Beat the Burn

Anti-inflammatory foods are all the rage these days. But why is that exactly? 

It’s difficult to deny- we all enjoy eating. When it comes to something we care for so much we shouldn’t have to worry about the unpleasant side effects that digestion can sometimes cause.

One of the most painful digestive malfunctions is heartburn, which affects a large number of Americans regularly. When a person experiences heartburn, or acid indigestion, it is actually gastric juices backing up into the esophagus, therefore causing a burning sensation.

Fortunately, there are ways to ease and avoid digestive discomfort without heavily medicating. The foods you eat and the manner in which you eat them has a considerable impact on the ease or unease of your digestion. Here are a few foods that can help ease uncomfortable digestion:

Enjoyable in both sweet and savory preparations, ginger has long been regarded as a remedy to an array of digestive upsets including heartburn. Fresh ginger is delicious, nutritious and pairs notably with some other tasty foods also known to relieve heartburn such as apples and almonds. You can also rely on ginger to detox your system.

Research suggests that the enzyme bromelain, found in pineapple, helps avoid problematic levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. In order to reap the benefits, drinking a glass ofpineapple juice after meals is recommended.

Not to say that you should run out and buy a pack of Twizzlers, but licorice in its natural herbal form (deglycyrrhizinated) is known to stimulate the release of mucus in the stomach, protecting against painful acids.

The main ingredient in many herbal throat lozenges, slippery elm bark, like licorice, will increase mucus production.

While classically associated with easing your skin after too many hours in the sun, aloe vera’s anti-inflammatory properties can also ease the heat in your chest.

As if we needed another reason to steer clear of cigarettes, the toxins abundant in those sticks increase the production of acid that causes heartburn. Also, the muscle that keeps our stomach acids contained is rendered less effective by smoking.

Methods of relaxation and stress reduction such as meditation, yoga, controlled breathing, and movement therapy can help manage heartburn. Of the most enjoyable methods of relaxation, massage therapy can also be of assistance. Spinal nerves have a close connection with the digestive organs so treatments that cater to the spinal cord can promote healthy digestion.

With all of the thought you put into which foods to eat in order to avoid heartburn, you may be overlooking the fact that the combination of your foods is just as crucial. The enzymes your body requires to break foods down, as well as the rate at which they break down varies among foods. Mixing different types of foods or eating them in the wrong order may cause digestive upset and deter your body from receiving optimal nutrients. Protein requires the most digestive enzymes and therefore should always be eaten first. While starchy foods such as grains and potatoes do not digest particularly well when consumed in the same meal as proteins like chicken, if you do eat them in the same sitting try to eat the starch after you’ve eaten the protein. Many people choose to begin with salad but it is more sequentially efficient to eat greens after the protein and starch since they digest more rapidly. With a few adjustments made to your diet and a commitment to a healthy wellness routine you will be on your way to digestive wellness and overall improved health.

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