Food is one of the greatest joys in life but for some people it is, quite literally, a pain. Heartburn is something that happens to 7 out of 10 of us at some point, but unfortunately for some people it’s a recurring problem.
Why does it happen? It’s caused when the valve between the stomach and the oesophagus opens more than it should, allowing the stomach’s strong digestive acids to rise up into the lower oesophagus. Sometimes this causes a burning sensation and it can be accompanied by an unpleasant sour taste in the back of the throat. It can also cause a hoarse raspy voice.
Putting any kind of pressure on the upper part of the stomach can trigger heartburn, (this is common in pregnancy). But this can also happen if we lie down too soon after eating, or exercise straight after a meal. And yes, scoffing food isn’t going to help either.
The good news is that foods like milk and yoghurt, and simple carbs like bread, pasta and rice can sometimes help settle a bad bout of heartburn.
If you suffer frequent heartburn then it’s important to be aware of the foods that can trigger an attack. Find out which they are, and how to head off heartburn in the November issue of Healthy Food Guide magazine, on sale now.