It's no fun. But before you go choking down a mouthful of antacids, here are a few things you can do to keep that burning sensation at bay.
- Eat some fiber. According to Health magazine, people in a study who ate high-fiber foods like fruits, veggies and beans were 20% less likely to suffer heartburn symptoms. This may be because fiber soaks up the chemicals in the stomach that relax your stomach muscles and allow acid to creep up.
- Slow down! According to Prevention magazine, new research suggests that if you eat slowly, you can reduce or even eliminate heartburn symptoms altogether! Experts at the Medical University of South Carolina made volunteers eat a chicken sandwich and some French fries, and drink a soda, in five minutes. The next day, they asked them to take 30 minutes to eat the same meal. When volunteers took their time, the number of heartburn episodes went down by 40%. This is because when you eat, your stomach naturally expands to hold the food. But when you eat fast, the stomach stretches too fast, leading to acid reflux.
- Lay off the salt! In two Norwegian health studies, people who added salt to their meals were 70% more likely to suffer from acid reflux. Experts say some healthy alternatives to sodium include flavored vinegars and herb seasonings, which are unlikely to cause heartburn.