How to deal with heartburn
The trouble usually starts when you find a dish so delicious that you can't get enough. Of course, a few hours later, when indigestion kicks in, you'll wonder: "Why did I eat so much?" Before you overdo it, check out this list of foods that kick up heartburn and ways to cool it down.
Some top culprits:
Citrus fruits: Oranges, grapefruits and juices made from these fruits tend to cause heartburn, especially when consumed on an empty stomach.
Tomatoes: Though they're full of good-for-you lycopene, the acidity can be irritating for those prone to heartburn.
Spicy foods: Yep, the old saying is true spicy foods can trigger heartburn. If you've ever found yourself with a bit of burn after eating Mexican fare or chili, you might want to opt for less spicy versions of your favorites.
Fatty foods: French fries, fried chicken, gravies and creamy sauces are examples of high-fat foods that can bring on the flames.
Peppermint and spearmint: Both peppermint and spearmint oils tend to relax the muscle that keeps acids in the stomach and make it easier for them to slip back into your esophagus.
Alcohol: Alcohol relaxes the muscle between the stomach and esophagus and makes it easy for acids to escape.
Chocolate: Chocolate is on the heartburn list for the same reason as alcohol.
Preventing the Burn:
• Keep a food diary to pinpoint the culprit.
• Eat smaller meals.
• Cut down the alcohol.
• Don't drink liquids at meals.
• Wear loose clothing.
• Avoid lying down after eating.
• Medications: Antacids and numerous other over-the-counter medications are always options, but if you find your heartburn worsening, see your doctor.
Courtesy Toby Amidor in "Healthy Eats" on foodnetwork.com.