If you’ve ever experienced acid reflux, you know it’s less than pleasant. It stings, it burns and it’s one of the most uncomfortable feelings there is. Heartburn and indigestion are symptoms of acid reflux and result in a burning sensation in your chest and burning and discomfort in the middle of your stomach. While a bit of acid reflux once in a while is nothing to worry about, if it’s a common occurrence, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). There’s lots to know about acid reflux, and also a number of natural acid reflex remedies to help you out. Read on to learn more!
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux, happens when stomach acid flows back up into the food pipe or esophagus. With acid reflux, it’s common to feel a burning sensation in your chest, and it can occur after eating a big meal or drinking alcohol or coffee. Many people experience acid reflux from time to time, however sometimes it progresses to GERD, a more severe form of reflux. If you have GERD, you may experience heartburn two or more times per week, as well as symptoms such as regurgitation of food or sour liquid, difficulty swallowing, coughing, wheezing and chest pain.
What Are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux?
The most common sign of acid reflux is heartburn – a burning sensation in your chest, usually after eating and sometimes worse at night. Another symptom is a bitter or sour taste in your mouth. This happens when the stomach acid rises all the way to the back of your throat or your mouth. You also may notice a burning sensation. Some people also experience regurgitation, which is the feeling of food, liquid or bile moving up your throat rather than down. You may also notice a burning feeling or discomfort in the middle part of your stomach, known as indigestion.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
Certain Foods and Drinks
There are certain foods and drinks that are commonly associated with acid reflux, including chocolate, spicy foods, items that are high in fat, citrusy or acidic foods, mint, garlic, tomatoes, and onions, as well as alcohol and carbonated drinks. These foods are typically more difficult to digest, creating extra stomach acid that can end up in the esophagus. Fatty foods can relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which acts as a lid on the stomach and prevents back flow of acid from the stomach up the esophagus.
If you’re a smoker, you’re more likely to experience acid reflux. Smoking damages your digestive system and can lead to a relaxing of the LES. It also weakens protective esophageal functions and contributes to reflux by making you cough more frequently. Every time you cough, you increase pressure in your stomach and promote acid reflux.
If you’re overweight or obese, you’re more likely to suffer from acid reflux. The more fat there is around your middle, the more pressure there is on your stomach, forcing acid up into your esophagus. People who are obese also have more circulating estrogen, which has been linked with GERD symptoms. Losing weight can help ease symptoms of acid reflux.
6 Natural Acid Reflux Remedies That Work
Bananas have natural antacid properties that counteract acid reflux. Eat a fully ripened banana each day to reduce discomfort and prevent acid from coming back up. Other fruits can also help with acid reflux symptoms such as apples, honey dew, cantaloupe and watermelon.
2. Ginger Tea
Ginger is a lifesaver when it comes to stomach issues, and ginger tea can help with ailments from nausea to acid reflux. Simmer slices of ginger root in water for 30 minutes and drink the tea before you eat a meal for best results.
3. Chamomile Tea
Another tea that’s great for acid reflux is chamomile tea. It balances the acidity levels in your stomach, and also reduces stress levels, which can lead to heartburn. Drink a cup 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime to reap the benefits!
4. Fennel Seeds
Adding fennel seeds to your diet can help with acid reflux. Rich in vitamins and minerals, fennel seeds have been used as a digestive aid for years. They contain anethole, a compound that relaxes the stomach, making you feel more at ease. Put them into boiling water and make a tea after you eat a meal.
Peppermint is very soothing for acid reflux and digestion issues. It helps with nausea and upset stomach, and also cools a burning throat. Try peppermint tea or peppermint oil capsules for relief.
6. Aloe Vera Capsules
While aloe vera is known for its soothing skin benefits, it also soothes an inflamed esophagus and stomach lining when ingested. Since it’s a natural anti-inflammatory, it supports the body’s healing process and supports a healthy digestive system. Take aloe vera capsules with water 15 to 20 minutes before eating.
15 Acid Reflux Recipes
1. Ginger Banana Smoothie | Natalie’s Health
2. Bircher Muesli | All Recipes
3. Cantaloupe Gazpacho | Le Petit Eats
4. Smooth and Creamy Hummus | Yumsome
5. Watermelon Granita | Jamie Oliver
6. Instant Banana Sorbet | Chocolate & Zucchini
7. Roasted Root Veggie Breakfast Tacos | Very Well Fit
8. Immunity Boosting Miso Soup | One Green Planet
9. Courgette Soup | Georgie Xoxo
10. Alkaline Smoothie | Know Your Produce
11. Vegetable and Goat Cheese Frittata | Very Well Fit
12. Pear and Parsley Smoothie | One Green Planet
13. Raw Spinach and Avocado Dip | The Healthy Family & Home
14. Heartburn-Friendly Chicken Pot Pie | Very Well Fit
15. Kale, Sweet Potato and Tempeh Breakfast Hash | One Green Planet
Acid reflux is no fun, but fortunately there are natural remedies and recipes that can help!