Written by Atli Arnarson BSc, PhD and Rachael Link, MS, RD — medically reviewed by Adrienne Seitz, MS, RD, LDN, Nutrition — update on November 22, 2021

Most the us space all too familiar with the painful, burn sensation in the center of the chest that’s associated with heartburn.

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In fact, as much as 28% of adults in north America suffer gastroesophageal reflux condition (GERD), a usual condition that reasons heartburn. GERD occurs as soon as acid is driven up indigenous the stomach back into the esophagus, which leader to the heartburn sensation (1).

Although people often use medicines to treat mountain reflux and heartburn, countless lifestyle adjustments can also assist you reduce symptoms and also improve your high quality of life.

Here space 14 natural ways to minimize your acid reflux and heartburn, all backed by clinical research.


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1. Chew gum
A few older researches have presented that chewing gum may help decrease mountain in the stomach (2, 3, 4).

Gum that has bicarbonate shows up to be particularly effective, as it can help neutralize acid to avoid reflux (5).

Chewing gum can additionally increase saliva production, i m sorry may assist clear the esophagus of acid (6).

However, more up-to-date study is required to recognize whether chewing gum can assist treat acid reflux or relieve the symptoms of heartburn.

Summary

Chewing gum increases the formation of saliva and may help clear the stomach of stomach acid.


2. Sleep on her left side

Several studies have found that resting on your ideal side may worsen reflux symptom at night (7, 8).

In fact, follow to one review, lying on your left side may decrease mountain exposure in the stomach by approximately 71% (8).

Although the factor is not completely clear, it might be defined by anatomy.

The stomach enters the right side that the stomach. Together a result, the reduced esophageal sphincter sits above the level the stomach acid once you sleep on her left side.

On the other hand, as soon as you lied on your ideal side, stomach mountain covers the reduced esophageal sphincter, boosting the threat of reflux (7, 8).

While resting on the left side every night might not constantly be possible, that could help make you an ext comfortable together you loss asleep.

Summary

If you suffer acid reflux in ~ night, try sleeping on the left next of your body.


3. Elevate the head of her bed

Some world experience reflux symptoms throughout the night, i m sorry can affect sleep quality and make it more difficult to loss asleep (9).

Changing the position that you sleep in by elevating the head of your bed could aid reduce symptom of mountain reflux and also improve sleep top quality (9).

One evaluation of four studies found that elevating the head the the bed lessened acid reflux and improved symptoms choose heartburn and regurgitation in people with GERD (10).

Another study confirmed that human being who supplied a wedge to elevate their top body while sleeping experienced much less acid reflux contrasted with once they slept flat (7).

Summary

Elevating the head of your bed might reduce your reflux symptoms at night.


4. Eat dinner earlier

Healthcare professionals often advise human being with mountain reflux to prevent eating within the 3 hours before they go to sleep.

That’s because lying horizontally ~ a meal provides digestion more difficult, possibly worsening GERD symptoms.

According come one review, eat a late-night meal increased acid exposure as soon as lying under by 5%, contrasted with eating previously in the night (11).

Another study including 817 people with kind 2 diabetes found that eating dinner so late at night was connected with a higher risk of acid reflux (12).

Still, more studies space needed prior to solid conclusions can be made around the impact of so late evening meals ~ above GERD. The may likewise depend on the individual.

Summary

Observational studies indicate that eat close to bedtime might worsen acid reflux symptom at night. However, the evidence is inconclusive, and more studies are needed.


5. Opt for cooked onions instead of raw

Raw onions are a common create for mountain reflux and also heartburn.

One older study in civilization with mountain reflux proved that eating a meal containing raw onion considerably increased heartburn, acid reflux, and burping, compared with spend an similar meal the didn’t contain onions (13).

More frequent burping could suggest that an ext gas is gift produced. This could be because of the high quantities of fermentable fiber in onions (14, 15).

Raw onions are additionally more an overwhelming to digest and also might wake up the lining the the esophagus, causing worsened heartburn (16).

Whatever the reason, if you think eating raw onion provides your symptom worse, you must avoid it and also opt because that cooked onions instead.

Summary

Some people experience worsened heartburn and other reflux symptoms after eating raw onions.


6. Eat smaller, much more frequent meals

There’s a ring-like muscle recognized as the lower esophageal sphincter whereby the stomach opens into the stomach.

It acts as a valve and normally stays clear of the acidic components of the stomach indigenous going up into the esophagus. It commonly stays closed however may open once you swallow, belch, or vomit.

In human being with mountain reflux, this muscle is weakened or dysfunctional. Acid reflux can likewise occur once there’s too much pressure ~ above the muscle, bring about acid to squeeze through the opened (17).

Unsurprisingly, many reflux symptom take location after a meal. It additionally seems the eating just one to two large meals every day may worsen reflux symptoms (18).

Therefore, eat smaller, an ext frequent meals throughout the day may aid reduce symptom of mountain reflux (19, 20).

Summary

Acid reflux usually increases after meals, and larger meals seem to make it worse. Therefore, eating smaller, more frequent meals might be beneficial.


7. Keep a moderate weight

The diaphragm is a muscle located over your stomach. Normally, the diaphragm normally strengthens the reduced esophageal sphincter, which prevents excessive amounts of stomach mountain from leaking up into the esophagus.

However, if you have actually excess ship fat, the press in your abdomen may end up being so high that the reduced esophageal sphincter gets driven upward, away from the diaphragm’s support (21).

This condition, recognized as hiatal hernia, is taken into consideration the leading cause of GERD (21).

Furthermore, research mirrors that having actually excess belly fat may be associated with a higher risk of mountain reflux and also GERD (22, 23, 24).

For this reason, some studies imply that losing at the very least 10% of your body load could significantly decrease symptom of GERD in people with the problem (25).

Achieving and also maintaining a moderate body weight can assist reduce acid reflux in the lengthy term.

However, if she interested in this approach, make sure to speak v a healthcare professional to assess whether it’s ideal for you, and also if so, exactly how you deserve to lose load safely and also sustainably.

Summary

Losing belly fat and maintaining a center weight might relieve few of your symptoms of GERD. However, make certain to speak through a health care professional before attempting to lose weight come treat this condition.


Growing evidence says that low carbohydrate diets might relieve mountain reflux symptoms.

In fact, part researchers doubt that undigested carbs may cause bacterial overgrowth and increased push inside the abdomen, i beg your pardon could add to mountain reflux (26, 27).

Having too countless undigested carbs in your digestive system frequently can no only cause gas and bloating but additionally burping (28, 29, 30).

However, while some studies indicate that low carb diets could improve reflux symptoms, more research is required (31, 32).

Summary

Some research suggests that poor carb digestion and bacterial overgrowth in the little intestine may an outcome in mountain reflux. Low carb diets may be an reliable treatment, however further studies space needed.


Drinking alcohol may increase the severity of mountain reflux and heartburn.

In fact, some studies have displayed that higher alcohol intake might be attached to boosted symptoms of acid reflux (33, 34).

Alcohol aggravates symptom by boosting stomach acid, relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, and also impairing the capacity of the stomach to clean out mountain (35).

Although new research is needed, some older studies also show that drinking alcohol or beer increases reflux symptoms, especially compared with drinking plain water (36, 37).

Summary

Excessive alcohol intake can worsen acid reflux symptoms. If you experience heartburn, limiting her alcohol input might aid ease few of your discomfort.


Studies have uncovered that coffee in the interim relaxes the reduced esophageal sphincter, increasing the danger of acid reflux (38).

Some evidence also points toward caffeine as a possible cause. Likewise to coffee, caffeine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, which could cause reflux (39).

Nevertheless, although several studies imply that coffee and also caffeine may worsen acid reflux for part people, the evidence is not totally conclusive.

For example, one analysis of observational studies uncovered no significant effects the coffee entry on the self-reported symptom of GERD.

Yet, when researchers investigated the indicators of acid reflux v a small camera, they discovered coffee usage was attached to better acid damage in the esophagus (40).

Thus, whether coffee intake intensifies acid reflux may depend ~ above the individual. If you find coffee offers you heartburn, it’s best to merely avoid that or limit your intake.

Summary

Evidence argues that coffee might make mountain reflux and heartburn worse. If you feel prefer coffee aggravates your symptoms, take into consideration limiting your intake.


Healthcare professionals sometimes advise people with GERD come limit your intake of carbonated beverages.

This is due to the fact that studies have observed the regular usage of carbonated or fizzy beverages, consisting of soft drinks, society soda, and also seltzer, can be linked to a higher risk the reflux (41, 42).

One study discovered that carbonated soft drinks, in particular, worsened specific acid reflux symptoms, consisting of heartburn, fullness, and burping (43).

The main reason is the the carbon dioxide gas (the bubbles) in carbonated beverages causes people to burp more often — an impact that have the right to increase the lot of mountain escaping right into the esophagus (44).

Summary

Drinking carbonated beverages temporarily boosts the frequency of burping, which might promote mountain reflux. If they worsen her symptoms, try drinking much less or staying clear of them altogether.


Many types of citrus juice, including orange juice and grapefruit juice, are considered usual triggers for heartburn (45).

These ingredients are highly acidic and also contain compounds prefer ascorbic acid, i m sorry could cause indigestion if girlfriend consume lock in huge amounts (46).

In enhancement to being acidic, particular compounds uncovered in citrus juice could irritate the lining that the stomach (47).

While citrus juice probably doesn’t cause acid reflux directly, it might make your heartburn worse temporarily.

Summary

Some human being with acid reflux report the drinking citrus juice makes their symptoms worse. Particular compounds in citrus juice, in enhancement to acids, can additionally irritate the lining of the esophagus.


Peppermint and spearmint are typical ingredients used to make organic tea and add flavor come foods, candy, chewing gum, mouthwash, and toothpaste.

However, they likewise contain certain compounds the could cause heartburn in part people.

For instance, part studies indicate that peppermint oil can decrease reduced esophageal sphincter pressure, i beg your pardon may reason heartburn (48).

Another study showed that menthol, a compound found in mint, might worsen reflux in civilization with GERD (49).

Additionally, one older study in people with GERD proved that spearmint did not influence the reduced esophageal sphincter. Nevertheless, it found that high doses of spearmint can worsen mountain reflux symptoms by irritating the inside of the stomach (50).

For this reason, it’s best to stop mint if girlfriend feel that it provides your heartburn worse.

Summary

A few studies suggest that mint and also some the the compounds it includes may aggravate heartburn and other reflux symptoms, but the evidence is limited.


Fried foods and also some various other fatty foods items may additionally be a create for GERD. Part research mirrors they may cause heartburn. Examples encompass (51):

fried foodspotato chipspizzabaconsausage

High fat foods items like these may contribute to heartburn by causing bile salts to it is in released into your cradle tract, which might irritate your esophagus.

They also appear to wake up the release of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone in your bloodstream that may relax the reduced esophageal sphincter, permitting stomach contents ago into the esophagus (52).

One research looked in ~ what happened when world with GERD ate high fat foods. An ext than half of attendees who had actually reported food triggers said they skilled GERD symptoms after eat high fat, fried foods items (53).

Moreover, as soon as these world eliminated triggering foodstuffs from your diet, the ratio of those who competent heartburn diminished from 93% come 44% (53).

More research is necessary to uncover how high fat foods items might trigger GERD symptoms, consisting of heartburn, and also what kinds of fats can have the the strongest effects.

It’s essential to keep in mind that fats are an essential part that a healthy and balanced diet. Quite than staying clear of fats, aim to eat castle in moderation from healthy sources, such together omega-3 fat acids from fat fish and monounsaturated fats from olive oil or avocados.

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Summary

Foods that space high in fat may create GERD symptoms, consisting of heartburn, in part people. However, much more research is needed.