The misery of heartburn affects millions of people daily and many turn to prescription medications or over-the-counter tablets and liquids for relief. Over time, drug use fails to address the problem and could lead to other health complications. Understanding your digestion issues and what causes them can help you treat the root of the problem and in the meantime natural antacids can provide safe and effective relief.
Below are five top natural antacids to put you on the path of relief from heartburn and balancing your digestion.
No, we’re not referring to the candy, but licorice root tea, its extracts, or even fresh licorice slices. Licorice has natural stomach healing properties, will greatly help relieve heartburn and improved digestion. The earthy roots have valuable antioxidants and phytochemicals that fight inflammation by coating the digestive tract with mucous that protects the stomach lining from acid. It’s loaded with B vitamins for your metabolism, and all the nutrients—calcium, iron, selenium, magnesium, and beta-carotene—that when combined make licorice a natural antacid that provides long-lasting relief far better than any synthetic antacid.
2. Aloe Juice
Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years as a powerful and soothing topical remedy. Today, aloe juice is used to help in relieving inflammation and soothing membranes inside the body. Aloe juice’s anti-inflammatory properties, found in its polysaccharides and acemannan, aid in reducing inflammation in your esophagus and stomach, thereby fighting the symptoms of heartburn. Aloe has supporting enzymes such as lipase and amylase to break down fat and sugars, and contains bradykinase which reduces inflammation. Other benefits include vitamin B12, and anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin A, C, and E. Drinking half a cup of the juice before meals will help with better digestion.
3. Live Cultured Yogurt
Yogurt is a natural antacid food that can truly do the body good. Live cultured yogurt supports the digestive tract with healthy bacteria that assists in breaking down food. It is highly recommended for people suffering with heartburn, especially if it occurs when sleeping. Yogurt is one of the premier foods for digestive health and should be eaten daily for all its nutritional benefits. Choose a quality, plain yogurt without added sugar, sweeteners, and flavorings. Adding your own berries, maple syrup, or honey is superior to any additive flavors found in common supermarket brands. The benefits of probiotics like yogurt vastly help improve your gut health. It’s a superfood to help digest food, boost the immune system, and protect the digestive tract from harmful pathogens.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but for lots of people, a banana a day will keep heartburn away. Bananas are highly recommended as a nutritious part of any healthy diet and also offer many digestive benefits. The fruit is a natural antacid food, provides lots of dietary fiber and is loaded with potassium, an essential mineral. Both the fiber and potassium are especially beneficial to your digestive system, and helps keep a digestive tract functioning smoothly.
Touted since ancient times as a powerful natural remedy, ginger has been known to help everything from inflammation to digestion and nausea. The root is full of antioxidants and minerals that can help prevent the uncomfortable symptoms of stomach acid and phenolic compounds have been known to ease the digestive system. Be careful when consuming ginger, however, as too much can have the opposite effect and upset your stomach! It is best to take ginger in small amounts to avoid overdoing it.
6. (Bonus!) Ice Cream
Okay, we know we mentioned ice cream in a previous post about indigestion-causing foods to avoid, but for those who are totally lactose tolerant, this treat can actually have the opposite effect and help settle your stomach! Some ice creams work as a natural antacid food, and when eaten a couple hours before sleep can be especially beneficial for people who suffer from nighttime heartburn.
Choosing ice creams with all natural flavors and ingredients will ensure more positive results. Ice creams loaded with preservatives, chemicals, additives, including unhealthy amounts of processed sugar, will only increase your heartburn (and your waistline). Choose vanilla or dolce de leche ice cream. It works to soothe the stomach and cool the esophagus, and help the lower esophageal sphincter muscle (LES) function to keep stomach acids from backing up into the esophagus. Unfortunately for chocoholics, eating chocolate and peppermint ice creams has the opposite effect. They tend to weaken the LES that can lead to stomach acids backing into the esophagus, which may lead to heartburn.
There are many other natural antacid foods, drinks, and supplements that work to relieve heartburn and improve your digestion. To be sure, severe heartburn should not be confused with a seriously dangerous case of acid reflux. Too much acid backup can lead to cell abnormalities and damage your esophageal lining and even other parts of the stomach. See your doctor if you think you may have acid reflux. That aside, seeking a natural solution to heartburn provides nutritional benefits and great relief from the misery and suffering of acid indigestion. Consider the food or combination of foods and drinks that best fits your diet and best works for you in decreasing heartburn.