Heartburn is a pretty common health problem that occurs largely due to a poor lifestyle such as eating large meals, eating late at night, too much fatty or fried foods, excessive smoking, etc. An estimated 10% to 30% of adults suffer from heartburn at least once a month. Most of them reach out to OTC antacids for relief. So if we say there are natural antacids to treat heartburn due to acidity, would you not try them? Listed below are five wonderful natural remedies to relieve heartburn and seven tips that help avoid acidity.
Natural remedies to treat heartburn and acidity
1. Herbs and spices
Many common herbs and spices such as holy basil, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, cumin seeds and ginger are great for relieving acidity effectively. You can prepare a simple herbal tea by boiling any of these easily available herbs in water. And sip it to find relief from heartburn.
2. Cold milk
Cold milk is another great natural remedy to soothe the stomach and avail relief from heartburn. Since it is something we usually have at home, it is a convenient choice. Also, milk is readily available even when we are out and happen to hit a bout of acidity and hence is a fitting remedy.
However, you must choose low-fat milk because the fats in non-skimmed milk may aggravate acidity. Further, opt for this only if you don’t have lactose intolerance.
A relative of milk, yogurt, provides excellent relief to heartburn and is also great for your gut as it contains loads of good bacteria. Enjoy a cup of cold yogurt to soothe your stomach and get relief from heartburn.
4. Fresh coconut water
Coconut water contains helpful electrolytes that can balance the pH levels in your body and help with acidity. Try to drink fresh coconut water for this purpose. If you opt for packaged coconut water, try to find the ones without unnecessary additives and sweeteners.
5. Aloe vera
A research study shows that Aloe vera is another natural remedy that has the potential to soothe the GI tract and relieve acidity and the associated problems of acid reflux and heartburn.
If you have an aloe plant at home, extract the gel, blend it with water to prepare fresh aloe juice. Drink it to relieve your acidity. If you don’t have a plant at home, you can purchase either fresh aloe juice from a juice shop or a packaged one without any additives.
Tips to prevent heartburn due to acidity
Prevention is better than cure – This adage always stays staunch. Hence, rather than treating your heartburn, remember the following tips and incorporate them into your lifestyle to avoid acidity and heartburn.
- Eat smaller portions of meals: Larger meals expands the stomach causing upward pressure on the lower oesophagus, thus enabling stomach acids to move up your oesophagus. You can have a healthy snack in between to avoid larger meals.
- Eat slowly, chewing your food well: Chewing well enables your digestive system to function well with all necessary enzymes properly at work.
- Know the triggers, avoid the foods known to cause acidity for you: Spicy foods, fried foods, fatty foods, tomatoes, ketchup are a few foods that might trigger heartburn.
- Don’t eat too close to bedtime: Eating late at night is one of the prevalent causes of heartburn. When you are up and about, gravity helps food to move down to your digestive system. If you eat late and go to bed immediately, you lose the advantage of gravity!
- Quit smoking: Smoking relaxes the valve between the oesophagus and stomach, causing digestive juices to travel up the oesophagus, causing heartburn.
- Limit alcohol, carbonated beverages and coffee intake: All of these relax the lower part of the oesophagus resulting in acid reflux.
- Focus on losing weight, especially if you have too much belly fat: Your belly fat can pressure the stomach, causing food and acid to move up the oesophagus.
Heartburn due to acidity or acid reflux is not unusual. However, if you get heartburn more than twice a week, it might be GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), an aggravated form of acid reflux. In such a case, do not try the natural remedies; it is better to get expert advice.