No one enjoys having acid reflux. This is a condition that can cause you to end up actually regurgitating some of your food and thereby having it back in your mouth hours after eating. That’s a rather disgusting thought and it’s not something that will win you many points for hosting.
On top of this though, acid reflux can also be very painful. That’s because it is actually caused by the esophageal sphincter opening up and thereby allowing food to travel back up the food pipe and into the mouth. Problem is that it isn’t just food that travels up – you’ll also get the bile and stomach acids in the stomach free of charge, which cause a nasty burning sensation in the chest.
This is what many of us will refer to as heartburn – though the two don’t necessarily always occur together.
The most worrying part is that repeated bouts of acid reflux can actually be very bad for your health over time. This is because the acid in your esophagus can actually cause a significant amount of damage and thereby even increase your chances of developing cancer – just as though you smoked!
For these reasons, you’ll want to get the problem solved as soon as possible. Here are some home remedies that can help.
The number one solution for acid reflux is to drink more water. What goes on in your stomach is that you’re going to be breaking down your food using a combination of fluids and digestive enzymes. If the food is digested properly, then it has less chance of making its way back up the food pipe.
There are several things you can eat to help improve the digestive process but none will be so effective as simple water which helps to dissolve the foods and thereby encourage their easy absorption. As an added bonus, drinking water will help to directly soothe the effected area and at the same time it will dilute and neutralize some of the acid that is causing the burning sensation.
2. Chew More
Some of the solutions to combating acid reflux have nothing to do with what you eat or drink and everything to do with how you eat and drink! One example is how much you are chewing. If you aren’t chewing your food enough, then it might be going down your gullet in large chunks. This in turn can cause the sphincter to open more than it should and it can result in the food not sitting as low in the stomach.
Chewing more helps to break down the food further for easier digestion but at the same time, it will also encourage you to produce more saliva. Saliva actually aids with absorption and breakdown and is the first ‘stage’ of digestion in many senses.
3. Baking Soda
Now we’re more into the ‘home remedy’ territory. One of the most popular options for combating acid reflux using whatever is around the house is to try a little baking soda. Seeing as acid is what is causing the problem, it follows that using an antacid – something that is naturally able to combat and neutralize acid – will help to solve the problem.
Baking soda helps many people and even if it doesn’t address the actual cause of the problem, it can certainly help to provide some instant relief.
Speaking of natural antacids (alkaline) foods, banana can also act as a great choice. This is something that many people will recommend for combating reflux and it works very well. Not only does it calm and soothe the area in much the same way that baking soda does, but it can also help you to soak up some of the juices that might be causing the problem.
In this way, bananas are a great neutral source of bulk and can also be used to help line the stomach to protect it from acid as well.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
I thought I’d include this one next to shock you a little.
We’ve just seen how using antacids can help you to ease acid reflux, so why would we also recommend trying apple cider vinegar – which is of course very acidic?
The answer is that there are many things that can cause indigestion and thus many things that might be able to solve the problem. One less obvious issue is that you actually aren’t producing enough of the digestive enzymes you need which is causing large amounts of bulky food to build up in the stomach.
Thus, drinking an acid might actually help to combat the issue.
Another advantage of apple cider vinegar is something that it has in common with yogurt. You see, both are great sources of friendly bacteria – probiotics that can multiple and breed in the stomach.
While that sounds horrible, they actually play a very important role when it comes to helping you to break down your food and absorb it.
Not only that, but they also combat the presence of bad bacteria and on top of all that, they’ll also produce hormones and neurotransmitters that boost your mood and make you feel more energetic!
Pineapple is another acidic food that is nevertheless actually good for acid reflux. Only pineapple actually has even more going for it than that.
That’s because pineapple also contains something called bromelain. Which, if you’re not familiar with, is a digestive enzyme. That means that it can help you to break down foods ready for digestion.
Specifically, bromelain works more in the mouth but either way – this is a little like consuming a digestive enzyme prior to dinner!
8. Digestive Bitters
Digestive bitters are essentially just bitter flavored foods. It’s interesting because there is a growing amount of evidence to suggest that the body actually requires all the flavors as well as all the nutrients in order to operate optimally.
Digestive bitters seem to stimulate the taste buds that exist on your organs and this in turn appears to improve digestion!
9. Reduce Stress
Back to the lifestyle changes, one of the very most important things you can do is to reduce stress in your life. Many of us are constantly stressed and being stressed will actually increase your chances of suffering from a range of different digestive issues.
The reason for this is that stress puts the body into ‘fight or flight’ mode. The clue is in the name. This is about running or fighting – it is not about digesting food which when we’re being chased by a lion, is really a waste of energy.
So what happens is that the body suppresses the digestive system. This is all fine and well in the short term but when it’s allowed to go on, it causes serious digestive issues and even malabsorption. Change your lifestyle.
10. Eat More Slowly
We’ve seen how chewing more can help to break up your food and also help you to produce more saliva and more enzymes.
But in general, eating more slowly is also highly important. That’s because eating slower will mean you take in a lot less air. As such you will be less likely to give yourself hiccups and a lot less likely to end up with digestive issues.