If you have felt a burning sensation just below your chest minutes after eating a meal, then you are among the millions who experience heartburn. For some, heartburn may be an episodic occurrence, but for many Americans, the condition is chronic and persistent. The good news, however, is that we can stop heartburn naturally just by moderating our lifestyle and diet.
Tips to stop heartburn
- Prevention is better than curing it once it has begun. This theory also holds true for acid reflux. Prevent heartburn by avoiding foods that cause it. These include caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, spicy foods, and fat-laden processed foods. These foods irritate the stomach lining and esophagus, and enhance the burning sensation.
- Smoking should be restricted as there is evidence that shows that it may lead to relaxation of the esophagal sphincter (a muscular ring at the mouth of the esophagus). When the esophagal sphincter becomes weak or relaxed, the possibility of gastric acids (stomach acids) sneaking up into the esophagus increases and so does the risk of getting heartburn.
- Reducing bodyweight helps to reduce pressure on the esophagal sphincter and reduces the chances of an episode of heartburn.
- Avoiding large meals, heavy exercising, and carbonated beverages before bedtime helps stop heartburn.
Foods that stop heartburn
Good nutrition and appropriate dietary changes can stop heartburn and acid reflux by reducing stomach acid production, improving secretion of digestive enzymes, and soothing an irritated stomach lining. Chronic patients must consult their physician to determine the exact cause of heartburn as it could be caused by an ulcer, GERD, or gastritis. The following are foods that can stop heartburn:
- Ginger. A natural remedy for heartburn, ginger works as an anti-inflammatory agent and reduces the irritation and burning sensation of heartburn. Ginger can be taken in the form of juice, powder, or ginger tea. The same benefits can be derived by having chamomile or peppermint teas.
- Fennel and caraway. Known to improve digestion, these natural spices help to stop heartburn symptoms.
- Papaya. Papaya has an enzyme called papain that helps digestion.
- Yogurt. The presence of bioactive ingredients in yogurt help stop heartburn.
- Apple cider vinegar and alkaline vegetables such as collard greens, artichoke, watercress, and leaf lettuce help to maintain proper blood pH levels.
In addition to various foods that stop heartburn, magnesium hydroxide emulsions have gained popularity for heartburn relief. These emulsions work by blocking the excess secretion of stomach acids. However, it should be noted that the use of magnesium gives temporary relief from heartburn and must be used sparingly.
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