Late-night snacking not only makes it very likely for you to gain weight but it can also lead to acid reflux. This condition happens when those digestive acids escape the stomach and wreak havoc to the esophagus and even your gullet. Someone with acid reflux commonly experiences symptoms such as heartburn and sore throat. There is also what’s known as “silent reflux” that causes sore throat and chronic cough even without exhibiting the usual symptoms of indigestion or hyperacidity.
Health authorities say that you should have your dinner not less than 3 hours before you hit the sack. This gives the stomach plenty of time to digest its contents and empty itself. In case the urge to snack proves to be too challenging to fight off, make sure that you steer clear of the following that can trigger acid or silent reflux:
Munching on fatty foods at night increases your likelihood of gaining excess pounds and suffering from acid or silent reflux. They relax the muscle between the stomach and esophagus, and they also prompt your stomach to produce more acid.
Because the stomach cannot really tell the difference between good and bad fat, it reacts to fats in the same way. Walnuts, cashews, macadamias, peanuts and the rest may have good fats in them but they all make for bad late-night snacks.
They are loaded with fat too, causing your stomach to produce more digestive acids. In addition, chocolates have caffeine in them, making it hard for you to get to dreamland at night.
What makes cheese trigger acid or silent reflux is the fat it contains. If you cannot say no to cheese at night, opt for parmesan or Swiss cheese. You should definitely avoid soft ones such as those that make pizza something hard to resist.
The consumption of alcohol at any given time causes the ring of muscle separating the stomach and the esophagus to relax. This makes it easy for the acid to back up to the esophagus especially during bedtime as you’re in a lying position.
There are 2 things about soda that trigger acid or silent reflux. One, the beverage is highly acidic. Two, the carbonation causes an increase stomach pressure, causing its contents — food and acid — to go up the esophagus.
Citrus Fruits and Juices
Naturally, the consumption of acidic citrus fruits and juices at night (or at any other time of the day) may trigger acid or silent reflux, or exacerbate the condition if you already have it.
Drinking coffee before you hit the sack promotes acid production. In case you cannot fight off the urge to have a piping-hot cup of coffee at night, it’s a good idea to opt for decaf.
When late-night snacking is inevitable, always remember to dodge fatty and acidic foods. Opt for a piece of banana, glass of low- or non-fat milk or cup of chamomile tea instead.