Humankind has a long history of eating foods that probably aren’t the best for us—and records back that up. Historians are able to diagnose symptoms of heartburn dating as far back as 3000 BC in Ancient Mesopotamia. The first recorded use of the term “heartburn” itself appeared in 1591, though it was spelled “hartburning” and just mentioned as a feeling. It was officially described as “a sharp, gnawing pain at the orifice of the stomach” in 1747 by physician John Wesley—finally connecting the pain to the right spot in the body.
Today, the 60 million Americans dealing with heartburn on a regular basis can identify with that statement. It’s caused when the muscle connecting your esophagus to your stomach is weak or works abnormally—it doesn’t close properly and allows acid to flow back up into your throat from your stomach. We feel that as, yes, a sharp gnawing pain, but also as a burning sensation behind our breastbones.
Luckily, with some changes in diet, it’s easy to calm the symptoms and occurrences of heartburn.
Top Foods to Eat to Ease Heartburn
Heartburn is often caused by eating acidic, spicy, fried, or sugary foods. But you can counteract the symptoms when you incorporate these six healthy foods into your daily diet.
1. Leafy Greens
It’s important to eat foods that are chock full of nutrients if you want to combat heartburn, and leafy greens are one of the go-tos. They’re high in fiber plus iron, zinc, magnesium, vitamin C, and more. Choose ones that are dark green to get the best nutritional boost, like kale and spinach.
2. Non-Citrus Fruit
Citrus fruits are a notorious contributor to heartburn. Since they’re already acidic, eating them will only increase the amount of acid in your system—which, if you’ve got heartburn, is something you definitely want to avoid. Instead of things like oranges, grapefruit, and cranberries, opt for bananas, figs, and melons.
Kombucha is a naturally fizzy fermented tea, and is stuffed full of the nutrients you need to keep heartburn at bay. It has some acids in it, but they’re beneficial—and they’re paired with probiotics, good bacteria, and enzymes that balance the biome of your digestive system. Kombucha is often used as a preventative for ulcers as well as heartburn.
Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and helps ease nausea. It’s been used to treat stomach ailments for centuries, and thanks to the phenolic compounds it contains, it soothes contractions in your gastric system. That means acid won’t have as many chances to sneak out of your gut.
Fennel is naturally low in acid, so it won’t trigger any acid-based reflux. Throughout history, people have eaten it and chewed on the seeds to aid in digestion. It naturally raises the pH levels in saliva, which not only neutralizes acid, but also helps prevent tooth decay.
Celery is a powerhouse for your digestive system. It’s full of fiber, is low in calories, stimulates saliva production, and even freshens your breath when you chew on it. Fiber helps keep everything moving through your body in a healthy and efficient way, managing heartburn and other digestive issues.
Points to Remember
About 60 million Americans struggle with heartburn on a regular basis. It’s caused by a malfunctioning or weak muscle at the base of the esophagus that allows acid to seep back up your throat from your stomach.
Acidic, spicy, fried, or sugary foods can cause heartburn, but you can battle the symptoms and causes with a healthy diet. Try adding in foods like leafy greens and kombucha to get the right nutrients; celery for a fiber boost; non-citrus fruits and fennel to balance out acid levels in your system; and ginger to control gastric contractions. If heartburn is still persisting, try our Acid Reflux Relief. It’s an organic, herbal formula that soothes occasional heartburn, indigestion, and digestive irritation!
- Fight Heartburn and GERD: Diet and Lifestyle Can Make a Difference. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. Last Updated 29 September 2019. Accessed 8 June 2021.
- 5 Seeds that Support Healthy Digestion. American College of Healthcare Sciences. Published 17 July 2018. Accessed 8 June 2021.
- 3 Ways to Improve Gut Health with Whole Foods. Bastyr University. Published 28 January 2021. Accessed 8 June 2021.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.