Q. I’ve been getting a lot of reflux after a meal, especially at night. Are there certain foods I should avoid?
Lucy W, via Facebook
A. Karissa Woolfe, Healthy Food Guide Accredited Practising Dietitian, responds:
That uncomfortable burn can be a real anti-climax to a delicious meal. It’s natural to point the finger at foods which may trigger reflux — and coffee, alcohol, fatty and spicy foods are the common culprits.
To avoid stomach acid from flowing backwards into your oesophagus, it helps to review the three Ps when eating: posture, pace and portion.
Eating while reclined or lying down soon after are triggers. Instead, sit upright during the meal and avoid heading to the couch for a lie down after eating.
Speed eating is a shortcut to reflux, especially if you shovel in a big meal. Good digestion requires thorough chewing, so declare mealtimes to be a device-free zone and mindfully savour each bite.
Eating to excess and having a full stomach are reflux triggers. You can nip it in the bud by downsizing your plates and bowls, and dishing up healthy-sized portions.
If symptoms persist, always see your doctor. Underlying medical conditions like coeliac disease, a hiatus hernia or anxiety can cause reflux.
Finally, the latest evidence suggests that cucumber, cold milk and even broccoli can help to relieve reflux. Good luck easing the burn!