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Dieticians Share Foods That Can Help Relieve Heartburn

Overindulgence in the wrong food can cause even the most iron-gutted of us to suffer occasional bouts of acid indigestion, reflux or heartburn. What do dieticians recommend? I found a list of foods that fight the burn…

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When I was young and reckless, I often woke up the morning after a night out with really annoying – sometimes outright painful – heartburn. I still do experience it, now and then, usually after an Indian, Indonesian, Thai or Tex-Mex feast. This, of course, is an entirely avoidable condition. And when we suffer it, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

What is Heartburn?

First of all, it has nothing to do with your heart. But you may feel discomfort in your chest when you have. Healthline defines heartburn as esophageal irritation. “You esophasgus is more delicate than the lining of your stomach. So, acid in your esophagus causes a burning sensation in your chest. The pain can feel sharp, burning, or like a tightening sensation. Some people may describe heartburn as burning that moves up around the neck and throat or as discomfort that feels like it’s located behind the breastbone.”

Yup. That’s it, alright.

Healthline notes, “It is estimated that more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month. You may be able to manage your heartburn by:

  • losing weight
  • stopping smoking
  • eating fewer fatty foods
  • avoiding spicy or acidic foods

But most folks want a quick cure, and opt for one of the many antacids available both over the counter and by prescription.

What is Acid Reflux?

If you suffer heartburn more than two or three times a week, that may be a sign of something more serious, like acid reflux.

If the condition persists, the experts say you should consult your doctor.

What else can you do?

I have heard the famous ‘hair of the dog’ hangover treatment described as a ‘counter-irritant’. Those never really work. They just mask the issue or distract you for a while. What you need – in any situation where over-consumption has left you ailing – is a complementary curative.

This is where certain foods can help you douse the fire.


“Oatmeal, brown rice and vegetables, plus foods that are lower in acidity like bananas, cauliflower and nuts, are helpful to offset strong stomach acid,” registered dietician Maggie Michalczyk, told Huffpost.


“Foods that have a high water content help weaken stomach acid,” noted Michalczyk. That includes veggies such as lettuce, celery and cucumber. But they won’t give you nearly the enjoyment going down that a slice of watermelon will!

Low-Fat Yogurt

“Low-fat yogurt and low-fat milk may help relieve heartburn symptoms as they’re happening,” Michalczyk said. “It’s important that they’re low-fat though, because fat can further aggravate acid reflux.”

Ginger Tea

Ginger has long been recognised as a treatment for a wide range of digestive ills. It’s been prized as a medicinal root for aeons in most of the Asian cultures.

Camomile Tea

Another ancient and venerable herbal treatment! Camomile’s soothing effects on body and soul are legendary across many cultures.

And there are more…

But I won’t go into them here. They all require forethought (like adding fennel or parsnips to your dishes, before you eat them, to try to head off heartburn). Or require special preparation, like Aloe Vera juice. I don’t know about you, but I want my heartburn relief immediately!

The best defense…

… Is to not get heartburn in the first place! Dietician Amy Shapiro says she follows three simple rules:

  • Eat smaller meals – and consider eating more than 3 times a day. This minimized the amount of potentially acid-generating foods you consume at any one time.
  • Eat more slowly. “This will allow you to chew your food, digest more easily and will prevent overeating, since your brain will have time to realize you are full before you eat too much,” Shapiro says.
  • Don’t indulge in risky foods and beverages too close to bedtime. In fact, Shapiro says, for best results, cut off all food and drink except plain water at least three hours before you turn in.

Dine with confidence

… Now that you know not only how to counter heartburn, but how to avoid it in the first place!

~Maggie J.