Heartburn (which is also known as acid reflux, GERD and just plain indigestion) is really discomforting. It usually occurs after a meal, and manifests itself in the form of a sour taste that linger as the rear of your throat, and which is accompanied by a burning sensation in your chest. Not to mention that nagging dry cough.
Some sufferers with heartburn also complain of stomach aches, and of excess burping. Although heartburn is certainly not dangerous, it is very irritating, and can leave the sufferer feeling frustrated and even exhausted. Indeed, it’s something many of us dread. Over 50 million Americans suffer with it at least once a month, and most rely on over-the-counter remedies, such as Tums, Zantac – or Proton Pump Inhibitors. Drugs like Proton Pump Inhibitors come with known side-effects, including irritable bowel disease, pneumonia, vitamin B12 deficiency, food allergies, and even gastric cancer.
So if you’re looking to treat your heartburn the healthy way, let’s take a look at 10 ways in which to do this.
10 Healthy Ways To Beat Heartburn:
Try A Gluten-Free Diet
More and more Americans say they would happily go gluten-free if they had to, but a lot of the time people who adopt a diet that contains zero gluten actually have a choice. Although people with celiac disease have to go gluten-free if they want to improve their health, people who are other otherwise healthy are adopting a gluten-free diet because they can see that it offers them a lot of value. One of the prime causes of heartburn is food rich in gluten, such as bread and pasta. By cutting out gluten from your diet – even if you don’t have celiac disease – you could reduce your risk of heartburn by pretty much 100%.
Eat Lots Of Ginger
Ginger is legendary when it comes to healthy remedies for common physical ailments, particularly digestive disorders. Although the jury is very much still out on just how effective ginger is at treating heartburn, it has been found to provide some relief. According to a study posted in the journal Molecular Research and Food Nutrition, researchers found that a single compound found in finger is up to 8 times more powerful at treating acid reflux than Prevacid. Moreover, ginger is high in potent antioxidants that protect your fats from oxidising. You can easily include ginger in your meals in the same way you would garlic, or you could try ginger beer or ginger tea.
Water is the healthiest substance on the planet, but most of us don’t drink anywhere near enough of it. Water is great for flushing out your system first thing in the morning, and it’s also a good remedy for heartburn. If you ever wake up in the middle of the night with heartburn, you should immediately drink a glass of cold water. Then, follow this with a mixture of 1tbsp of baking soda in a second, smaller glass of water. A lot of people who wake up with heartburn have a tendency to drink a glass of milk but this is detrimental and can make your symptoms worse.
Almonds are fantastic for digestion because they’re rich in oil, which doubles down on stomach acid. Take a bag of them to work with you and snack on them throughout the day.
Vinegar won’t prevent acid reflux from occurring in the first place in the same way that ginger and gluten-free foods will, but it is a great neutraliser that pretty much instantly soothes your symptoms. If you feel heartburn coming on, you should try drinking a teaspoon of vinegar. It sounds odd, but it works! After all, one of the reasons heartburn is caused is because your stomach has got too much acid swimming around it. Vinegar helps because it adds some juice to your stomach that helps it get on with its job.
Try Aloe Juice
Aloe is a natural plant that soothes burns, and lots of people use it to treat their sunburn. But the aloe plant is really versatile and can be used to remedy a number of ailments, including inflammation. As such, it is able to treat heartburn. When you feel that your stomach is irritated and your chest is starting to burn, you could do a lot worse than drink a glass of aloe juice. It will calm you down nicely, and make you feel a lot more relaxed. The best time to drink it is before meals.
Avoid These Foods
There are certain foods that trigger heartburn, especially at night, and you should do your best to avoid them as much as possible. We’re not saying that you should avoid all them all the time, but some people have trigger foods that are often at the root cause of their problems. Foods that can cause GERD include garlic, alcohol, caffeine, soda pop, citrus fruits, chocolate, and tomatoes.
Chew Some Gum
When I was a child, my mom used to tell me off for chewing gum. “It makes your stomach think food is on the way,” she warned, “and thus it creates excess acid down there.” Although my mom’s intentions were good, she was totally misguided. Rather than create symptoms of acid reflux, chewing gum actually eradicates them. When you chew gum, you stimulate your salivary glands. Subsequently, any acid that has built up in your stomach is washed away by the increased flow of saliva. Bingo!
Eat More Bananas
Dieticians always tells us to eat more fruit, and for good reason. Fruits are great at giving us instant energy, but they also act as a cure to many of our common disorders. Bananas are rich in natural antacids which combat acid reflux. I you’re not keen on bananas, you can try apples instead. These are just as good at relieving your discomfort.
One of the healthiest ways to beat heartburn is to simply eat less food. Instead of overloading your plate, try eating smaller meals. If this is something you don’t think you can do because you love filling up the plate, how about buying some smaller plates? Eating five small meals per days instead of three big ones works wonders for digestion.
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