What is Heartburn?
Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up in the esophagus and eventually reaches your throat area. Heartburn is a very unpleasant burning sensation that can truly leave a bad taste in your mouth. Almost one in five Americans experiences it.
What Causes Heartburn?
The common cause of heartburn is a lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, that doesn’t contract regularly. Unhealthy foods are a major contributor to heartburn, especially foods that are deep-fried or cooked in grease.. Overeating can also cause acid reflux, due to the excess amount of pressure on the stomach.
What Are the Symptoms of Heartburn?
Symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux include a dry cough, a sore throat that causes difficulty swallowing, an increased burning sensation after digestion, and tasting acid or food in the back of your mouth. These symptoms intensify the moment you lay down.
Foods and Beverages to Avoid with Acid Reflux:
• Citrus Fruits – Citrus fruits might be ideal for the common cold, but the acidity inside can cause heartburn, particularly on an empty stomach.
• Garlic and Onions – Although both vegetables are essential for a healthy dietary intake, they also wreck havoc on people suffering from heartburn.
• Carbonated Beverages – Carbonated beverages cause gastric distension, leading to acid reflux and indigestion. It’s best to stay away from sodas and just drink mineral water instead.
5 Natural Treatments for Heartburn
- Eating a Healthy Diet – There are many foods that are extremely good for you, but bad for your heartburn. Some of these foods include ground beef, sour cream, cottage cheese, onions, tomatoes, and citrus fruits. Make sure you avoid fried or greasy foods to prevent heartburn from occurring. Drink plenty of water between meals and skip the carbonated beverages altogether.
- Enzymes and Probiotics – Probiotics are often referred to as the “good bacteria”, since they promote healthy digestion. Probiotics minimize the growth of harmful bacteria and boost the immune system. Probiotics are available in supplement form, and help combat acid reflux. Take them together with hydrochloric acid or HCI enzyme supplement for smooth digestion.
- Aloe Vera Juice – Aloe Vera juice has been known to treat acid reflux and other medical symptoms. It’s advisable to drink a quarter of a cup of Aloe Vera approximately 20 minutes before a meal, or whenever you experience acid reflux. You can even mix Aloe Vera with tea or water if you don’t like the basic taste of it. Do not drink Aloe Vera juice if you have diabetes, kidney failure or thyroid disease. Pregnant women and children should also avoid it.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar is used to treat stomach acid buildup, as ironic as that may sound. The cider helps digestion by breaking down fats, despite the acidity factor. Mix one or two teaspoons of the apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink it before meals, or whenever you feel an acid reflux attack coming on.
- Baking Soda – A little baking soda is all it takes to alleviate your acid reflux symptoms. You may not appreciate the bland taste, but you’ll feel much better afterward. Mix half a teaspoon (or even a full one) of baking soda with a glass of water.
Recipe: How to Prepare an Anti-Reflux Smoothie:
• 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
• 1 cup diced fresh papaya
• 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
• 1/2 cup ice
• 1/2 cup pineapple juice or water
• Blend it all together and drink.