What do chocolate, pizza, and pasta al pomodoro have in common (other than they're delicious)? They can cause heartburn. Are you groaning? Because we certainly are.
вЂњNormally, when a person eats or drinks, food and beverage flow down, and the lower part of the esophagus relaxes to allow the passage of the food and beverage into the stomach, then closes back,вЂќ explains Maya Feller.
Meet the Expert
Maya Feller is a registered dietitian and nutritionist.
вЂњHeartburn happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) becomes weakened or relaxed without the presence of food or beverage passing. When this happens, the contents of the stomach can flow back into the esophagus, resulting in the burning sensation along with other symptoms,вЂќ Feller tells Byrdie.
вЂњAs a naturopathic physician, my question is why is the LES remaining open?вЂќ asks Ralph Esposito. вЂњThis is identifying the cause. There are several reasons, but a few include high acid production, low acid production, damaged sphincter, and poor digestive function.вЂќ
Meet the Expert
Ralph Esposito is a naturopathic physician.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent heartburn, like avoiding certain foods, including greasy and fatty foods, or making lifestyle changes like eating smaller meals. If, however, you're experiencing heartburn, there are also foods you could eat ASAP to relieve discomfort. Ahead, experts share 10 at-home remedies for heartburn including five foods to eat and five modifications that'll help alleviate heartburn.В Emily Roberts/Byrdie
Apple Cider Vinegar and WaterBragg Apple Cider Vinegar $6Shop
Esposito suggests mixing two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with three to five ounces of water. More research needs to be done, but it's suggested that drinking a bit of vinegar will neutralize your stomach acid and balance your intestinal pH.
LicoriceYogi Egyptian Licorice Tea $4Shop
Esposito recommends licorice to help relieve heartburn because it acts to coat the stomach lining and protect the stomach from erosive damage.
Fresh Pineapple JuiceStocksy
вЂњPineapple juice contains an enzyme called bromelain, which will help digest proteins,вЂќ explains Esposito.
Esposito shares that another at-home remedy is fresh ground ginger tea because it helps with digestion and is soothing to the stomach and intestines. Michelle Davenport, Ph.D., RD, co-founder of Raised Real, suggests eating ginger on its own, which contains gingerol, an anti-inflammatory compound good for soothing digestion.
вЂњIt helps keep food moving along the digestive tract and strengthens muscle tone in the digestive tract as well, meaning it keeps that lower esophageal sphincter (connection between stomach and esophagus) tight so that acid can't come up,вЂќ she says.
Eat Smaller, More Frequent MealsStocksy
вЂњEat smaller, more frequent meals,вЂќ says Feller, who works with patients seeking weight management and those looking for nutritional management of diet-related chronic illnesses. Feller suggests having four to six light meals versus three large ones. вЂњSmaller meals tend to be easier to digest and reduce stomach pressure resulting from large meals.вЂќ
Avoid Trigger FoodsStocksy
Certain foods may trigger your heartburn. Feller suggests keeping track of said personal trigger foods and omitting them from your diet. Culprits may include caffeine, chocolate, spicy foods, and beer and wine.
Skip Tight-Fitting Clothing@claire_most
If you're prone to heartburn, Feller suggests not wearing clothes that are tight around the waist.
Reduce Fat Intake
вЂњReduce the fat portion of your meal,вЂќ suggests Feller, since fat takes longer to digest and can make reflux symptoms worse.
Don't Lie Down Immediately After You EatStocksy
вЂњDon't lie down within two hours of eating,вЂќ cautions Feller. Note: Be mindful of your bedtime when you have your final meal, shares Davenport.
Next up: We tried five de-bloating remedies that actually work.