Do you belch frequently after meals? Have a burning sensation in your chest when you didn’t even eat spicy food? Pass embarrassing amounts of gas after meals?
In this article I will discuss Heartburn, a common condition which is experienced by millions of people all over the world. You will also learn about remedies to improve your heartburn symptoms.
Heartburn is identified as an uncomfortable feeling in the chest and/or upper abdomen area, passing gas after meals, burping, feeling bloated, and often experiencing a sour taste in the mouth.
Heartburn is a sign that the digestive system is not working optimally. It is usually experienced when there is low hydrochloric acid in the stomach, not high as many people think. Hydrochloric acid is essential in the stomach as it is responsible for breaking down food, digesting proteins and destroying unwanted bacteria.
Low hydrochloric acid which causes heartburn is common in people:
- over the age of 60
- consuming a diet high in processed foods e.g. chips, cookies, frozen meals, fast food etc.
- consuming excess coffee, carbonated drinks etc.
- eating big meals late at night
- living a sedentary life
- experiencing high levels of stress
- diagnosed with hiatal hernia
Sometimes heartburn can be a sign of other digestive disorders such as leaky gut, food allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease and more, in which case a Health Practitioner should be consulted.
Here are some natural treatments for relieving heartburn:
1. Consume 1 tablespoon of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR in ½ cup of water 10 minutes before a meal. This is my favourite solution for occasional heartburn and always does the job!
2. Include DIGESTIVE ENZYMES as part of your meal. Proteins are hard to digest and with low stomach acid the job becomes even more challenging. Digestive enzymes aid the digestion process thereby deterring heartburn. They are easily available at health food stores.
3. Apply CASTOR OIL on the stomach, castor oil is magic for bloating and is anti inflammatory, so it works beautifully within minutes. At night apply castor oil all over the stomach area, then put on some old nightwear as it may stain your clothes and go to bed. For added relief you may also place a hot water bag on your stomach however this is not essential, the castor oil works very well by itself.
4. Eat fresh PAPAYA and/or PINEAPPLE at least once a day. Both these fruits contain enzymes that aid digestion.
5. Enjoy a cup of GINGER TEA after a heavy meal, to support digestion. Simply boil 2 1inch cubes of ginger in 2 cups of water, allow to simmer for 15 minutes and enjoy warm with a little raw honey if needed.
6. Increase your consumption of GREEN VEGETBALES. These are alkalizing and decrease inflammation in the body. Include raw or lightly cooked green vegetables at lunch and dinner. Alternately you can consume a tall glass of fresh green juice twice a day.
7. MOVE the body, if you are living a sedentary life your body is a haven for disease so fight it by finding an exercise routine that works for you. The options are endless, you simply need the determination to make it happen! Choose from walking, yoga, gym, swimming, taking up a favourite sport etc.
8. CUT BY HALF your consumption of fast food, fried foods, caffeine, carbonated beverages, alcohol and tobacco. Think this is too hard? Just know that each one of these is taking you on the fast track to the hospital ☹
Note: ANTACIDS are commonly consumed for heartburn, but they are not recommended on a regular basis as they simply mask a problem that may be brewing in the digestive system. They can also upset the mineral balance in the body and negatively impact the lining of the stomach leading to more health issues.
Small, positive changes made daily in your diet and lifestyle are all you need on this journey for better health.