I hate heartburn.
I never had heartburn – didn’t even know what it felt like – until after I turned 30. Now, for some reason, I’ve had chronic heartburn for the past several weeks. The doctor calls it “gastritis.” I call it a royal pain in the … well, chest region.
They’ve got all these prescription and over-the-counter drugs for heartburn, and I’ve been taking those, but my mom said what worked best for her was to force herself to go on a bland diet for 2 weeks to give her stomach a break. After that, she said, she felt “cured” other than the occasional flare-up when she eats something really spicy. So, while I know there isn’t much exciting about a blah-blah-bland diet, I also know that’s part of being a human and it technically falls under the food category.
I’m guessing some of you have had this problem before, so I want to share some ideas with you. I found a great list on one of the National Institutes of Health websites for what you can eat on a bland diet and what you should not (note that it does not mention alcohol, which definitely does not belong in a bland diet. And avoid meds with aspirin or ibuprophen, if possible). I will attach the food advice below, with my notes in italics. Have any of you found that this helps?
Foods you CAN eat:
Milk and other dairy products, low-fat only
Cooked, canned, or frozen vegetables
Fruit and vegetable juices (I’m not sure I believe something like orange juice or tomato juice is good for stomach problems, so I’m avoiding that)
Cooked or canned fruit with the skin and seeds removed, such as applesauce or canned peaches
Breads, crackers, and pasta made with refined white flour
Refined hot cereals, such as oatmeal and cream of wheat
Lean, tender meats, such as poultry, whitefish, and shellfish that are steamed, baked, or grilled with no added fat
Creamy peanut butter (Yay!)
Pudding and custard
Soup, especially broth (I made some good chicken noodle)
Foods to AVOID:
Fatty dairy foods, such as whipped cream or high-fat ice cream
Strong cheeses, such as bleu or Roquefort
Vegetables that make you gassy, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, green peppers, and corn
Fresh berries and other fresh fruit
Whole-grain or bran cereals
Whole-grain breads, crackers, or pasta
Pickles, sauerkraut, and similar foods
Spices, such as hot pepper and garlic (double bummer)
Foods with a lot of sugar or honey in them
Seeds and nuts
Highly seasoned cured or smoked meats and fish
I would add coffee to this list, too, as much as that bums me out.
Other tips from the NIH (most of this is generally good advice anyway):
* Eat small meals and eat them more often during the day
* Chew your food slowly and well
* If you smoke cigarettes, stop.
* Don’t eat within 2 hours of bedtime.
* Stop eating foods that are on the “avoid” list if you do not feel well after you eat them.
* Drink fluids slowly.
Any other tips you guys would offer?