This type of digestive problem is difficult to define and limit, according to the Spanish Gastroenterology Association, but it is estimated that reflux affects 13.3% of the world population on average at least once a week ( in Spain , at 9.8% ). When we eat, our stomach “naturally produces acid to break down food molecules,” says Magdalena García Arredondo, head of the Digestive at the Santa Elena Clinic. The problem is that there are certain foods that “relax the esophageal sphincter [the valve that closes the passage of the esophagus into the stomach] and allows the passage of that acid from the stomach to the esophagus,” continues the expert. And here come the symptoms: irritation, inflammation and pain.
Bad news, ” everything rich causes this type of inconvenience, ” says the specialist. We are talking about foods like chocolate, coffee, tea, mint and high fat foods. Among the latter, not only fried or certain meats, but also other products that are usually considered healthy: “Avocado or sofrito. And not because of tomato or onion, but because of fat,” continues García Arredondo. Also large meals increase the problem, since our body needs more time to digest them and “the longer it is in the stomach, the more acid it produces and the worse the symptoms.” It is not necessary to renounce the great pleasures of gastronomy, but avoiding this nuisance does mean moderating them: “The important thing is the quantities,” says the expert.
These are the guidelines that we can carry out to try to avoid reflux after a meal , according to the Community of Madrid Health portal :
– Keeping the weight in adequate ranges, abdominal fat increases the risk of reflux.
– Eat in a balanced and healthy way.
– Avoid large meals : eat little and distribute food at breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, snack and dinner.
– Eat slow and chew well.
– No naps . Sitting or sitting up for at least 30 to 45 minutes after each meal helps.
– Take liquids and water in small amounts outside meals, 30 minutes before or an hour after.
– Avoid fried, battered, breaded and stews with greasy sauces, and bet on boiled, steamed and baked foods.
– Limit or avoid the consumption of foods and drinks that lower the pressure of the sphincter such as chocolate, coffee, tea, fats (including oils) and alcohol. Also those that have a direct irritating effect on the inflamed esophageal mucosa such as citrus fruits and juices , highly spiced foods and spices.
– Do not binge before sleeping.
– No Smoking.
– Avoid tight clothing.