Dietitian Sharon Saka shares her secrets of power snacking and how to avoid foods that will create even the slightest digestive problem.
f you experience frequent indigestion or heartburn, you have lots of company.
Millions of Americans have ongoing digestive health problems of some sort.
It can be a sign of overeating, choosing the wrong foods, or a more serious problem.
Registered dietitian Sharon Saka, of Suffern, New York, says that a few simple lifestyle changes can alleviate heartburn and indigestion.
She suggests eating smaller, more frequent meals.
This will decrease pressure on your abdomen and make it less likely for you to experience heartburn.
Other preventive tips: Eat in a relaxing atmosphere.
Wear clothing that isn't too tight around your waist and abdomen.
Don't lie down after eating, or do a lot of bending and lifting.
A number of foods can trigger heartburn or indigestion by relaxing the band of muscles at the end of your esophagus so it can't keep out stomach acid.
Here are some common gastric irritants you might want to avoid: spicy foods with black pepper or chili powder; mint; garlic and raw onions; citrus foods like tomatoes, oranges, and grapefruit; fried or fatty foods that slow digestion; anything with caffeine such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate; and alcohol.
For overall healthy digestion and to minimize acid reflux, make sure you get plenty of fiber from a variety of vegetables, non-citrus fruits, and whole grains.
Drink enough fluids to help your body absorb important nutrients and lubricate food waste.
Use low-fat methods when cooking, for example, substituting broth for butter or oil when you saute, and replacing oil with applesauce (cup for cup) when you're baking.
Herbal chamomile tea is said to have a calming effect on the stomach, so try some after you eat or before bed.
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