Heartburn, often called acid reflux, pyrosis or acid indigestion, is when acidic contents from the stomach enters into the esophagus. This creates a burning sensation in the chest and leaves a disagreeable bitter after taste in your mouth. The gastroesophageal sphincter is a ring of muscle that usually acts as a valve to prevent these acids from entering the esophagus. When it is overused it can no longer prevent regurgitated acids from escaping which then causes acid reflux symptoms like heartburn. However there are some natural ways you can help to prevent heartburn by watching your diet and choosing appropriate foods.
1) Healthy diet and good habits
Some foods can encourage or reduce acid reflux. It is recommended that you don’t eat too much fatty or spicy foods and avoid drinking too much alcohol. On the contrary, alkaline foods are recommended to combat excess acidity by balancing the pH. Potatoes and in particular potato juice which can be extracted when grated, are recommended alkaline foods. You can take 2 to 3 teaspoons of potato juice or your can take a tablet of dehydrated potato. Fruits also contain fibres which help to reduce gastric acid.
Smoking, overweight or sleeping on your right side or on your stomach are also considered aggravating factors of heartburn.
Due to the acidic flavour of lemons, it is easy to that they would be ill advised in acid reflux situations. However lemons are a great alkaline fruit that can really come to your aide. You just need to drink lemon infused water on an empty stomach in the morning. Rinse your mouth afterward to conserve your teeth or you can use a straw.
3) Fresh almonds
You only need to head a handful in a day. Like lemons and potatoes and lettuce, almonds are alkaline which allow them to combat acidity. The oil of the almonds lines the stomach wall and acts as a form of protection against acidic foods while still regulating excessive secretions of your gastic juices.
4) Cider vinegar
Logically you’d believe that acidic foods like this should be avoided by it is not the case, as studies tend to show that acid refluxes are linked to a lack of acidity that is affecting the digestive system. As a natural remedy, you can add two tablespoons of cider vinegar to water and drink three times per day. Aloe vera juice, grapefruit zetes and pineapples are also very effective.
5) Bicarbonate of soda
This natural remedy is greatly appreciated by pregnant women suffering from gastric refluxas it presents no danger for the mother or child. It is also very simple to use. You just need to mix half a teaspoon into a glass of warm water and then add a dash of lemon juice. You should drink this mixture before eating.
6) Plants that prevent acid reflux
Credits : Flickr/Charles Haynes
There are lots of plants that can help digestion from mint, chamomile, ginger, cardamon, aniseed, cumin and lemon balm. These plant can also have a positive effect on an irritated esophagus. They can be used predominantly in herbal infusion after each meal or can be used on there own. A quick solution could be to chew them on there own.