Expert tips to keep your digestive system healthy, your stomach flat and avoid bloating
'Try to eat smaller meals spaced out rather than one large meal,' advises Dr John de Caestecker, gastroenterology consultant at Spire Leicester Hospital.
'A distended stomach is the main way of provoking reflux. Taking time to chew your food properly is also important as it increases the production of saliva, which helps prevent heartburn because it is alkaline and so neutralises refluxed stomach acid.'
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'Rich, fatty foods are a primary culprit of heartburn. If you're prone to heartburn attacks it may be a good idea to eat fatty or oily food sparingly.'
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'Sticking to hors d'oeuvres that are high in protein rather than fat will help to avoid heartburn,' advises Dr de Caestecker.
'Look out for things containing prawns, salmon or chicken but avoid creamy, cheesy treats.'
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'Limit your alcohol intake as alcohol can trigger a heartburn attack if taken in excess. If you're prone to heartburn, this can be because your gullet has been made sensitive by previous acid reflux, so acid drinks such as a dry white wine and spirits will tend to provoke symptoms.'
'After a big festive meal it's important to keep moving and don't be tempted to lie down. A gentle walk will help your digestive system kick into action.
'Avoid eating or drinking within three hours of going to bed, but if you do find yourself eating late at night, sleep with your head elevated. Elevating your head with extra pillows under the head of the mattress helps reduce acid reflux, the usual cause of heartburn.'
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'If the day's festivities have left you with painful heartburn try sleeping on your left side. Laying on your right side allows your stomach contents to reflux more easily into the gullet which will make heartburn worse.'
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'Be prepared; if you know you are prone to heartburn make sure you have a suitable remedy at hand. Antacids like Milk of Magnesia are designed for short term relief and are most suitable for mild and relatively infrequent symptoms.
'More regular sufferers should use a H2 antagonist treatment such as Zantac 75 Relief, as it works at the root cause of the problem and provides longer-lasting relief.'
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