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That must-have morning perk-me-up might be a source of your problems. Photo: 123RF

Stay Away From These Foods If You Have Gastric Reflux

Afflicted with heartburn again and again? One of these five foods might be the culprit:


1. High fat foods

These can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which then causes stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus – you’ll know the awful feeling when this happens! The double whammy: fatty and fried food such as fries, bacon and deep-fried meat cutlets. Egg yolks are also high in fat and can trigger gastric reflux so stick to the whites.

Switch to: Seafood, chicken and turkey, and have these grilled, baked or poached instead. To keep healthy fat in your diet, consume avocados and certain nuts.


2. Caffeine

Have it black and without creamer or milk – and on an empty stomach first thing in the morning – and you have the perfect recipe for an acid attack.

Switch to: Add milk or creamer to your kopi O and drink it only after you have eaten something. Otherwise, you may need to choose a caffeine-free alternative.


3. Tomatoes

If you have a really bad case of gastric reflux, even ketchup on your chicken wing or a tomato pasta base can bring on the discomfort.

Switch to: A pesto sauce or base, and look for alternative dips such as a BBQ sauce.


4. Citrus fruit

This may not trigger an attack for everyone. It also depends on when you have a wedge of orange or a grapefruit juice. Having it on an empty stomach or just before bedtime can cause the overproduction of acid juices.

Switch to: Thankfully, there are many fruit alternatives out there such as bananas, papayas, mangoes and berries which you can make smoothies or a fruit bowl from.


5. Alcohol

It’s been said that any form of alcohol can relax the lower esophageal sphincter. But once again, it really depends on what your personal trigger is. Having a beer or a wine does not cause my gastric reflux to act up. Just make sure you have only one glass and in between bites.

Switch to: Mocktails or flavoured waters though you’ll want to be careful with the fizzy versions too.

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