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Heartburn Diet Plan

Do you experience the symptoms of heartburn on a regular basis, like several other men, women and children around the United States? Are you often bothered by a burning sensation in your chest, which is severe enough to keep you awake all night? If yes, then you are probably suffering from chronic heartburn. Many people assume that heartburn and Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD are the same), though the two conditions are different. Almost everyone has experienced heartburn at some time or the other during their lives, especially, after eating a very heavy meal, or after the consumption of certain foods.
In case of some people, heartburn could be a one-time occurrence, but there are several people who live with it on a regular basis. The intensity of the discomfort could vary from person to person, as it is dependent on a couple of factors. In spite of the fact that heartburn is not a serious problem, most people seek medical aid, to get relief from its symptoms, which can lead to severe discomfort. Moreover, if left untreated, frequent heartburn could lead to few serious health complications. There are certain medications that people can take, for relief from this problem, but most health experts too, advise people to make certain dietary and lifestyle changes. One of the most effective ways for you to avoid this problem is by following a heartburn diet.

Anti Heartburn Diet

There are certain foods that can trigger off heartburn and these vary from person to person. Hence, it is important for you to watch what you are eating, so that you can identify these triggers and then eliminate them from your daily diet. A heartburn diet plan is an eating program which eliminates most of the food items that are known to cause heartburn in a person. The most common heartburn diet foods that should be avoided by people prone to this problem include: 
  • Acidic food like tomatoes and raw onions
  • Aerated drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages, which also includes wines or any food prepared with liquor
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate or mint products
  • Citric fruits, like oranges, limes, cranberries and grapefruit
  • Dairy products, like full cream milk and processed cheese
  • Fried food, especially food that has been deep fried
  • Greasy and oily food
  • Processed meat preparations, which include chicken nuggets, breaded fish fingers, burger patties, marbled sirloin, buffalo wings and ground chuck
  • Spices
While there are some food that should be avoided as a part of heartburn dieting, there are others, which can actually help you alleviate heartburn, or even avoid it to a great extent. Given below are the most common food that should be a part of every “prevent heartburn diet”:
  • Fruits, which are not acidic in nature, like bananas, avocadoes, mangoes and apples
  • Certain vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, beet and baked potato
  • Meat varieties, such as skinless chicken and turkey and lean ground beef
  • Fresh fish, preferably steamed
  • Select types of cheese, like feta cheese, cream cheese, goat cheese and cheese made from soy milk.
  • Light dairy products like plain, unsweetened yogurt and skim milk.
However, before making any heartburn diet changes it is important for you to understand that since every individual has a different system, the triggers may also vary a bit. Therefore, the heartburn diet suggestions given above should be treated as simple guidelines, as they may not suit everyone.

In order to reduce heartburn, the diet should not just include and exclude certain foods, as eating habits play a major role in triggering off the symptoms of this condition. Instead of eating 2 or 3 large meals a day, it is best to consume 5 smaller meals. This means that in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, people should eat at least 2 healthy snacks. Many people use these snack times, to have heartburn diet drinks like smoothies and herbal tea or to get their daily intake of fruit. Another very effective heartburn diet remedy is maintaining a time gap of at least 2 hours or so, between a meal and bedtime.

Heartburn Diet Recommendations

  • Breakfast: ¾ cup of whole grain cereal; 2 slices of whole wheat toast, with a teaspoon of margarine or 2 tablespoons of jam; ½ banana; ½ glass of apple juice and a cup of milk
  • Morning Snack: Fresh fruit smoothie or fruit salad
  • Lunch: 1 Hamburger, with lean beef patty (no more than 3 ounces), whole wheat bun and a teaspoon of low fat mayonnaise; a cup of vegetable soup with crackers
  • Afternoon Snack: 4 Graham crackers with a cup of skim milk
  • Dinner: 1 piece of skinless, broiled chicken breast (less than three ounces); ½ cup cooked brown rice; garden salad (without any heavy dressing); ½ cup of low fat frozen yogurt.
Fortunately, there are many heartburn diet recipes that are easily available on the net or through books. Given below are examples of a few recipes that should be a part of the heartburn diet:

Butternut Squash Soup

  1. ½ Butternut squash
  2. ½ Teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  3. 2 Cups of water
  4. A pinch of ground nutmeg
  5. A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  6. Salt to taste
  • Take a large pot that has a steamer. Pour all the water in the pot and place it on a high flame
  • Cut the squash into pieces and place it on the steamer basket. Allow the squash to steam for at least 20 to 30 minutes, or till it is tender. Set the squash aside, for a while, so that it cools.
  • After a while, add the pieces of squash to the water that is in the steamer and puree it, until it is smooth.
  • Reducing the flame, add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and thyme
  • Allow the soup to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes or so. Some more water can be added, in case the soup is too thick
Several people check with their doctors for an appropriate heartburn diet soda or heartburn diet coke. However, most aerated drinks aggravate heartburn and therefore should be avoided.

Heartburn is a very common complaint from most pregnant women too. However, before making use of any heartburn recipes, it is best to consult a doctor, who may recommend a pregnancy heartburn diet, which contains foods that alleviate the problem and at the same time are good for the growth and development of the baby.
Submitted on January 16, 2014