If you’re like many guys, that spicy chilli tastes amazing going down, but it often returns for a 3 a.m. visit.
Heartburn, or acid reflux, affects 5 million Canadians at least once each week. The painful condition, which happens when stomach acid creeps back up where it doesn’t belong, can affect sleep and focus throughout the day.
Wondering how to stop heartburn pain naturally? Thankfully, there are plenty of remedies to cool that throat fire without medication. Check out these five quick ways to relieve heartburn:
1. Fruits and vegetables
Which foods stop heartburn? You may not have listened when your momma told you to eat your fruits and vegetables, but painful acid reflux is good motivation to give it a shot. Top acid-calming foods include celery, melon, and bananas — foods to avoid: acidic fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, pineapple, and tomatoes.
This wonder meal is low in calories, high in fibre, and a good source of iron and B vitamins. It’s also a sure way to alleviate heartburn and keep you full. Check out these protein-rich recipes for ‘Meatless Monday.’ It’s a win-win!
3. Chewing gum
Saliva production helps alleviate any acid trying to work its way up. Pop a piece of cinnamon or fruit-flavoured gum after a spicy meal, and it should help without needing to rely on using an antacid. Avoid peppermint and spearmint-flavoured gums, which can increase stomach acid production in some people.
4. Chill out on the booze and cigarettes
These two vices combined are a sure way to set your throat on fire. Nix the cigs, and if you’re out with the boys for a few pints, switch to water before you head home to help settle that gut before bed.
If you’re suffering through a bad bout of heartburn, avoid caffeine and spicy meals for at least a week. If it persists, or if you have any concerns, be sure to see your doctor.
5. Baking soda
If you’re in a pinch and can’t find anything else around the house, half a teaspoon mixed in with some water may provide quick relief from the burn.
If you go this route, you need to keep in mind that this isn’t a long term fix. Baking soda isn’t safe for long-term use. No longer than two weeks is the maximum recommended length of time.
An Important Note: Chest discomfort can also be a sign of something more serious such as a heart attack. If you think you might be having a heart attack, you should call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately or have someone call for you. Click here for the signs of a heart attack.
Are there any tried and true methods to get rid of heartburn that you swear by? Please share them with us in the comments below!
This article was originally published on August 25, 2015.
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Daniel Palmer is a communications professional and former journalist. Born in Newfoundland and raised in British Columbia, Daniel considers himself an elastic Canadian with a West Coast bias. Nature is usually the cure for what ails him. Daniel is based in Ottawa with his wife and daughter.