36 weeks pregnant. Our baby boy is the size of a papaya. No wonder I have been feeling the pressure and discomfort after a meal. Most nights, this manifests itself in a crazy amount of heartburn. Heartburn may very well be the worst pregnancy symptom in the 3rd trimester, where all I want to do is eat, but I can’t. Given my pregnancy, I am always looking for natural heartburn remedies, so that I don’t have to opt for pharmaceutical intervention and potentially affect the baby.
Natural Heartburn Remedies – Ways to Avoid Heartburn
It all starts with better choices. Planning your meals is always crucial to ensuring you will stay healthy, and it is never more important to plan to avoid feeling crummy and having heartburn. Most of these suggestions seem very intuitive, but for some reason, it is hard to remember all of these suggestions. Even when I know I am facing daily heartburn, I still don’t make the best choices.
- Don’t go to bed on a full stomach – Allowing your body to digest a full 2-3 hours before bedtime minimizes the incidence of acid reflux.
- Don’t overeat – This tip has been critical for me during the last few months. When I eat my normal portions at any one meal, I am instantly in a state of discomfort and it’s not worth it.
- Eat slower – As a mother of two kids with the attention span of a flea, my husband and I always feel like we are stalling our food whole. This can be so detrimental to our body’s ability to properly digest and process our food. Slow down, Put your fork down between bites. It is not a race.
- Avoid heartburn triggers – Foods that include onions, mint or chocolate, acidic fruits or juices, tomatoes or high fat or spicy foods are all known triggers for heartburn. And any alcoholic beverages can cause heartburn as well. In fact there are countless foods that don’t cause reflux and are great alternatives. Foods like oatmeal, ginger, salads, bananas, melon, fennel, chicken/turkey, seafood, root veggies and greens, parsley, and grains are gentle on the system and won’t result in heartburn.
- Some of our favorite recipes include:
Chai Spiced Maple Apple Pecan Oatmeal
- Eat earlier – Don’t eat within 2-3 hours of lying down or going to bed. This can often cause heartburn at night. And if you do incur heartburn overnight, raise your bed or even use more pillows to prop yourself up so that the acid doesn’t come up.
- Time your meals – Wait at least 2 hours to eat after exercise.
- Drink more water – This helps all the time, but is especially beneficial if you incur heartburn with exercise.
Natural Heartburn Remedies – Ways to Avoid Pharmaceuticals
So now that you have heartburn, how do you manage it. I have been quick to pop a couple of Tums every evening. They are mild and also help with my calcium intake, which is perfect during pregnancy. But there are great natural heartburn remedies, that are non-pharmaceutical, if that is your preference.
- Chamomile – A cup of chamomile tea may have a soothing effect on the digestive tract.
- Ginger – The root of the ginger plant is another well-known herbal digestive aid, especially in South Asian cultures.
- A great treat to treat your post meal acid reflux is our Pineapple Orange Ginger Pops, perfect for a summer day after indulging too much at a neighborhood party!
Pineapple Ginger Orange Pop
- Licorice – Licorice is said to increase the mucous coating of the esophageal lining, helping it resist the irritating effects of stomach acid. In fact, the next time you are leaving an Indian restaurant, you will find a bowl of colorful seeds that are offered as a post-meal astringent. It includes anise seed, which will quickly counter the spicy foods that were just consumed.
- Turmeric – Given its anti-inflammatory properties, many believe that turmeric can also aide in limiting heartburn or reflux.
- Our Indian Egg White Scramble, which is one of our oldest and most favorite recipes, utilizes turmeric with egg whites, helping to give the egg whites a little more color and flavor. This could be a delicious addition to your Sunday brunch.
Indian Egg White Scramble
- Baking Soda – This is a quick and easy cure for that heartburn that pops up every once in a while. Combine 1/2tsp-1tsp of baking soda with a glass of water and the sodium bicarbonate base will neutralize the acidic makeup of your stomach. Not great long term, however, given the high sodium content.
- Aloe – I have never personally tried it, but drinking the liquid form of aloe has been shown to quiet the inflammation of the esophogus and stomach.
Bottom line, if you have been suffering like I have been these last few months, you don’t have to. Making better choices throughout your day is the first start. As always, planning your meals and using our App to do so, will keep you out of trouble. Download our app, plan and track your nutritional intake, and if you need it, the natural heartburn remedies above should keep the fire at bay.
- WebMD – https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/lifestyle-changes-heartburn
- Harvard Health – https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/herbal-remedies-for-heartburn
- Health Magazine – https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20527745,00.html