There is a commercial for heartburn relief medicine that features a man placing an order at a fast food restaurant, and the clerk asks him, “Would you like heartburn now or later?” I find that question both funny and sad. In our fast-paced society, we are plagued with digestive problems, and instead of look at the root cause, we are more interested in popping a pill and finding a quick remedy to get us through the day. But what if you didn’t have to just get through the day? What if you could live every day without the problem?
Temporary fixes are just well, temporary. The problem will come back unless the root cause is addressed. Often in the case of digestive problems, the root cause is what we eat, how we eat or when we eat.
Heartburn is a burning sensation that can be subtle or make your chest feel like it is on fire. Heartburn is a digestive problem that often results from too much or too little stomach acid. The discomfort occurs when the stomach acid travels up to the esophagus. Sometimes you may even experience a regurgitation of recent food you ate, which is not pleasant at all.
I have experienced with my fair share with heartburn. As a kid I was popping TUMS like candy. In my early 20’s I developed a hiatal hernia and had to go on medications, but my body soon got used to those and eventually they had no effect. It was not until I changed my diet from fast fried foods, sugary sweets, processed snacks and alcohol to fresh vegetables, whole grains and more water that I began to experience relief.
However, it still creeps up from time to time, and I have even linked heartburn with stress. As a speaker, coach, singer and mom – I need my voice and certainly don’t want it compromised in any way. So when I start to feel the burn, I turn to traditional dietary remedies for relief.
- Eliminate the trigger foods like chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, tomatoes, fried foods, spicy foods, peppermint and low-quality foods like fast or heavily processed foods.
- Eat less. Smaller portions throughout the day can help relieve heartburn symptoms.
- Eat slower. Slowing down and chewing your food can work wonders for your digestion. Certain enzymes are released in the mouth to start the digestion process. Skipping this by swallowing your food nearly whole can compromise your system.
- Drink freshly squeezed carrot-ginger juice. Carrot helps anchor your stomach, while ginger helps calm it.
- Eat a Granny Smith Apple. Apples contain malic acid, which helps neutralize stomach acid, while the tartness of the Granny Smith helps draw fluids back in. However, this is only an acute remedy and should be used on a long-term basis, lest the opposite effect will occur.
- A teaspoon of Apple Cider vinegar in water. Again, the malic acid will help calm the stomach and promote digestion, while the vinegar will alkalize the rising acid.
- A teaspoon of Baking Soda in a glass of water. This will help neutralize any rogue stomach acid.
- Try Licorice Root. This herb is a great supporter for digestive and liver health. You can drink it as a tea or take it as a tincture. However, if you have high blood pressure too much licorice is not a good thing. Licorice can raise BP and lower potassium levels, so be sure to consult with your doctor first if you are concerned about these side effects.
If gravity does work against you, and you would like to take something, some health professionals recommend digestive enzymes, probiotics, HCl with pepsin, magnesium and L-Glutamine (Read more at: https://draxe.com/heartburn-remedies). Consult with your doctor or nutritionist before taking any of these.
Please note: If acid reflux does occur on a regular basis (and you’ve done an elimination diet already), then you should see a doctor because you may have gastroesophagael reflux disease (GERD), a hiatal hernia or something else wrong with your digestive system. It never hurts to check things out.
So, “would you like heartburn now or later?” How about NEVER PLEASE!
If you would like to explore Conscious Eating more – then please check out my Conscious Eating workbook!
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