Dealing with Heartburn

Heartburn is a very common problem caused by regurgitation or reflux of gastric acid into the esophagus, which connects the mouth and the stomach. Heartburn can often be eliminated by stopping smoking and by avoiding fatty foods, caffeine, chocolate, peppermint, overeating, bedtime snacks, and clothing that constricts the abdomen.

Certain medications and heavy lifting and straining may also cause heartburn. Also, because heartburn is a symptom of heart disease, see your physician to rule out underlying medical conditions if you suffer from chronic heartburn.

Best Fruits and Veggies for Heartburn and Indigestion

If you suffer from chronic indigestion, try increasing your intake of vitamin A and carotene, which have anti-inflammatory qualities. Good sources include mangos, cantaloupe, apricots, carrots, spinach, chard, beet greens, watercress, cruciferous veggies, and romaine lettuce.

To ease heartburn, stick to alkaline foods that don't increase stomach acid, including most vegetables, most fruits (with the exception of strawberries and cranberries), olive oil, and sea vegetables. And drink lots of veggie juice. Studies show vegetable juice is a very effective way to reduce indigestion and heartburn.

In addition, bananas may help protect the stomach from acids while cabbage juice helps heal ulcers and eliminate digestive problems. Papaya and pineapple juice both contain bromelains, which are enzymes that digest proteins and help eliminate heartburn. Ginger helps relieve gas, parsley juice is high in beta-carotene, and lemon juice helps stimulate gastric secretions, according to Cherie Calbom, M.S., author of The Juice Lady's Guide to Juicing for Health. Bitter herbs like dandelion, gentian, and goldenseal have a bitter taste that stimulates the nervous system and releases the digestive hormone gastrin. Chamomile tea and the spice anise also promote digestion by relaxing the bowels, she says.

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