Heartburn and acid reflux are conditions that effect millions of Americans every year. While many people see it merely as irritating or painful (which it is), consequences of having these problems in the long term can be serious: esophageal damage caused by exposure to stomach acid can lead to cancer in the long term. However, there are natural ways in which people can modify their lifestyles in order to avoid these digestive problems and in the long term reduce the risk of developing esophageal cancer.
Use Herbs Instead of Spices
Especially for those following a low-sodium diet, spices can be popular to add flavor and heat to a dish. While they can improve the way a food tastes, however, many spices can also be very irritating to the stomach and esophagus and provoke an attack of acid reflux or indigestion. It is usually a better choice to choose herbs to flavor one’s food, and ones such as mint or parsley have reputations for actively helping the digestive process.
Cut Out Carbonation
There is good reason why carbonated drinks are so popular – their light, fizzy texture makes them a lot of fun to drink. However, it is possible to pay a price for this fizziness, as carbonation can stimulate gas and bloating in many people and also induce esophageal irritation and heartburn. Avoiding fizzy drinks is one natural way to also avoid this digestive upset. Juices, water or decaf tea might be healthier alternatives.
Caffeine is so popular a stimulant in American society – in teas, coffees and energy drinks – that sometimes people forget that, although it can boost the energy levels, it can also boost the chance of irritating both of esophagus and the intestines and it a frequent cause of heartburn and acid reflux attacks. If these attacks are a frequent problem, cutting caffeine out of the diet and instead consuming beverages like decaffeinated herbals teas can help reduce the risk of further problems.
Follow a Careful Diet
Just because a food is healthy does not mean that it cannot also be an esophageal irritant. Foods that can cause heartburn and reflux but are otherwise healthy include things like tomatoes and citrus fruits (which are high in acid) and foods in the legume family like beans (which can frequently produce bloating and gas problems and irritate the digestive tract). Adding other foods to the diet, including oats and oat bran, yogurt, and some fruits or leafy green vegetables, can help soothe the throat and stomach instead.
Reflux and heartburn are painful and common conditions; however, they are more serious than many people realize as they can raise one’s risk of developing esophageal cancer over time. However, dietary choices such as the one’s above can soothe down the linings of the esophagus and stomach and help prevent attacks in the future.