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Foods That Fight Heartburn

More Foods to Soothe Heartburn

Other foods and herbs have long been treatments for reflux and upset stomach. But keep in mind that while they may provide relief for some, "they won't work for everyone," says gastroenterologist Jay Kuemmerle, MD, of Virginia Commonwealth University. You might want to try:

  • Fennel. This crunchy vegetable with a licorice flavor makes a great addition to salads. There's some evidence that fennel can improve your digestion. It has a pH of 6.9, so it's low in acid, too.
  • Ginger. A long-standing natural treatment for upset stomach, ginger does seem to have benefits for reflux.
  • Parsley. That sprig of parsley on your plate isn't only for decoration. Parsley has been a traditional treatment for upset stomach for hundreds of years. And there's some evidence that it can help with acid reflux.
  • Aloe vera. This is another old treatment for GI problems that seems to help with reflux. You can buy aloe vera as a plant or as a supplement -- in capsules, juices, and other forms. It works as a thickener in recipes.Just make sure it’s free of anthraquinones (primarily the compound aloin), which can be irritating to the digestive system.

Fight Heartburn With Healthy Food

Add the right foods to your diet. They could really help with your heartburn. But there are limits to what they can do.

Remember that good foods can't counteract the effects of trigger foods. "Eating a little ginger won't stop you from getting heartburn after a big dinner of a fatty steak, a salad with tomatoes, a couple of glasses of wine, and a coffee," Kuemmerle says.

And while eating a low-acid diet is a good strategy, it may not be enough on its own. For some people it's not so much the acids in the stomach, but the reflux of other stuff in gastric juices -- like bile -- that trigger heartburn, he says.

"The specific causes of heartburn vary a lot from person to person," Kuemmerle says. "That's why treatment always needs a personalized approach."

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Reviewed on November 12, 2013

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