Whats The Difference Between Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Before we jump into the foods that help heartburn, well first distinguish the difference between heartburn and acid reflux. Heartburn is a sharp, burning pain thats felt beneath the sternum. Its a symptom of acid reflux.
Acid reflux occurs when the LES spontaneously relaxes. This allows stomach acid to leak into the esophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a more severe form of acid reflux. This condition describes heartburn that occurs at least two times per week. Without treatment, GERD can damage the esophagus.
Foods And Drinks That Help With Acid Reflux
While certain foods and drinks can trigger acid reflux, there are also several that can help to ease your symptoms:
1. Oatmeal and Whole Grains
Oat and other whole grains, such as whole-grain bread and brown rice, are full of healthy fiber, which promotes digestive health. Whole grains also help you feel fuller longer, which can reduce the risk of overeating.
Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. Many people also use it to ease stomach upset and indigestion.
3. Lean Meats
Lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, and certain types of fish, are lower in fat than other types of meats and can help to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. Tofu is also an excellent low-fat protein source.
Vegetables, particularly green ones such as broccoli, green beans, asparagus, and leafy greens, can help to lower stomach acid, which can help with acid reflux. Theyre low in factors that can trigger symptoms, including fat and sugar.
5. Noncitrus Fruits
Citrus and other acidic fruits can trigger acid reflux. Certain noncitrus fruits such as bananas and melons can help to ease your symptoms. Bananas coat the lining of your esophagus, which can reduce irritation. Melons are high in magnesium, a mineral found in many over-the-counter antacids that helps to neutralize stomach acid.
6. Herbal Tea
7. Plant-Based Milk
8. Coconut Water
Know The 8 Worst Foods For Acid Reflux Or Heartburn
Experts say you can uncover your specific triggers by paying close attention to how your body reacts to what youre eating. But you may well find one of the following eight foods pops up as a problem.
1. Fried, fatty foods. Talk about a triple whammy. First, foods that are high in fat and drenched in oil cause the lower esophageal sphincter the ring of muscle connecting the esophagus and stomach to relax, allowing acid to leak out and up into the esophagus. Also, they are digested slowly and sit in your stomach longer, giving gastric acid more time to work its way up into your esophagus, increasing your risk of heartburn. And high-fat food can cause weight gain. That extra poundage increases pressure on your abdomen, making it easier for fluid to travel upward, into the esophagus. Tip: Opt instead for lean cuts of meat, chicken and fish, cooked on the grill or in the oven.
2. Citrus fruits. Their vitamin C may be the draw, but these fruits high acid content makes them risky for reflux. Lemons and limes are the biggest culprits, but oranges, grapefruit, grapes and blueberries make the list, too. Tip: Offset their acidity by buffering them with more alkaline foods, such as low-fat yogurt.
5. Peppermint. A cup of refreshing, mint-infused tea can calm a turbulent tummy. But peppermint, in any form, can also cause gastric reflux and heartburn. Tip: Savor a cup of soothing chamomile tea or suck on licorice-flavored hard candy to soothe your stomach.
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A Morning Smoothie That Will Help With Acid Reflux
I make this Anti-Reflux Energizing & Healing Morning Smoothie for my son almost every morning. He was born with a rare birth defect in his esophagus called Esophageal Atresia. You can read our story HERE. A big percentage of EA survivors battle constantly with acid reflux. In fact, I was told by the specialist that my son would need to take medications for it for life!
Honestly, I wasnt too thrilled with that idea. I would never recommend going against your doctors recommendations, but for me personally, it just didnt feel like the right way to go. All medications can cause side effects, especially when taken long-term. So I started looking into natural remedies and ways to help with reflux other than meds. Of course, I discussed them with my sons doctor, too.
Well, he has been meds free since he was 2.5 years old! With more and more studies linking popular heartburn and GERD meds to heart and kidney problems, Im really happy I made that call. Again, though, this is NOT medical advice. You need to look at the pros and cons and talk to your own specialists to determine the best treatment for your condition.
Ginger May Help To Soothe Inflammation In The Esophagus
Ginger is a fragrant root that is commonly viewed as a stomach-soothing ingredient but this spicy food can actually help with heartburn as well.
If you find that raw ginger has too much kick to eat by itself, try tossing a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger into a smoothie or adding a few slices of the root to your tea.
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Mix Baking Soda With Water
You might have a heartburn remedy at hand in your kitchen without even knowing it. Baking soda can calm some episodes of heartburn by neutralizing your stomach acid.
To do this, dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it slowly. In fact, you should drink everything slowly when you have heartburn.
help relieve nausea, so some believe it may be worth trying for heartburn, too.
Consider adding grated or diced ginger root to your favorite stir-fry recipes, soups, and other foods. To make ginger tea, steep raw ginger root, dried ginger root, or ginger tea bags in boiling water.
Its probably best to avoid ginger ale, though. Carbonated beverages are a common heartburn trigger, and most brands of ginger ale are made with artificial flavoring rather than the real thing.
Why Use Coconut Water As Your Smoothie Base
I prefer to use coconut water over all other liquids as a base in my sons smoothie. Many studies suggest that it helps with digestion and reflux. Plus, using it as the liquid base not only adds health benefits, it will also act as a natural sweetener for the smoothies, so you wont have to add any refined sugars.
I usually like to buy Harmless coconut water because it is the purest one in the market. It is really the next best thing to drinking from a coconut. Other less expensive options that I think are good are Zico and 365 Everyday Value from Whole Foods.
You can also alternate and use almond milk, kefir , and/or coconut milk for your smoothie liquid base. At home, coconut water is what my kids like best for their smoothies.
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How A Doctor Can Help
If you have heartburn two or more times a week and changes to your diet or eating pattern haven’t helped, consult a doctor. A gastroenterologist can perform tests to measure the acidity in your stomach and see if frequent acid reflux has damaged your esophagus.
GERD is often treatable through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. But persistent symptoms of reflux need thorough evaluation by a gastroenterologist who can find the underlying cause and discuss available treatment options.
The Johns Hopkins Heartburn Center
GERD is an ongoing condition that often requires more attention than over-the-counter treatments can offer. The Heartburn Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine provides personalized care to help patients find relief.
Tips To Help Manage Acid Reflux
The food you eat has a significant impact on your acid reflux management. On the other hand, the way you eat has a considerable effect on managing your symptoms.
- Track your symptoms and the foods that help you feel better.
- Reduce the size of your meals.
- It is important to eat slowly and chew your meal thoroughly.
- Drink as much liquid as possible throughout the day, ideally between meals and snacks.
- Instead of eating a large dinner, opt for two smaller ones during breakfast and lunch.
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Side Effects Of Antacids
Side effects from antacids are rare. However, they can occur, even when you use them according to the directions.
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While occasional heartburn is nothing to worry about, when it becomes common, Resty Kimbugwe, a nutritionist, says it is worth dealing with. Someone who suffers from constant heartburn may battle with belching, burning discomfort, and bloating every time they have a meal, she says.
Kimbugwe explains that the muscular tube that the food uses as a path way into the stomach , closes as soon the food gets into the stomach to stop it from coming back up the oesophagus. This protects the oesophagus from the brunt of the stomach acid. In instances where this sphincter relaxes, food finds its way up, hence the acid reflux, she says. As such, the kind of food we eat is key in preventing or reducing heartburn signs.
Foods that cause acid refluxMarion Namulindwa, a nutritionist, says foods that cause heartburn make the sphincter relax, which slows the digestive process, therefore, food sits in the stomach longer.
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Home Remedies To Treat Heart Burn
Instead of rushing to a doctor, just check your kitchen cabinet. It has all the ingredients that can cure heartburn. These home remedies are natural and have no side-effects.
1. Honey : Honey is a natural treatment for heartburn. As you feel the symptoms of heartburn, eat 1 tablespoon of honey. Alternatively, mix honey in chamomile tea and sip it slowly.
2. Almonds : Snack on 15-20 almonds. After half an hour, you will feel relief in the pain, caused due to heartburn. Almonds will completely vanish the burning sensation. To reduce the instances of heartburn, it is suggested to eat some almonds after every meal.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar : Mix 2 tablespoons of ACV into half cup of water or apple juice. Drink it after each meal. This will help to calm down the upset stomach and make heartburn go away.
4. Aloe Vera Juice : Aloe vera juice is the best remedy for treating really bad heartburn. It will remove the pain and inflammation. Make sure, you use only organic and fresh aloe vera juice.
5. Apple : An apple a day keeps the doctor away. This is absolutely right! Apple contains several beneficial properties. Eat apple for instant relief in heartburn. It neutralizes the acid in your tummy in just 4-5 minutes.
6. Banana : Banana is a natural home remedy for quick heartburn relief. Eat a banana to get rid of severe heartburn.
7. Baking Soda : Mix half spoon of baking soda in a glass, full of water. Drink it. This will provide fast relief in heartburn, originated due to acid reflux.
How To Reduce Your Acid Reflux
If youre struggling with acid reflux, there are steps you can take to improve your symptoms.
- Stay away from foods that can trigger symptoms, such as caffeine, carbonated beverages, chocolate, onions, citrus, tomatoes, and foods high in fat.
- Try to not eat before going to bed or lying down. This helps the LES keep stomach contents down instead of traveling back up to the esophagus.
- When you sleep, try propping up the upper half of your body with a wedge pillow.
If you experience acid reflux symptoms more than twice a week, it may be time to talk to your doctor and start planning a few changes in your eating plan.
With a few dietary adjustments, you can get your acid reflux under control and put out the inferno burning in your chest.
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Home Remedies For Heartburn: 10 Ways To Get Rid Of Acid Reflux
Despite what its name implies, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart.
Rather, it’s a burning sensation in your chest that occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the 10-inch tube connecting your mouth to your stomach.
When it hits, heartburn can last for just a few minutes or as long as several hours. Either way, it’s uncomfortable so it’s no surprise if you’re looking for a way to get rid of the sensation fast.
Choose Small Frequent Meals To Help Acid Reflux With Cancer Treatment
Choose small, frequent meals. Instead of eating 3 big meals per day, which is common in an American diet, try to eat small meals 5-6 times daily. This is important for two reasons: it prevents eating too big of a meal and avoiding an empty stomach. When your stomach is empty for long periods, acid can accumulate in your stomach. This can increase the pain in your digestive tract. Try your best to have something on your stomach at all times and especially during times of the day that you typically experience acid reflux. While you are undergoing cancer treatment, it is crucial to eat regularly throughout the day to prevent heartburn, but also prevent weight loss and malnutrition. Crackers, pretzels, fruit, and yogurt are good options to snack on to prevent acid reflux.
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How To Prevent Acid Reflux With Cancer Treatment
Acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion, sour stomach, etc. no matter what you call it, it can be an uncomfortable issue. There are foods to prevent acid reflux and acid reflux with cancer treatment is a common side effect. Eating Well Through Cancercookbook includes recipes for cancer patients like this easy to tolerate Rice and Pasta recipe. Sometimes caused by the cancer itself or other factors, such as treatment, diet, being overweight, or inactivity. Acid reflux is also a risk factor in developing esophageal cancer so how to prevent acid reflux? For some it can cause a few hours of discomfort, but for others it can be the difference in eating and not eating. Below Savor Health has provided a few tips to prevent and help acid reflux during cancer treatment and beyond. Be sure to try the Rice and Pasta recipe.
Tests And Surgery For Heartburn And Acid Reflux
If medicines do not help or your symptoms are severe, a GP may refer you to a specialist for:
- tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms, such as a gastroscopy
- an operation on your stomach to stop acid reflux called a laparoscopic fundoplication
Page last reviewed: 09 September 2020 Next review due: 09 September 2023
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Sipping Smoothies To Help With Heartburn
The acid reflux smoothie I created below is made with ingredients that help provide natural heartburn relief. They go down pleasantly, stay down, and soothe.
- Cashew milk and basil help minimize stomach acid.
- Spinach reduces stomach acid secretions because it’s naturally low in fat + sugar.
- Pear adds fiber and natural sweetness. Just make sure it’s super ripe.
- Ginger is naturally anti-inflammatory, and is therefore used in many natural heartburn treatments.
- Banana is a non-acidic food known to soothe the esophagus and stomach.
- Oatmeal is naturally high in fiber, and diets high in fiber have fewer instances of heartburn.
Hopefully this acid reflux smoothie can help soothe your esophagus along with calming your whole body. It tastes light and is just the right amount of sweet for anyone with a sensitive palate.
What To Drink For Acid Reflux
If the smoothie recipe below helps naturally provide heartburn relief, then try these drinks as well:
Herbal tea– Herbs are great for a variety of ailments, and can assist with acid indigestion as well. Look for a stress relief chamomile or a tea targeting digestion if you want natural heartburn relief.
Low-acid smoothies– fruits like bananas, coconuts, dates + figs, melons, papaya, berries and stone fruits like nectarines and peaches are low acid options. The smoothie recipe below is also a great option!
100% fruit juice– Juice made from 100% fruit like peaches, berries and coconut can keep symptoms at bay.
Water– While this seems like an odd choice, hear me out! Water really does help the body process food, and keep things moving down .
Golden milk– turmeric is naturally anti inflammatory and can help soothe.
Plant milk like almond, oat or coconut– if dairy becomes too heavy for you, then switching to a plant milk can help calm down heartburn symptoms. My acid reflux smoothie contains cashew milk, yet swap in the preferred milk of your choice.
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Eating Bananas May Help To Settle Your Stomach
A portable healthy snack, bananas can sometimes aid in reducing the frequency of heartburn. Dr. Nusbaum told INSIDER that a banana’s natural pH can help settle the stomach and he said he recommends them to those who suffer from acid reflux.
However, Dr. Nusbaum said about 1% of patients with acid reflux find that their condition is actually worsened by bananas. So before using bananas as your go-to solution to acid reflux symptoms, you may want to test how your body reacts to them first.