2. Manage Your Weight
Obesity has been definitively linked to acid reflux. Part of the problem is excess pressure (due to surrounding fat) on the abdomen and part is the food that is consumed.
Problems with the digestive system caused by carrying excess weight include diseases of the esophagus as well. (4)
3. Apple Cider Vinegar for Heartburn
It may seem counterintuitive as a heartburn remedy, as vinegar is itself an acid, but organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar alkalinizes the body. It also stimulates the release of the necessary stomach acids.
Additionally, the cloudy “mother” sediment found in raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains enzymes, fiber, and proteins that ease acid reflux. (5) Taken with a teaspoon of honey in a cup of warm water, it is soothing and nourishing.
4. Avoid Foods That Cause Heartburn
Some foods are known to over-stimulate stomach acid. Taken in excess, these can lead to acid rebounding up into the esophagus.
- Alcohol (especially red wine) – relaxes LES and reduces esophagus function (6)
- Milk chocolate – cocoa, fat, and caffeine can all promote heartburn (7)
- Coffee – caffeine can be an irritant and coffee is very acidic
- Fatty or fried foods
- Garlic – garlic affects some people but not all. If you have heartburn or reflux after eating food with a lot of garlic, you’ll know it’s one of the ingredients to cut.
- Raw onions – people who frequently suffer from heartburn are likely to find onions a trigger food. (8)
- Peppermint – relaxes the LES, allowing stomach acids into the esophagus. Peppermint treats an upset stomach, diarrhea, flatulence, and irritable bowel because of its soothing and relaxing properties. If you have GERD, however, mint is contraindicated. (9)
- Processed and fast foods – fats (especially trans fat) and sodium can wreck digestion. Moreover, nitrates and chemical additives cause a greater risk of developing gastric cancer, which is almost always preceded by acid reflux. (10)
You should also avoid acidic and spicy foods. These can cause over-production of stomach acid. Stay away from citrus fruits, tomatoes, chili peppers, black pepper, red meat, cranberries, blueberries, and dairy.