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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Heartburn Help

Happy New Year! OK, the holidays are officially over, but is your heartburn hanging on? If so, you can prevent or manage it without popping pills (or at least fewer pills). Whether you experience heartburn only, or suffer from acid reflux disease (which may also include trouble swallowing, and can be related to other health conditions like a hernia), a few simple dietary changes can give you a lot of relief. That nasty burn happens when acidic juices from your stomach creep up into your esophagus (ouch). Because there’s no lining to protect your esophagus, it hurts like heck! But the following adjustments can help:

-Eat smaller, more frequent meals
-Eat slower
-Sit up for at least an hour after eating
-Finish your last meal or snack at least 2-3 hours before going to bed
-Avoid foods that aggravate heartburn (because they boost acid production), which include chocolate, coffee, tea, cola, citrus juices, and alcohol (peppermint, spicy or fatty foods, garlic, and onions can also fuel the fire)
-Wear loose clothing
-Sleep with your head propped up
-Prevent weight gain or reduce your weight

For more info about keeping heartburn at bay, visit:
-Mayo Clinic
-The American Dietetic Association web site. Type heartburn into the search box and you’ll find several useful articles, including a few about controlling heartburn during pregnancy.

And here's a great link from the National Heartburn Alliance about what you CAN eat - it's a list of "safe" foods you can print out and take with you to the market.

Photo courtesy of iband
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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