Unfortunately, heartburn, like nausea and heavy digestions, are symptoms typically associated with pregnancy. Heartburn tends to become more evident during the second half of pregnancy, and especially worse in the third trimester, when the volume occupied by the uterus with the fetus presses on the rest of the organs, leaving little space. What are the best foods to avoid heartburn in pregnancy?
In addition to the lack of space (precisely the digestive system is one of the most affected in the allocation of space within the belly of the future mother), the hormones of the symptoms of heartburn during pregnancy. Specifically, it is progesterone that is most involved in these symptoms, since one of its functions during pregnancy is as a muscle relaxant.
Progesterone, by relaxing the stomach muscles, facilitates the free passage of gastric juices from the pit of the stomach into the esophagus. The stomach content is characterized by having an acidic pH, capable of producing a tremendously uncomfortable burning sensation that is usually aggravated when lying down. In addition to this burning sensation, and due to the displacement suffered by the organs during the last trimester of pregnancy, heartburn can manifest as chest discomfort or pain.
Obviously, it will be the doctor who determines it, but if the symptoms are severe, the use of antacids may be recommended. However, in cases of milder symptoms, it is likely that a change in eating habits or diet can help make heartburn more bearable for the future mother.
For example, it is useful to include complex carbohydrates in meals, such as rice, potatoes or pasta, preferably dry or with sauces that do not contain spices. In addition, oats, especially in flakes, and ginger, either in infusions or as a condiment in dishes, are very beneficial for heartburn.
Among the vegetables, lettuce, spinach and chard, asparagus, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower are the most recommended. Also chicken or turkey meat, white fish and eggs are easily digestible and therefore beneficial foods. Melon, watermelon, and banana, as well as nuts can also help relieve symptoms of heartburn.
Additionally, it may be useful to note which foods make heartburn symptoms worse and / or improve, and follow the following guidelines.
- Introduce the food in small bites and chew them thoroughly
Saliva is the first to attack food and break it down or digest it in the mouth. Their work is vital to facilitate digestion, since the more advanced the digestion of food is when it reaches the stomach, the less need to spend time with gastric and intestinal juices.
- Eat slowly and regularly
In addition to maintaining an upright position during the digestive process, it prevents heartburn symptoms from worsening. Gravity in this case works in our favor, preventing gastric juices from circulating freely towards the esophagus. In general, it is recommended in the two or three hours before going to bed, to ensure that the stomach contents have already passed into the intestine.
- It is not advisable to accompany meals with a drink other than water
Although milk is capable of increasing the pH of the stomach since it neutralizes gastric acids, it also generates a rebound effect that aggravates heartburn symptoms by stimulating the production of acid above the levels prior to its ingestion.
- Avoid smoking and drinking
Although it is obvious, it does not hurt to remember to avoid tobacco and alcohol, as well as limit caffeine during pregnancy, since they all seriously worsen heartburn symptoms.
- You should also limit the consumption of foods that are very greasy or flavored with a lot of oil
In turn, frying and large meals in general, which increase the time the food spends in the stomach, increasing the risk of heartburn.
- And finally, traditionally acidic foods
On this list are citrus fruits, eaten or in juice, or tomatoes, and those that are very sweet or exciting, including chocolate, should be avoided.
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