Few feelings are worse than the burning, uncomfortable sensation of heartburn. Unfortunately for 60 million Americans, acid reflux symptoms are monthly occurrences, according to Healthline. 15 million experience these burning sensations in the stomach, mid-chest and throat every single day. While medications like antacids and anti-reflux medication can alleviate symptoms, there are several natural home remedies known to bring relief.
1. Chew gum. According to WebMD, chewing gum is effective for soothing heartburn. This is because chewing gum helps produce saliva, which acts as a natural acid buffer. Chewing gum also encourages you to swallow more often, which pushes back the acids that want to come back up from your esophagus.
2. Eat less. Instead of eating three big meals a day, eat five to six small meals throughout the day. RefluxMD explains that by controlling your portions, not only will you have fewer reflux symptoms, but you will also be more likely to lose weight. To get in the habit of eating smaller meals throughout the day, RefluxMD recommends eating when you first wake in the morning in order to stabilize your blood sugar, as well as doing something else while you eat, like engaging in conversation, to help you eat more slowly.
3. Drink a baking soda cocktail. Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, has a high pH level and is therefore effective in neutralizing stomach acid and preventing heartburn. Everyday Roots recommends mixing a teaspoon of baking soda in a full 8 oz. glass of water. Drink the cocktail either before your meal or at the first sign of heartburn, but be careful not to consume more than seven-and-a-half teaspoons of baking soda in any 24 hour period, as the high salt content can cause swelling and nausea.
4. Drink tea made from fresh ginger root. A study by the Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysore, India found that ginger is more effective at treating acid reflux than pharmaceutical acid-blockers like Prevacid. Ginger is an effective natural remedy because the root has enzymes that naturally breakdown amino acids. Ginger has the added benefit of being antibacterial, antiviral and anti-parasitic, according to Natural Society. To soothe heartburn, simply drink tea made from boiling water and fresh, peeled or grated ginger root.
5. Eat almonds for dessert. Several personal accounts on The People's Pharmacy speak to the positive effects of eating just two or three almonds after a meal to quell heartburn. Many claim almonds, as well as almond milk and almond butter, are even more effective than prescription drugs. Prevention Magazine recommends drinking a smoothie made with almond milk in the morning to prevent heartburn during the day. Almonds work because they produce alkalizes that help neutralize acid.
6. Drink apple cider vinegar. Treat acid reflux with more acid? Yes. In fact, acid reflux is often a symptom of not having enough stomach acid. When the stomach does not produce enough acid, the esophagus loosens and opens, allowing more acid to flow through. This is when heart burn occurs. To combat acid reflux, follow the advice of Everyday Roots and drink an 8 oz. glass of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar before bedtime or 2- 3 times during the day.
7. Sleep on your left side. It may sound too simple or quirky, but studies such as one by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine found that acid reflux was aggravated in subjects who slept on their right side, while those sleeping on their left side experienced a decrease in symptoms. Though the reasons for this phenomena are unclear, the results are compelling enough to motivate those with chronic heartburn to adopt this simple lifestyle change.
8. Eat a banana. Bananas, like almonds, are alkaline-producing foods that are effective in balancing the pH level in the stomach. According to Home Remedies For Life, bananas also help by coating the stomach lining and thus shielding it from painful gastric acid. Further, bananas are rich in potassium, essential for absorbing food into the stomach, as well as fiber, which is important in eliminating harmful toxins. Include bananas in your everyday diet to prevent acid reflux and soothe heartburn when it happens.
Anyone who suffers from heartburn will be relieved to hear there are so many natural ways to both prevent and treat acid reflux.
You can adopt each of these methods today by drinking water mixed with apple cider vinegar before going to bed, sleeping on your left side, and upon waking in the morning, drinking a delicious smoothie made from almond milk and bananas. Don't forget to eat small meals at evenly spaced times throughout the day. To prevent yourself from over-eating, pop a piece of chewing gum as soon as you are satiated, even if you still have food on your plate. The gum will help you resist extra forkfuls, while also pushing the acid back into your stomach. If you do experience heartburn, drink either ginger tea or water mixed with baking soda. With these easy lifestyle changes, you will be able to put away those prescription drugs and live heartburn free!
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