Heartburn is an irritating and frequent condition that happens when stomach acid moves back up into the esophagus, resulting in a burning sensation on your chest or throat. On average, more than 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn at least once in a month; some much more often. Although mild symptoms are not typically serious enough to be concerned about, persistent or intense occurrences can significantly affect one's quality of life. Many factors can contribute to having heartburn such as consuming quickly, eating acidic food items, and indulging in bad practices like smoking cigarettes.
You Eat Too Fast
Heartburn is often caused by the speed at which we consume our food - when you try to gulp down your meal, it's not uncommon for large amounts of air to be swallowed and additional stomach acid to be produced. This can cause serious discomfort in your chest! To avoid this uncomfortable situation, practice mindful eating instead. Slow down while enjoying each bite of your meal and chew thoroughly; taking some extra time with meals will help reduce heartburn symptoms and make digestion easier on the body.
Your Diet is Acidic
Another factor that can contribute to heartburn is having an acidic diet. Foods that are high in acid, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, and vinegar, can increase the production of stomach acid, which can lead to heartburn. To prevent this, it's important to include more alkaline foods in your diet. Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale can make your diet more alkaline, which can help neutralize the acid in your stomach. Other alkaline foods include fruits like bananas and melons, as well as whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.
Beyond eating an alkaline diet, there are more lifestyle activities that can reduce your heartburn susceptibility. Giving up smoking is one of the most vital steps to take. Smoking not only boosts stomach acid production but also weakens the lower esophageal sphincter--the muscle which divides the stomach and esophagus. When this barrier gets less rigid, it enables gastric juices to move back into your throat much easier causing you severe discomfort in return. Stopping smoking is hard, yet necessary if you want improved wellbeing overall!
Heartburn can be a distressing condition that drastically decreases your quality of life. Eating hastily, an acidic diet, and smoking are all culprits that may lead to heartburn. To prevent this misery, it is important to alter your lifestyle habits: eating slowly; including more alkaline foods in your diet; quitting smoking; maintaining a healthy weight; and exercising regularly. By making these adjustments you could not only reduce the risk of suffering from heartburn but also improve general health for better well-being!
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