“One of the causes of reflux is when something opens up the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the gate between your esophagus and your stomach,” Rodriguez says. Culprits include chocolate, coffee, mint, fried foods or foods high in saturated fat.
Eat Smaller Portions
Reflux is also enabled by a traffic jam in your digestive tract. Too much food in your stomach and nowhere for it to go can cause your LES to open, sending acid back up.
Move After Meals
Sitting or lying down after a meal doesn’t help move food through your system. “The intestines are like watches you have to keep winding,” Rodriguez says. “Light activity is important to help the stomach empty.”
Guzzling water with a meal can fill you up too fast, stretching the stomach out and opening the LES. “When it is open, things can reflux,” Rodriguez says. Wait until you’ve had time to digest before you imbibe. — Katie Neal