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Zinc and Acid Reflux

Chronic indigestion in Dallas can mean more than sleepless nights and a reliance on antacids. It can mean an end to indulging in any of the dishes that make Dallas cuisine so special.

Recent research from the Yale University School of Medicine indicates that taking a common and essential mineral can relieve indigestion and acid reflux. This type of indigestion is incredibly common in the United States, affecting more than 50 million Americans.

This promising mineral is zinc. In a study of 12 participants, Yale’s researchers found that 200 mg of zinc chloride administered orally after a 10-hour fast quickly reduced stomach acid secretion. The lowered secretions continued for three or more hours.

Acidity in participants receiving plain water or an acid reflux PPI medication remained high. The researchers indicate that delayed relief is a long-standing shortcoming of PPIs. Their findings, published in the January 2011 American Journal of Gastroenterology, also mention that regular use of zinc also thickens the stomach surface’s acid-buffering protective gel layer.

The stomach’s acid-secreting parietal cells contain tiny pumps that release acidic hydrogen ions. PPI acid reflux medications block the pumps’ ion release. Their regular use, however, may cause zinc deficiency. As an essential mineral, zinc helps cells grow properly. Zinc deficiency may cause nerve damage, problems with developing infants and digestive system irregularity.

The Yale researchers speculate that zinc may relieve indigestion quickly by preventing the negative electrical charge that signals the stomach cavity to begin producing acid. They suggest that at daily levels higher than the National Institutes of Health’s recommended 8 to 11 mg, zinc may be a supplemental or alternative acid reflux treatment.

If indigestion has put your favorite Dallas cooking off limits, talk to your doctor about adding zinc to your acid reflux treatment regimen.

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Heartburn-Free Picnics

If you’re looking forward to summer cookouts and picnics but are worried about the heartburn that you’ll inevitably suffer, don’t dismay. You can still enjoy your summer heartburn-free!

Enjoying a burger isn’t out of the question as long as you use the leanest meats possible and grill them instead of frying. Potato salad rarely contains elements that will trigger heartburn, and try making your green salads using carrots and other mild vegetables instead of tomatoes. Soda and alcoholic beverages are a staple of the summer cookout, but if you drink water, iced tea, or non-citrus fruit drinks instead, you’ll be better off. Limit your alcoholic intake considerably or try drinking something with a lower concentration of alcohol, like a wine cooler.

Your actions can also affect your risk of heartburn just as much as the foods you eat. Smoking after a meal stimulates the production of stomach acid and the nicotine weakens the valve between your esophagus and your stomach. If you want to lie down, wait at least two hours after eating so that gravity can do its important job of facilitating the flow of food and digestive juices from your stomach into your intestines. Finally, limit your portion size. A large meal puts pressure on the esophageal valve, resulting in a high risk for acid reflux, especially if you’re already overweight.

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Cooking Tips for Heartburn-Friendly Meals

Frequent heartburn is a painful annoyance that most sufferers would love to be able to avoid. Before your doctor prescribes medication or more invasive treatment options, you may try making a few simple lifestyle changes to find relief from your heartburn. For many, this means taking a second look at what you eat and how you prepare your meals. Learn how to make great food that won’t leave you suffering from heartburn pain.

Cooking Tips for Heartburn Sufferers

1. Stay away from heartburn-inducing ingredients. While not everyone responds the same way to all foods, there are a few foods that are more likely to cause heartburn than others. Try leaving these foods off your plate and take note of how your stomach responds.

Top Heartburn Foods to Avoid:

  • citrus fruits
  • spicy foods
  • tomato-based foods
  • mint
  • chocolate
  • coffee
  • alcohol

2. Go lite! Fatty foods often take longer to digest, which increases the chances of you finishing your meal with heartburn. Experiment with low-fat ingredients and less fatty cooking techniques, like broiling instead of frying.

3. Practice portion control. Diet experts will tell you to watch how much you eat in order to keep tabs on your weight, but eating smaller portions can also help you avoid heartburn. Large meals sit longer in your stomach and cause your body to produce even more stomach acid, which is a known risk factor for acid reflux and heartburn. Use measuring cups to dole out portions on a smaller dinner plate.

4. Add water. Drinking water with your meals can help dilute stomach acid and reduce the risk of reflux. Stay away from carbonated water—the extra bubbles can make your heartburn worse. Stick with tap or filtered water during your meals to help wash down those painful stomach acids.

Frequent heartburn is a painful annoyance that most sufferers would love to be able to avoid. Before your doctor prescribes medication or more invasive treatment options, you may try making a few simple lifestyle changes to find relief from your heartburn. For many, this means taking a second look at what you eat and how you prepare your meals. Learn how to make great food that won’t leave you suffering from heartburn pain.

5. Stay away from heartburn-inducing ingredients. While not everyone responds the same way to all foods, there are a few foods that are more likely to cause heartburn than others. Try leaving these foods off your plate and take note of how your stomach responds.

Top Heartburn Foods to Avoid:

  • citrus fruits
  • spicy foods
  • tomato-based foods
  • mint
  • chocolate
  • coffee
  • alcohol

6. Go lite! Fatty foods often take longer to digest, which increases the chances of you finishing your meal with heartburn. Experiment with low-fat ingredients and less fatty cooking techniques, like broiling instead of frying.

7. Practice portion control. Diet experts will tell you to watch how much you eat in order to keep tabs on your weight, but eating smaller portions can also help you avoid heartburn. Large meals sit longer in your stomach and cause your body to produce even more stomach acid, which is a known risk factor for acid reflux and heartburn. Use measuring cups to dole out portions on a smaller dinner plate.

8. Add water. Drinking water with your meals can help dilute stomach acid and reduce the risk of reflux. Stay away from carbonated water—the extra bubbles can make your heartburn worse. Stick with tap or filtered water during your meals to help wash down those painful stomach acids.

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