Raging Fire ...
Posted by Evie M. at 6:00 pm, October 15th 2010
That’s what it feels like if you’ve ever had heartburn. It feels like having a heart
attack but in fact heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. It has to do with
acid-laden juices splashing upward from the stomach to the esophagus, thereby scorching
the tender tissues, all because a muscle (lower esophageal sphincter, LES for short)
at the base of the esophagus decided to relax at the wrong time.
As in most cases, modifying the diet is a good line of defense. Foods high in fat,
like red meat and butter, tend to weaken the LES. Chocolate is another culprit. But
it is not only high fat foods that can cause heartburn. Onions and peppermint can
bring it on as well. Approach spicy foods with caution until your heartburn is healed.
You don’t have to give up your favorite foods, just put them aside until you’re feeling
better. Moderation is key.
If you are one of those opting for a quick fix by marching to the pharmacy for an
antacid, take great caution if you have high blood pressure, restricted sodium diet
or bothered by kidney stones. Antacids and certain drugs don’t mix but that is not
within the scope of this blog. Best thing to do is to help the body heal itself.
One food that can help control heartburn is ginger. Fresh ginger is quite spicy but
tea made with grated ginger or ginger powder will work as well. Eating foods high
in complex carbohydrates like pasta, potatoes or rice, which absorb acid in the stomach,
is another strategy. Contrary to popular belief, milk is not a recommended antidote.
Try a banana instead. Finally, stay upright after eating when the stomach is full.
A common sense approach to nutrition is all it takes to create a healthy body.