Heartburn, the painful burning in the esophagus below or behind the breastbone, affects 20 percent of Americans each week. Usually caused by too much acid in the stomach, heartburn has become common because of our highly acidic diets. The acid rises up the esophagus from the stomach and can cause pain, vomiting, and even make it difficult for a sufferer to breathe. It can be treated with medications, home remedies, or dietary changes.
According to health and fitness expert Lori Kenyon Farley, co-founder of Ritual Wellness, “The best way to treat heartburn is to prevent it.” One of the most important approaches to preventing heartburn is to learn what triggers your symptoms. Each person’s body is different and will respond differently to food. Singling out which foods cause your heartburn and eliminating them from your diet is the easiest and most efficient method of preventing heartburn.
There are also a few basic rules to follow that may help in heartburn prevention. Elizabeth Brown of The Kitchen Vixen, registered dietitian and holistic chef, advises that “too much fat, in any form, even from good fats like olives, nuts, and seeds, will slow digestion and may exacerbate heartburn symptoms. The key for most people who suffer from heartburn is to eat small meals three to six times a day so as not to eat too much at once.” This will put less stress on the stomach and body, thereby reducing heartburn symptoms.
In keeping with this theory, Brown also suggests that “smoothies or liquids would definitely be better for preventing heartburn since large particle size (bigger chunks of food) will require more stomach acid to break down.” There are several foods that serve as natural remedies to stomach acidity which can help to relieve or prevent heartburn symptoms. Some of these include: fresh ginger root, bananas, watermelon, celery, fresh fennel bulb (sliced), anise seeds, parsley, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar, chamomile and green teas, apples, cantaloupe, pears, and pumpkin. Adding these ingredients to smoothies, juices, and teas is a healthy, natural way to ease your heartburn!
Chamomile and Ginger Tea Recipe
Chamomile is an effective acid neutralizer that also aids in relaxation. Ginger helps repair inflammation, eases nausea, and settles the stomach. Sip this tea hot or cold and let it soothe your burning tummy.
Healing Aloe Vera Green Tea
Fresh aloe vera helps the body repair cell damage, and green tea is a stomach soother that aids in healthy digestion. Choose decaffeinated green tea, as caffeine can be a trigger for heartburn.