Have you suffered from heartburn lately? You’re not alone – acid reflux is a common condition that troubles millions on a routine basis. Fortunately, there are simple lifestyle adjustments that you can make that can reduce the effects of heartburn, if not preventing it entirely.
Avoid Eating Right Before Bedtime – It’s best to finish your dinner about two or three hours before you hit the hay. This will give your stomach to clear and empty the meal from your stomach. Additionally, as the digested food leaves your stomach, your acid levels will simultaneously decrease.
Eat Smaller Portions, and Eat More Frequently – We’ve all heard that you should eat three meals per day. For heartburn sufferers, this advice may actually inflame their symptoms. Instead, replace your three major meals with 4 to 5 smaller meals per day.
Eat at a Slow Pace – As much as you may like gobbling down a delicious meal, you may wind up provoking heartburn. Make sure to take your time when eating. You may consider putting down your fork or spoon between bites.
Wear Loose-fitting Clothing – Tight clothes may look good on you, but they can also push stomach acid up into your esophagus. Looser clothes won’t put such pressure on your stomach.
Pass on Heartburn-inducing Foods and Drinks – You may love eating chocolates, doughnuts, brownies and peppermints, but these foods are virtually a sure-fire way to trigger heartburn. The same goes for many drinks, such as coffee, tea, lemonade, orange juice, grapefruit juice and cranberry juice. Even some healthy foods should be avoided, like onions, tomatoes and spaghetti with sauce. Other foods that you should consider skipping are French fries, potato chips, ice cream, ground beef, chicken nuggets and Buffalo wings.
Lose Weight – Yet another reason to trim your waistline; losing weight reduces you odds of experiencing heartburn.
Kick your Smoking Habit – Smoking causes a plethora of problems, and you can add heartburn to an already long list. Nicotine can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that serves as a checkpoint between your stomach and esophagus. With this barrier damaged, stomach acid can seep up into your esophagus, triggering heartburn.
Limit or Avoid Alcohol – A glass of wine or bottle of beer might help you unwind after a long day, but it might also be causing your recurring heartburn. Instead of consuming alcohol after a busy work day, opt for some exercise, such as walking, stretching or deep breathing.
Heartburn sufferers should also be pleased to know that there are all-natural ways for treating heartburn. If you are suffering from persistent acid reflux, you may want to give one of these remedies a try:
Apple Cider Vinegar – It may sound odd to fight heartburn with an acid, but apple cider vinegar is actually very effective at treating acid reflex. Simply mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a half cup of water, and sip on the drink during dinner.
Ginger Root – This herb not only absorbs stomach acid, it can also calm your nerves. They should be available for sale at natural health food outlets, or at nutritional stores. Just take a capsule after dinner, and you should begin to experience some heartburn relief.
Fennel Seeds – Funnel seeds are known for their licorice-like smell, as well as their many healing properties. This herb contains Anethole, a chemical compound that can prevent spasms from occurring in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. These spasms are one of the causes of acid reflex, so Funnel seeds can be a useful method for stopping frequent heartburn.
Anise and Lavender Tea – This tea can stop heartburn in its tracks by lowering the amount of acid in your stomach. Its recipe calls for mixing together equal amounts of aniseed and lavender. Boil 2 ½ cups of water, and pour it onto a teaspoon of the aniseed/lavender mixture. Let this tea sit for about 3-5 minutes, and drink up. You should consume 8 ounces of this tea in the morning and at night for maximum effect. If you feel the tea is lacking in taste, add some honey to the mix.