Bye-bye, heartburn!

Woman's World - - Wise Words -

That feast was sooo de­li­cious, but it’s not the (only) rea­son you’re bat­tling heartburn. As we age, we pro­duce fewer di­ges­tive en­zymes, plus the bor­der be­tween our stom­ach and esoph­a­gus slack­ens, so more acidic juices creep into our throats. Here’s how to side­step the burn!

At meals: Por­tion your plate

An easy way to side­step heartburn no mat­ter what’s be­ing served for din­ner: Sim­ply start by load­ing your plate with 60% veg­gies, then add 30% protein and 10% fat. This Mediter­ranean-style ra­tio works so well that re­searchers at the Fe­in­stein In­sti­tute for Med­i­cal Re­search at North­well Health and New York Med­i­cal Col­lege found it treated heartburn bet­ter than drugs, di­al­ing down acid re­flux symp­toms in 62% of folks (com­pared to 54% tak­ing PPIS). That’s be­cause veg­gies are chock-full of nat­u­ral en­zymes that help di­gest food be­fore acid re­flux can kick in.

Af­ter you eat: Chew this!

It seems too sim­ple to be so ef­fec­tive, yet a study at Italy’s Univer­sity of Padua found that you can re­duce heartburn symp­toms by 50% if you chew gum for 30 min­utes af­ter meals. “Chew­ing gum en­cour­ages the re­lease of an en­zyme in saliva that speeds di­ges­tion be­fore food reaches the stom­ach,” says Michelle Schof­fro Cook, PH.D., au­thor of The Cul­tured Cook. Opt for gum sweet­ened with xyl­i­tol or ste­via. These nat­u­ral sugar sub­sti­tutes help your saliva be­come more al­ka­line, which in turn works to fight acid over­load and re­bal­ance the stom­ach’s out-of-whack ph.

Be­fore bed: A lit­tle honey!

Some 61% of peo­ple strug­gle with night­time re­flux. For­tu­nately, Aus­tralian sci­en­tists have dis­cov­ered a sweet cure: A spoon­ful of raw (un­pas­teur­ized) honey at bed­time can re­duce episodes by 50%. Honey con­tains com­pounds that coat the esoph­a­gus to shield it from stom­ach acid, en­sur­ing a good night’s sleep. Tip: Stir it into gin­ger tea to tamp down heartburn-trig­ger­ing in­flam­ma­tion. —Kather­ine Kluznik

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