Foods That Relieve Heartburn

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Heartburn is pain or a burning sensation behind the breastbone caused by excess stomach acid that has been forced up into the unprotected esophagus. Your heartburn could be caused by the food you have eaten reacting negatively to the digestive process. For some people heartburn is also caused by stress or illness. Frequent heartburn is not only painful but causes lasting damage to your esophagus. You could use a prescription or over-the-counter heartburn medication to relieve your discomfort. Or you could try to relieve your heartburn by watching what you eat.

Eating greasy food such as pizza may cause excess stomach acid.
Eating greasy food such as pizza may cause excess stomach acid. (Image: Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Spices

Certain spices like fennel, cayenne, ginger and mint can relieve heartburn. Add fennel or cayenne to your meal or make ginger or mint tea, or add them to other teas. Grocery stores sell ginger and mint teas that are easy to brew at home. Fennel and cayenne can be added in small amounts to most meals without compromising the flavors of the dish.

Spices such as fennel, cayenne, ginger and mint can relieve heartburn.
Spices such as fennel, cayenne, ginger and mint can relieve heartburn. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits that help relieve heartburn are bananas, apples and papayas. Helpful vegetables include broccoli, cabbage and carrots. The enzymes in these fruits and vegetables aid digestion, which causes your stomach to produce less acid.

Fruits and vegetables such as apples aid digestion.
Fruits and vegetables such as apples aid digestion. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Meats

For some people eating lean ground beef or skinless chicken breast can relieve heartburn, or at least prevent it when less carefully prepared meats and chicken could have caused it. Drain the excess grease off the meat before eating. Excess fats can cause heartburn to worsen.

Properly prepared chicken and meats may prevent heartburn.
Properly prepared chicken and meats may prevent heartburn. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Calcium

Calcium found in low-fat milk, cream cheese and yogurt can help soothe heartburn. The calcium pushes the acid back down into the stomach. Cold milk can also offer you some pain relief in your esophagus as you drink it. Do not drink milk for heartburn if you are lactose-intolerant as this may make the indigestion worse. Yogurt that contains live and active cultures also offers relief. These cultures help provide your gut with good bacteria that aid with digestion.

Calcium found in low-fat milk can help soothe heartburn.
Calcium found in low-fat milk can help soothe heartburn. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Fiber

A daily intake of fiber will help your overall digestion and help prevent indigestion. You should eat whole grain cereals, bran or multigrain breads daily. Eating fiber when you have heartburn puts the excess acid to work. This will keep the acid in your stomach and out of your throat.

The daily intake of fiber will help prevent indigestion.
The daily intake of fiber will help prevent indigestion. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Prevention

The best way to use food to relieve heartburn is to avoid foods that trigger the symptoms. Certain foods can increase the amount of stomach acid that can lead to heartburn or indigestion. Foods to limit or avoid are fatty or fried foods, tomatoes and tomato products, citrus, chocolate, alcohol, dark-green vegetables and carbonated beverages. By preventing heartburn you are avoiding the damage heartburn causes to your esophagus and stomach. It is easier to prevent the heartburn than it is to fix long-term damage caused by frequent bouts with the condition.

Avoid eating fried foods and sodas which can lead to heartburn or indigestion.
Avoid eating fried foods and sodas which can lead to heartburn or indigestion. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Considerations

No one solution or prevention strategy will work for everyone. To control your heartburn you will need to experiment with foods. Monitor what you eat and your reaction to those foods to determine what foods cause or relieve heartburn in you.

Monitor what you eat to determine what foods cause or relieve heartburn.
Monitor what you eat to determine what foods cause or relieve heartburn. (Image: David Woolley/Lifesize/Getty Images)

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