The 8 food rules to avoid heart-burns

The first part of this diet is a 28-day ‘healing’ phase, in which you avoid acidic foods that trigger damage and only eat those rich in compounds that help repair the delicate throat and esophagus lining. This means sticking to the following principles…

1. Eliminate acid triggers

2. Rein in your reflux-generating habits – so stop smoking completely and cut out processed food.

3. Avoid fried food. It relaxes the esophageal valve.

4. Eat three meals, and two mini-meals, at regular intervals, having dinner no later than 7.30 pm. This ensures you don’t overeat and allows the stomach three hours to digest before lying down, avoiding night-time reflux.

5. Practice the rule of five: you can eat foods with a pH value of 5 and higher, while pH₄ foods can be introduced in the maintenance phase. These foods will help heal the damage to your esophagus by keeping pepsin in check.

6. Introduce more fiber into your diet — it keeps your digestion healthy, reducing reflux. To do this, eat a daily minimum of 450 g of vegetables above pH₅ (for example, five medium-sized carrots) – half of which should be raw – and a daily minimum of 225 g raw fruit (e.g. a handful of cubed cantaloupe with a banana). One meal a day should be meat-free to maximize fiber intake.

7. Restrict intake of fluids to just drinking water.

8. Avoid seed oils. These — rapeseed, sunflower, sesame oils — have a borderline pH, but are essentially acidic because their extraction process involves chemicals. Use extra virgin olive oil instead.
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