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5 Things For Heartburn

No one likes an upset tummy. Here are five things to ease your pain and help you get on with your day without heartburn.

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Heartburn-Easing Tea

Heartburn-Easing Tea

As soon as you feel the telltale flicker of heartburn, drink an eight-ounce glass of water. It will wash the acid back down your esophagus into your stomach.

To make a heartburn-easing tea, add 1 teaspoon of freshly grated gingerroot to 1 cup of boiling water, steep for 10 minutes, and drink. Long used to quell the nausea caused by motion sickness, ginger also helps to relax the muscles that line the walls of the esophagus, so stomach acid doesn’t get pushed upward.

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Sleep On Your SidePhoto: Thinkstock

Sleep On Your Side

If nighttime heartburn plagues you, eat meals at least 2 to 3 hours before you turn in. The added time will give acid levels a chance to decrease before you lie down.

Try sleeping on your left side. When you lie on your left side, the stomach hangs down and fluids pool along the greater curvature, away from the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Pooled fluids stay farther away from the esophagus.

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Eat Some Veggies

Eat Some Veggies

The juices of vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, radishes, or beets help to tame the acid in the stomach due to their alkaline nature. Feel free to add a pinch of salt and pepper for flavor. If juicing vegetables is inconvenient or strange to you, just eat some raw vegetables.

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Avoid These Foods

Avoid These Foods

Beer and wine, especially red wine. They tend to relax the LES, that important port of entry between your stomach and lower esophagus.

Milk. The fats, proteins, and calcium it contains can stimulate the stomach to secrete acid.

Coffee, tea, and cola. These caffeinated beverages also relax the LES, and they can irritate an already-inflamed esophagus.

Chocolate. It’s loaded with two heartburn triggers: fat and caffeine.

Pop. The carbonation it contains can expand your stomach, which has the same effect on the LES as overeating.

Fried and fatty foods. They tend to sit in the stomach for a long time, where they can get that acid a-churnin’.

Tomatoes and citrus fruits and juices. They are acidic.

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Opt For Small Meals

Opt For Small Meals

Eat smaller, more frequent meals to minimize the production of stomach acid, and avoid eating too much in one sitting; doing so can force open the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the thick ring of muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus and keeps stomach acid where it belongs.