acid found in your stomach is much higher than what food can bring. Even though it may not be safe to say that acidic foods cause heartburn, you have to go with what doesn’t feel right for you. Spicy foods, onions and even greasy food are common causes of heartburn.
On the other hand, consuming fiber-rich foods, legumes and even vegetables can reduce and ease heartburn. Basically, eating the Mediterranean way will not only reduce heartburn, but has the potential to improve brain health as well!
If you’re tired of the burning sensation of heartburn, consider these five causes to find out how to finally put an end to it.
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