Go ahead and nosh on that juicy burger you’ve been craving or pour yourself another glass of sangria. These simple lifestyle tweaks can stop heartburn flares before they even start! The best part: They work so well, you won’t have to reach for acid-blocking proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), which can increase the risk of covid complications
When it comes to making meals more delicious than ever, set aside table salt and reach for a flavorful herb like rosemary, oregano, or basil. The reason: Trimming just two teaspoons of salt from your daily diet is one of the lifestyle tweaks that reduces heartburn odds by 90 percent. So say Chinese investigators, who note that salt slows the rate at which food empties from the stomach, increasing the likelihood that bothersome acid will access the “burn zone” in the esophagus.
Do the 5-5-5 Trick
Deep breathing eases the stress that’s a known heartburn trigger, plus it activates the diaphragm, which helps keep acid down. To head off heartburn before it starts, Mark Hyman, MD, advises practicing this technique just before meals: Inhale deeply for five seconds, then exhale slowly for another five, repeating for a total of five times.
Seven-grain, rye, or whole wheat makes for a tasty sandwich and cuts heartburn flares by 50 percent, a Swedish study suggests. The payload of fiber in whole-grain breads mops up gastric chemicals that trigger symptoms, plus it eases abdominal pressure that can push acid upward.
Try an Ocean Cure
Alginates derived from seaweed form a foam-like barrier that blocks the flow of acid into the esophagus. And in a Taiwanese study, folks who took alginates after meals had relief on par with acid-blocking meds. Try: Life Extension Esophageal Guardian (Buy at LifeExtension.com, $24). Note: Talk to a doctor before supplementing.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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