The season for diet-cheating is here! Heartburn is never on the menu this time of year, but it insists on showing up. Especially after eating way too much of mom or grandma’s favorite recipe, even if it comes with a side of regret 20 minutes later.
Heartburn, or acid reflux, occurs when the body regurgitates gastric acid into the esophagus. It’s the primary symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease, and if left unchecked, it could lead to esophageal cancer.
The guarantee of fast relief from heartburn discomfort is the driving force behind over-the-counter remedies like Alka Seltzer, Pepto Bismol, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Nexium. They’re okay to take once in awhile. However, relying solely on PPIs to treat heartburn could lead to stomach cancer and other side effects.
We know the holiday cravings are strong. Here are some heartburn remedies for comfortably enduring Aunt Maggie’s Insanely Delicious Thing She Makes Every Year That Will Definitely Give You Heartburn:
Fruits and juices
Apples, bananas, and grapes all have acid-neutralizing properties. Pineapple juice helps reduce heartburn, and adding celery to your carrot juice adds a much needed alkaline boost.
Herbs, roots, and spices
Chamomile (specifically Roman or German flower varieties), ginger, cinnamon, and fennel teas are long known to contain anti-inflammatory and other beneficial properties, which is why some cultures have been drinking them after meals for generations.
Go for a brisk walk after dinner to aid digestion. Wait two to three hours after a meal before lying down. Drink plenty of water anytime you do get heartburn to wash away any excess acid from the reflux.
Avoid dependency on OTC remedies to help you digest your favorite foods. Many people don’t consider that the body continues changing well after puberty, and tolerance for certain foods changes with you. Check in with a nutritionist and tailor a regiment around what your body can currently tolerate.
Going for natural heartburn remedies and better understanding your body can help to minimize the pain of short-term acid reflux. It can also help you to avoid some of the long-term side effects associated with OTC drugs like Nexium.
Of course, once the diet-cheating is over and the new year is ushered in, so is a strict new diet of foods that improve your digestion and don’t cause acid reflux, right? Right.