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heartburn

Heartburn Relief and Recipes

The odds are that you or someone you know experiences heartburn. Around half of North American adults experience it at least once per month. Somewhere between 10-20% have it at least once per week! Heartburn, also known as reflux, occurs when the strong acid in your stomach creeps up into your esophagus. 

It can feel like a burning sensation; hence the name “heartburn.” Other common symptoms include bloating, burping, difficulty swallowing, or a sore throat. Often there is a bitter or sour taste as well. Don’t get me wrong, stomach acid is good! Stomach acid is essential for good health and optimal digestion. 

We need the acid in our stomach to protect us against harmful microbes (i.e. bacteria) that lurk in our food and drinks. Stomach acid also helps us break down our food, and digest nutrients. But we need that acid to stay in the stomach, and not get up to our esophagus!

Stomach acid doesn’t usually burn the stomach itself; this is because the stomach is protected by a layer of mucus.

But your esophagus doesn’t have that same protection. It has a valve that is supposed to prevent things from going the wrong way (i.e. keep food, drink, and acid down; not allow it back up), and when your esophagus is exposed to stomach acid too often, it can cause the infamous burning, inflammation, and other potential issues.

I’m going to share a bunch of tips that may help you overcome your heartburn symptoms naturally. Of course, if symptoms last for a long time, or get worse, it’s probably a good idea to see your doctor or talk to me about your personal situation.  (This post contains affiliate links, which is how I get paid.)

Tip #1 – Foods to eat (and avoid)

You may notice that when you eat or drink certain things, you get heartburn soon afterward. These triggers may be different for everyone; but often include onions, garlic, chocolate, citrus, tomato, mint, spicy foods, greasy foods, coffee, carbonated drinks, or alcohol. If any of these affect you, reduce them or even try cutting them out to see if it makes a difference.

Heartburn might also result from a sneaky food intolerance. Try eliminating grains, dairy, and processed foods for a few weeks and see if that helps.

Now, you may be wondering: “If I eliminate these foods/drinks, then what can I put in their place?”

Try increasing fiber intake. Yes, this means more whole, unprocessed foods, especially veggies! In fact, potatoes may be a great addition to meals if you suffer from heartburn. Try getting at least five servings of veggies every day.

Tip #2 – How and when to eat

Eat slowly. Use meal times to release stress. Chew your food very well. Don’t eat meals that are too big.

And don’t eat too close to bedtime. You want to avoid lying down with a full stomach. We’re talking finishing eating 2-3 hours before lying down, so schedule your dinner or snack with this in mind.

Tip #3 – Lifestyle techniques

Sometimes strenuous exercise can make heartburn symptoms worse. If this happens to you, then focus on low-intensity exercises like walking and cycling.

If symptoms come on as you’re lying down to sleep, try adding a pillow or two so your head is a bit higher than your stomach.

Another interesting tip is to try sleeping on your left side. Lying on your left side works because the valve that prevents the acid from “leaking” into your esophagus is located on the right side of the stomach. So, when you’re lying on your left, the acid is away from that valve.

Conclusion

Heartburn is a very common condition where stomach acid creeps up into the esophagus (where it’s not supposed to be).

If you suffer from symptoms of heartburn, there are many things you can do. There are foods and drinks to avoid and veggies to increase. You can eat slower, chew more thoroughly, and don’t lie down within 2-3 hours of eating. Also, try low-intensity exercise and sleeping on your left side. 

Try these simple, natural strategies. They can help prevent or relieve heartburn symptoms for you. Sometimes heartburn is caused by low stomach acid. You can add Apple Cider Vinegar to your daily regimen. Grab my favorite brand of apple cider gummies to help with digestion.

Sometimes it’s helpful to take supplements to repair the mucosa in the digestive tract. I love using Digestive Enzymes like beet root & Ox-bile, (Beta TCP from Biotics) to thin bile and digest fats better,  marshmallow root and other things that help improve mucosal barriers. If you need some ideas send me a message!

Visit my dispensary to order items here.  Registration code AS1577

Discount code HCPC1577WELCOME for you!

See below this recipe for more info on GERD… Acid Reflux

 

Recipe (Not Too Greasy or Spicy): Baked Potatoes

Serves 4

1 small bag of mini potatoes

4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Instructions

Scrub potatoes and boil them until they’re soft. How long will depend on their size, so check them by feeling how easily they’re penetrated with a fork or knife.

Drain the water and toss the potatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Place in a roasting dish at 425F for about 15 minutes.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Don’t have mini potatoes? Use large potatoes or sweet potatoes and chop them to the size of mini potatoes.

References:

https://www.dietvsdisease.org/get-rid-acid-reflux/

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/heartburn-reflux-gerd

https://authoritynutrition.com/heartburn-acid-reflux-remedies/

 

GERD and Heartburn: What’s the Difference – and What Can I Do About It?

You know that telltale burning sensation in the back of your throat or chest… heartburn has reared its fiery head, and you need relief – fast! 

But, there’s always the burning question of WHY did it start in the first place?

Let’s stoke the coals about WHAT heartburn is, what causes it and how to treat it – or better yet, how to prevent it from happening at all.

But, first we should offer you a little lesson in terminology around this and other similar health conditions that can leave you feeling a little heated under the collar.

ACID REFLUX refers to the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. A taste of regurgitated food or a sour-tasting liquid may be felt at the back of your mouth. You may also feel something likened to a burning sensation in your mid to upper chest, which is sometimes intense and is all-too-often mistaken for the pain of a heart attack.

HEARTBURN is simply the more commonly used term and is synonymous with ‘acid reflux’.

A term that is also used synonymously with ‘heartburn’ or ‘acid reflux, but is actually different, is INDIGESTION – also known as ‘dyspepsia’.

This actually refers to a whole host of symptoms (belching, gas, bloating, nausea) when a person is having difficulty digesting their food, but which is marked by persistent or recurrent pain in the upper abdomen and heartburn.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, is a more severe and chronic (recurrent) form of acid reflux/heartburn. If you have symptoms of acid reflux more than twice a week, you might have GERD.

Signs & symptoms of GERD can include:

  • Frequent heartburn, which is characterized by a nagging burning sensation in the back of your throat and/or chest
  • Chest pain or discomfort, especially when lying down
  • Regurgitation of partially-digested food or sour liquid taste (from stomach contents)
  • Difficulty swallowing or the feeling of “something in your throat”
  • Coughing, persistent dry cough), and/or wheezing – which can lead to asthma
  • Throat-clearing and/or sore throat
  • Bad breath
  • Tooth enamel damage due to excess stomach acid in the mouth

What causes GERD symptoms?

A circular band of muscle at the end of your esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), when working properly, relaxes and opens when you swallow, and then tightens and closes again afterwards.

However, in the case of acid reflux, your LES doesn’t tighten or close properly, allowing digestive juices and other stomach contents to flow backwards into your esophagus. (Yep, it’s exactly how it sounds – barfy!)

{Suggestion: explore more of the reasons why the LES may stop working properly}

Health conditions and risk factors that can exacerbate GERD symptoms:

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Anxiety
  • Hiatal hernia
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Smoker
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Taking medications such as: antihistamines, calcium channel blockers, pain-relieving medicines, sedatives, and antidepressants – that are known to weaken the LES

Tips for managing GERD and minimizing heartburn/acid reflux:

Your doctor may suggest that you take a medication like an antacid, proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) and/or an H2 receptor blocker, but these are often temporary fixes and can also have serious side effects.

Here are 5 non-medication prevention tips that you can try to keep those fiery symptoms at bay:

1. Avoid tight clothing, especially where it may restrict your chest or abdomen.

2. Production of stomach acid usually peaks about 3 hours after eating, so it’s best not to lay down during that time

→ Make lunch (midday meal) the focus of your day and have a smaller evening meal slightly earlier, i.e. not close to bedtime, and then avoid snacking before bedtime.

3. Learn what your specific trigger foods are. Foods that contribute to reflux can greatly differ for each individual, but common offenders that are known to stimulate excess stomach acid production and/or irritate the esophagus are:

→ fatty foods, spicy foods, chocolate, coffee, soda & colas, alcohol, onions, garlic, mint, pineapple, citrus fruit and tomatoes & tomato products

→ try removing 1-2 suspected trigger foods at a time until you find what works for you

4. Stress makes reflux worse – as it does with many health conditions!

→ Practicing yoga, meditation or deep breathing exercises are some non-medical treatments for occasional reflux

5. If you’re carrying a few extra pounds above your ideal weight, losing even a small amount can reduce the frequency and intensity of GERD symptoms. 

So, there you have it – five great tips for minimizing your risk of experiencing heartburn and of exacerbating GERD symptoms.

In addition to those, we hope you’ll try our Heartburn Tamer Drink made with coconut water, that you can easily blend up when those telltale symptoms strike or if you’re chronically symptomatic. 

Did you know that unsweetened coconut water is a great option for people with acid reflux because it’s a good source of potassium, which is an electrolyte. 

And what do electrolytes do? They promote optimal pH balance in the body, which is key to managing acid reflux.

 

RECIPE

Heartburn Tamer Drink

Ingredients

¼ cup pure aloe vera juice (not the gel for sunburns!)

¼ cup coconut water, unsweetened

¼ cup cucumber, washed, peel left on

½ cup watermelon chunks, no rind, fresh or frozen*

¼ tsp turmeric

Preparation

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add fresh, filtered water for desired thinness. Enjoy immediately.

 * Note: using frozen watermelon chunks will change texture from juice-like to slushy-like

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