What to Eat to Get Rid of Heartburn, Part II

By Martin Brown

In Part One of this two-part health report on heartburn, we discussed symptoms and a variety of foods and drinks that could well be at the heart of your heartburn issues. This week our focus will be on foods and alternative paths that provide an excellent chance to heal your heartburn without ever needing a steady diet of acid inhibitors like Tagamet, Zantac, and Pepcid.

Let’s start with healing foods. And for that, there’s no better place to start than oatmeal. I confess willingly to being an oatmeal nut. I have a bowl six mornings a week, and take a break on Sunday with whole grain blueberry or cinnamon apple pancakes. I make a pot of quick oats in less than five minutes. The old fashion slow cooking oats are probably slightly better for you but I’m not going to stir a pot for 15-minutes when I’m half asleep to begin with. Don’t ever sacrifice the good because you want the perfect. Making oatmeal in a snap and eating it regularly will do a lot more good for your tummy than a once a-week slow cooked oatmeal. Why oatmeal? Because it acts as an acid sponge making that morning orange juice and or cup of coffee a whole lot easier for you to swallow.

Speaking of breakfast, or anytime snacks really, bananas and melons (cantalope, watermelon, honeydew) are all great for you. Note, however, that about 1% of acid reflux sufferers don’t take well to these helpful fruits either. As with all dietary recommendations, you have to let your stomach be your ultimate guide.

Green root vegetables are happiness to the stomachs of people who suffer frequent acid reflux. Broccoli, asparagus, green beans, parsley, and a dieter’s best friend high fiber, low calorie celery are all wise choices. And don’t forget a healthy spinach or dark green leaf salad. Couscous and whole grain brown rice or whole grain bread is another way to make an acid sensitive stomach happy. All of these plant-based foods are high in fiber content, which is the natural way to cure both heartburn, and constipation.

Finally, in Part One, I cautioned against red meat, which for the acid prone should be eaten only lean, and not more than once a week. Consider instead the more healthful flesh foods of chicken or fish. But remember to remove the skin to reduce the fat content and whatever you do, don’t fry it.

As for alternative healing methods consider meditation, and massage. Both help you to relax and unwind. In addition to the foods we eat, reducing stress with focused relaxation, which by the way is not achieved by plopping yourself down in front of a TV, can go along way to healing your heartburn for good. And best of all you can do it without taking one more pill.

Eating and drinking are two of the great joys in life. It doesn’t have to be a struggle if you listen to what your stomach wants, which in simple terms is this: more of what it likes and less of what in the end will make you miserable. In time you and your stomach can learn to get along and live together happily for a lifetime.

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Martin Brown is the Heath Channel Editor for SingleMindedWomen.com, and co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Finding Mr. Right.

His next book, Fit in 50 Days, will be available May 2011.