Summertime is grilling time in the Reagan house.
Steak, chicken, corn on the cob, peppers, onions.
Brushed with a little marinade, I’ll throw just about anything on the grill.
I suspect that many of you would say the same.
There’s just something about a barbecue that makes food taste so much better.
That is, unless the food gives you heartburn.
Because nothing can ruin a good meal more than the feeling that your chest and throat are on fire.
Heartburn occurs when the contents of your stomach – including stomach acid – rise up into your esophagus.
Up is not the direction you want things moving.
The result is a burning sensation in your chest and throat.
If you’ve never felt heartburn, thank your lucky stars. Because it can hurt… bad.
Thankfully, there are some easy ways to relieve heartburn quickly and naturally.
First thing you want to do is pay attention to what you’re wearing.
If your clothes are too tight, they can compress your stomach, sending your food up towards your mouth.
Loosen your belt or unzip your pants if they are too tight and putting too much pressure on your stomach.
When you eat can play an important role in the onset of heartburn, as well.
Try to avoid eating less than 3 hours before bedtime because laying down can trigger heartburn.
You see, when you lay down, pressure is placed on your lower esophageal sphincter.
That’s a problem because this ring of muscle helps stop stomach acid from rising into your esophagus.
When it’s weakened by the pressure of lying down, more acid is allowed to flow up.
Some water mixed with a teaspoon baking soda can help alleviate symptoms.
Baking soda is alkaline, so it can help neutralize stomach acid and ease some of the pain.
Some research indicates chewing gum after meals can ease heartburn discomfort.
That’s because the act of chewing gum stimulates your body to start producing saliva.
And swallowing this saliva can help dilute and clear stomach acid from your esophagus.
A warm cup of tea with slippery elm and marshmallow can help to calm heartburn discomfort.
These herbs have soothing properties that coat the stomach and esophagus and reduce irritation.
Another herb that’s been shown to have a positive effect on heartburn is licorice.
Licorice root coats the stomach lining and protects the stomach from erosive damage caused by the acid.
But before you run down to the store and pick up a pack of Twizzlers to ease your heartburn, keep in mind that red licorice contains no actual licorice root.
Only black licorice does. Red licorice is really just sugar.
Black licorice can be an acquired taste, so if the flavor makes your stomach churn, you can find licorice root in supplement form.
Food should bring pleasure, not pain.
So, if you suffer from heartburn, give these tips a try.
Any keep the fire on the grill… not in your chest and throat.