(Natural News) Has there ever been a time in your life when you’re just eating food, and suddenly you’re suffering from a burning sensation in your chest? There’s no need to panic: You probably are experiencing a heartburn, which is very common. Approximately 46 percent of the world’s population regularly suffer from it. Fortunately, getting relief from heartburn can be easily achieved through natural fixes.
Most of the time, people reach for antacids like calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, and alginic acid when they’re suffering from heartburn. However, these medications have side effects like gas, constipation, diarrhea, and swelling of the feet, ankles, and hands, so it’s not good to take them regularly. Moreover, the effects of antacids are temporary, and they don’t address the root of the problem. To reduce the need for over-the-counter medications, here are some tips on how to get rid of heartburn once and for all.
- Improve digestion — Nowadays, people are too busy even to chew their food properly. This leaves the stomach with more digesting to do, and if it doesn’t have enough acid to finish its job, that’s when you’ll start to experience the burning sensation or the regurgitation of food. To improve your body’s digestive process, you can start by simply chewing your food for a longer amount of time. Additionally, you can limit your food intake to smaller portions so that the stomach can do its job more efficiently.
- Avoid dietary triggers — Some foods have a higher chance of causing heartburn so it would be best to avoid them if you often suffer from this condition — the foods that you should avoid are spicy foods. These contain capsaicin, which can slow down digestion. You should also avoid onions, fatty foods, mint, chocolates, and carbonated beverages since these can relax muscles in the esophagus and make it easier for acid reflux to occur.
- Lose some weight — People who are obese or who lack physical activity often experience heartburn while they are lying down. This is because of the extra weight in the midsection that exerts added pressure on the stomach and organs. Once you have attained a healthier weight through proper diet and exercise, you will experience a significant decrease in heartburn incidences.
- Reduce intake of alcohol and caffeinated beverages— These beverages worsen not just heartburn but other digestive problems such as hernias and ulcers as well. They do this by altering the digestive tract and its functions. Moreover, caffeinated drinks and alcohol are acidic so they can irritate the lining of the digestive system and cause an increase in inflammation. This results in reduced stomach acid production and poor digestion.
- Manage stress — When you’re stressed, you are relying on the sympathetic nervous system for the fight-or-flight response. But this isn’t good for your digestion, which is controlled by the parasympathetic system. Try out some deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to reduce your stress levels and promote good digestion.
- Boost stomach acid — For some people, their stomach can’t produce the necessary amount of stomach acids without some help. If you’re one of those people, then you should take digestive enzyme supplements, which contain pepsin or hydrochloric acid. Moreover, you can also drink apple cider vinegar before or after eating to improve stomach acid production.
- Eat nutritious foods — To make things easier for your stomach, you should try sticking to foods that are not processed, not spicy, and are rich in nutrients since these are easy to digest. Such foods include grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, squash, dark leafy greens, ginger, salmon, and avocados.
By following these tips, you can experience heartburn relief without having to use harmful antacids. (Related: Heartburn sufferers shouldn’t be too quick to reach for the antacids; heartburn medications do more harm than good.)
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