Heartburn is the symptom you experience when there’s too much acid in your stomach. It is characterized by a painful, burning sensation in the esophagus and stomach. The term heartburn is used interchangeably with acid reflux. Occasional heartburn is not a serious problem. However, constant, persistent heartburn often develops into gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). According to the American Cancer Society, GERD is a major risk factor for esophageal cancer and other diseases. The best way to control heartburn is by watching your diet.
Papayas contain a digestive enzyme, papain, which makes them a natural cure for a variety of stomach ailments, including heartburn. They’re available year-round at your local grocery store. If you don’t like the taste of papayas, they’re also sold as supplements in natural food stores and online.
High Fiber Foods
A diet high in fiber is a way to regulate your digestive system and control heartburn. According to the Mayo Clinic, adult females under 50 should consume 25 grams of fiber per day. Adult males in the same age group should consume 38 grams of fiber per day. Males and females over 50 should consume 30 and 21 grams of fiber per day, respectively. Whole-grain products, beans, broccoli and apples are all high in fiber.
Dairy foods have little to no risk of causing heartburn, although NaturalNews.com says milk’s effectiveness in symptom-relief is overblown. Most over-the-counter heartburn medications contain calcium. The biggest problem with dairy products is that they tend to be high in fat. Stick to low-fat varieties such as skim milk, goat cheese and low-fat cottage cheese.
Low Sodium Foods
High sodium foods can increase acid reflux symptoms. If you experience frequent heartburn, try cutting back on salt. Pre-made, processed foods tend to be high in sodium. Try using fresh ingredients to prepare homemade meals.
According to OrganizedWisdom.com, bananas naturally have acid reducing properties. They can relieve heartburn as well as stomach ulcers. If you suffer from heartburn or GERD, try adding a sliced banana to your morning cereal or oatmeal. It may reduce heartburn symptoms throughout the day.