Heartburn is the hallmark symptom of acid reflux, affecting an estimated 50 percent of Americans. It’s the result of stomach acid moving up into the esophagus, which can lead to a burning feeling in the chest. Contrary to popular belief, heartburn isn’t caused by an overproduction of stomach acid. It actually occurs when stomach acid is low.

To help stop the pain from heartburn, there are other alternatives besides reaching for a bottle of pills. Skip the spicy, fried and processed foods that often trigger heartburn and add more of these 10 natural foods to your diet.

1.Organic raw apple cider vinegar

A lack of stomach acid causes digestion to slow, which puts pressure on your stomach. This can cause the stomach contents to creep back up into the esophagus, resulting in heartburn. Sipping one glass of warm water containing 1 teaspoon of organic raw apple cider vinegar can help replenish the acid in your stomach and promote proper digestion to reduce heartburn.

2. Aloe vera juice

Aloe vera juice naturally helps reduce inflammation, which can help ease acid reflux symptoms like heartburn. Drink about one-half cup of aloe vera juice before meals to stay on top of heartburn prevention.

3. Ginger root tea

Thanks to its ability to block acid, ginger offers natural gastroprotective effects. Add two or three slices of fresh ginger root to two cups of hot water and let it steep for about half an hour. Drink the tea about 20 minutes before your meal to help prevent heatburn.

4. Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is known to help soothe inflammation. After dinner and before bed, drink a cup of chamomile tea to help reduce heartburn pain. A bonus effect: Chamomile tea can also help you get a good night’s sleep!

5. Bananas

Bananas can be eaten on-the-go to help prevent the pain of heartburn. Their pH can help settle your stomach and reduce the frequency of heartburn.

6. Fennel

Fennel has a neutral pH that helps prevent heartburn by improving gastric motility, making it an ideal food for those who struggle with acid reflux. It can be eaten cooked or raw, or used to add flavor to your meals.

7. Miso soup

A traditional Japanese dish, Miso soup is a fermented food that boasts many health benefits, including the ability to reduce symptoms of indigestion and acid reflux.

8. Spinach

Spinach is a nutritious and highly alkaline food — it helps reduce acidity levels in the stomach. Add it to almost any dish to help fight heartburn.

9. Pineapple

Pineapple contains bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme that helps the body digest proteins. Bromelain boasts potent anti-inflammatory properties that can help play a role in reducing heartburn.

10. Papaya

Papain is an enzyme in papaya that helps the body break down protein and carbohydrates. Snacking on papaya can help  improve digestion and reduce heartburn.

Heartburn can be painful, but it is a manageable condition. Other tips to help relieve heartburn include maintaining a healthy weight, eating smaller meals, staying upright after meals and identifying your food triggers so you can actively avoid them.

by Dr. Joseph Mercola

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