How to Heal Heartburn/GERD/Acid Reflux Naturally
by Mary Serphos
A very uncomfortable yet common condition, acid reflux can be exacerbated by stress, eating large meals, drinking alcohol, carrying excess weight, and taking certain medications. Americans spend over $10 billion per year on medications that claim to quickly relieve heartburn but many of these drugs have serious side effects and don't treat underlying problems. Read on to find out how to care for yourself and what you can do to take the natural 'Aware Body' approach to healing.
What Triggers Acid Reflux?
- Foods with a high acid content such as tomato sauce, orange juice and excessively spicy foods. Acidic and salty foods offset the natural alkaline balance in our bodies.
- Alcohol and sweets with refined sugar can worsen symptoms.
- Many over the counter medications such as ibuprofen (NSAIDS) and prescription meds including certain antibiotics can set off heartburn.
What can Help?
- Eat small meals more frequently throughout the day rather than large ones 2 or 3 times a day.
- Change your diet- increase the amount of vegetables (all are good, especially dark green ones) and non-acidic fruit such as apples, bananas and berries. Don't skimp on protein- the best sources are legumes and beans such as lentils, kidney beans and black beans. It's best to choose lean cuts of meat/fish/poultry rather than cuts with a higher fat content.
- Slow down, de-stress and choose to wear loose clothing to help ease symptoms.
- Help your digestion by adding probiotics and digestive enzymes. Taking "bitters" just before a meal can stimulate the digestive process. I often recommend a mild supplement called deglycyrrhizinated licorice that has few or no side effects; it can work wonders. Fresh Ginger tea sipped slowly during or after a meal is also a wonderful digestive aid.
- I have read shining reviews and heard firsthand from a client about a product called Mastic Gum. There have been claims that this is the one 'treatment' that works best for heartburn sufferers.
I have addressed this condition with past clients and have accumulated a wealth of information about natural alternatives to acid blockers. If you have any questions or for more information on ways to improve digestion and to learn more ways to address this condition, please contact Mary at The Aware Body, 415-412-5490 or [email protected]
Boost Your Health with Fresh/Organic/Local Food: 5 Great Reasons to Shop at a Farmers Market
Adapted from an article by CUESA
(Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture)
Edited by Mary Serphos
- Nourish Yourself: Most of the produce found at farmers markets is minimally processed and many farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious fruit and vegetables possible. On the other hand, many of the foods and products found in grocery stores are highly processed. Unfortunately, much of the produce, poultry and meat at the supermarket is either sprayed with pesticides, injected with hormones or fed antibiotics. Furthermore, "fresh" grocery store fruit and vegetables have also been irradiated, waxed and gassed in transit. As we know, all of these practices have potentially damaging effects on our health.
- Taste Real Flavors and Sample Away: The fruit and vegetables you buy at the farmers market are the freshest and tastiest available. Fruit ripens in the field and is brought directly to you! No long distance shipping, no gassing to stimulate the ripening process, no sitting in storage for weeks on end. This food is as real as it gets- fresh off the farm. And the best part is that many of the stalls will offer samples so you can taste their delicious harvest and see for yourself how fresh it really is.
- Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes, and Meal Ideas: Vendors at the farmers market are often passionate cooks who will give you ideas for meals, recipes and troubleshoot your culinary conundrums.
- Discover the Spice of Life- Variety: At the Farmers Market you will often find an amazing array of food that you often don't see in your supermarket: red carrots, handmade yogurt, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, swordfish caught the prior day, white peaches, freshly laid eggs, purple peppers, grass fed lamb, and cinnamon basil! What a wonderful opportunity to experience first hand the diversity and biodiversity of our planet, both cultivated and wild.
- Enjoy the season: The food you buy at the Farmers Market is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the Farmers Market helps you reconnect with the cycles of nature in your region. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer or bake pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth and your body.
For more information about CUESA or to find out about local Famer's Markets check out CUESA's website at www.cuesa.org
. The website is also a great resource for San Francisco Bay Area events and information. ENJOY!Back to Top