Quick and Easy Tips to Prevent Acid Reflux and Heart Burn

indigestion and heartburn

If you’ve ever experienced burning in the chest and throat, belching, nausea after eating, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, coughing, hiccups, or pain with lying down, bending, and stooping – particularly after a large meal, there’s a good chance you are suffering from a very common health problem. Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, the condition affects approximately 1/3 of the people in the United States. That’s a scarily significant portion of the population, and costs for evaluation and treatment of GERD are more than $10 billion per year!

What Causes GERD?

acid refluxGERD is a little more than occasional heartburn. People with occasional heartburn experience it less than once a week, while GERD affects people two times a week or more. In some cases, GERD may even cause significant discomfort every day, leading people suffering from the condition to try just about every type of medication they can.

So what causes GERD? Food passes through your digestive system via the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which sits at the bottom of your esophagus just before your stomach. This passage is supposed to be one-way only. Unfortunately, a number of things can cause the LES to not close properly, or to open at inappropriate times, allowing stomach acid to flow upwards through the LES, carrying stomach acids into the esophagus and mouth. While many people experience occasional bouts of heartburn, when this begins to occur regularly, doctors diagnose GERD.

What factors contribute to GERD?

  • Eating large meals
  • Eating foods that irritate the stomach
  • Constipation or poor elimination
  • Excess belly fat
  • Excess intake of acidic foods
  • A high fat diet

Natural Ways to Eliminate Acid Reflux

how to prevent acid refluxWhile the common response to GERD is to reach for an antacid or the latest anti-GERD miracle medicine such as Zantac or Prilosec, this only treats the symptoms and does not eliminate the cause. In some cases, even medications aren’t enough to fully eliminate symptoms. In others, you are forced to take more and more medicine in order to get the same level of relief. And even if you have relieved the symptoms through medicine, have you eliminated the cause? Of course not!

Fortunately, you can control the symptoms of GERD naturally, and even help your body heal so you never need to reach for that roll of Tums again! By making lifestyle changes that support good health, you can start feeling relief without medicine.

  1. The Glowing Green Smoothie: I really do believe the GGS is a miracle in a glass. Starting your day with one can do so many positive things for your health. Here’s how it helps with GERD. Since one of the leading causes of GERD is constipation (straining to eliminate hardened stool can widen the LES over time, allowing acids to back up through the esophagus), all of the beneficial fiber from a daily GGS will help bulk up your stool and eliminate constipation. Another reason the GGS is so powerful in your fight against GERD and acid reflux is that you are starting your day with a powerfully alkaline drink that can neutralize any acids in your system and help maintain your body’s pH levels.
  2. Eat a plant-based diet: Plants are full of wonderful nutrients, fibers, and active enzymes. Additionally, plants are alkaline, which can help create an internal environment that inhibits acids from building up. Plants are easy to digest, so your stomach doesn’t need to work nearly as hard or produce nearly as much acid as it would with other foods.
  3. Avoid or minimize all animal products: On the other hand, animal products (including dairy, meat, fish, eggs, and poultry) are very difficult to digest. They require tremendous effort (and acid release) on the part of your stomach. Likewise, animal products create an acidic environment in which conditions like acid reflux thrive.
  4. Minimize acid-forming beverages: Coffee, soda, and energy drinks all create tons of acid in your body – and your stomach. They can also irritate your stomach lining. Carbonation may also contribute to GERD symptoms. Switch to herbal tea, pure water, or a water with a squeeze of lemon.
  5. Avoid gluten grains: Wheat, rye, barley, and some processed oats all contain gluten, which is a protein that is very hard for the digestive system to process. Instead, switch to healthy, non-GMO grains like millet and quinoa. These not only add beneficial fiber to your diet, but the are much easier on digestion.
  6. Minimize fats: While your body needs some fat to survive, minimizing your intake of super fatty foods like fried foods and animal products can make a big difference in GERD.
  7. If you are overweight, lose weight: Belly fat can contribute to GERD, so losing weight can ease the pressure on the LES.
  8. eat slowlyStop eating before you are stuffed: Eat your meals slowly, chewing fully, and stop when you start to feel full – not when you feel so full you can’t move. Huge meals overextend the stomach, which can cause – you guessed it – acid reflux.
  9. Eliminate foods that may irritate your stomach: Certain foods can really be irritating to the stomach, including things like onions and peppers. If you notice a certain food irritates your stomach, cut it out.
  10. Wait an hour after eating: Before you lie down or get all excited about bending, stooping, and other actions, wait an hour after a meal. This helps keep the acid right where it belongs – in your stomach. If you allow gravity to aid stomach acid by bending or lying and you have a weakened or widened LES, it’s going to wind up in your esophagus and mouth.
  11. Sleep with your upper body in an elevated position. If acid reflux gets you at night, defy gravity by lying in bed with your upper body raised to keep acids where they belong.
  12. Avoid antacids: While these chalky pills temporarily relieve symptoms of acid reflux, they also cause the stomach to produce more acid to overcome the alkalinity they create. This creates a downward spiral where you take more antacids to combat the increased acid, and your stomach produces more acid to combat the increased number of antacids. Before long, you’ll be going through a Costco-sized Tums in just a few days. Nobody wants to live that way!
  13. Stop smoking.

Natural Acid Reflux Treatment

drink tea if having acid refluxI can see you saying, “But I have acid reflux right now. These things will take time. How can I relieve my symptoms now?”

Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Have some licorice root tea. This tea soothes and can coat the lining of your esophagus. If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before trying licorice root, which can elevate blood pressure.
  2. Chew a fresh basil leaf. This Ayurvedic remedy can sooth your digestive tract.
  3. Suck on a slippery elm lozenge. Available at the health food store, these lozenges will protect your digestive tract and relive coughing or pain.
  4. Take digestive enzymes. This can help encourage digestion to occur more quickly.
  5. Try some organic raw honey. This will neutralize the pH in your stomach, reducing acids that can come back up.
  6. Have some chamomile tea. Chamomile can soothe and neutralize stomach acids.



Last updated: Friday, June 19, 2015
  • http://wholesomely.tumblr.com Jia Ni

    I definitely can relate to many of the points – I always experience acid reflux after eating dairy products (every single time) and sometimes after having wheat in whole wheat pasta for dinner!!

    Thanks for all these helpful tips, Kim!

    • rhona

      I’m just curious, I had the gastric bypass and have to eat atleast 42g protein daily, how would you suggest incorporating that into your plant based diet

      • Kimberly Snyder

        Hi Rhona,
        You can easily incorporate that. If you have the Pure Protein Smoothie with Raw Protein (try the one from Garden of Life) combined with chia seeds, that is upwards of 23 grams of protein already just from that one drink. You can add spirulina for dense protein as well, and quinoa and millet, veggies all have protein in varying levels. xx

        • Lydia

          Kim, I have acid reflux and heartburn started couple of month ago, loss lots of weight, currently only weight 84 lb from 98 lb before due to reflux and recent surgery. Try to gain my weight back, been drinking the GGS and liquid probiotic first thing in the morning which seem help with my reflux and digestive issue due to the antibotic. Start the Raw protein powder with chie and coconut milk today to try to gain weight, but seem it gave me lots of gas and bowl movement (3 time today already), does GGS and raw protein too much because of the fiber content? Should I try some other protein powder instead (I cannot drink or eat dairy), don’t eat too much meat other than fish due to the reflux. Your response will be greatly appreciated, I agree with your theory but majority of time is for people losing weight, I am in the opposite spectrum. Thanks, hope I got a reply back soon.


  • Joelle

    I wanted to share that there is another kind of reflux, nicknamed “Silent Reflux”. It is called that because the person who has it does not experience heartburn, and instead, has the other symptoms you described and more, trouble breathing, breathing spasms, hoarseness, burping, throat burning, etc. They could eventually develop nodules, and of course cancer. The medical term is laryngopharyngeal reflux. Most people refer only to GERD, but this silent reflux is different, and sadly, many Dr’s misdiagnose this, thinking it could be asthma, or a lung issue. Some of the patients are referred to allergists, gastroenterologists, and pulmonologists, who may not know about this type of reflux. There is a great book called “Dropping Acid” by Dr. Jamie Koufman. This Dr. has opened a door that has been closed to many. I hope Kimberly, you can include this type of reflux in your blogs and seek out that book. Thank you.

    • Rob


      Yes. I have LPR (silent reflux). I get post nasal drip and very dry mouth and tongue at night.
      I’m pretty sure stress is a major factor in LP-reflux and I do TM meditation which hleps a lot.
      Also its best not to eat meat at all as it takes 2 days to digest and produces lots of acid. So take vegetarian home made meals instead and add some poultry if you must.

      Sometimes my throat burns a bit, so I spray a bicarb soda/water mixture into my mouth and throat to neutralise any acid. I bought the mini spray container from a chemist shop in the UK (superdrug) and its also good for spraying my throat when I wake dry at night. Careful with drinking bicarb though if you have high blood pressure as it contains high sodium/salt levels.

  • Lakesha

    Hey Kim great post. I have Gerd and Diabetes.Your book has helped me tremedously!. My A1C has went down 6.1 from 6.3. My acid has calmed down so much. I make green smoothies every 48 hours and I love it. I also cut back on my meat consumption to once a week, I do eat fish.Kim you have changed my life.Thank You for all your insight and expertise on nutrition. I am so happy about this particular post and I can’t wait to try out the licorice tea.

  • Joelle

    I am confused about dairy, I wonder if yogurt is ok with reflux, and what about Kefir? Also wonder about coconut milk. Almond milk apparently is ok. In the book I mentioned in my last post, the ENT rates many foods according to their ph levels, and unfortunately a lot of fruits are quite acidic, something which really surprised me. Including of course the obvious ones such as citrus, and tomatoes, but also many more, such as kiwi, pineapple, strawberries. Apparently if suffering noticeable reflux, the only fruits that are recommended are bananas, bosc pears and melons. In addition, chocolate, caffeine, mint, alcohol are all off limits. Including tea and coffee. In the book, organic manuka honey is also recommended, as well as aloe vera juice. Our diets are quite acidic I have learned, so many foods we eat, and in restaurants say “spicy this” or “spicy that”. Many of us eat on the run, which is so conducive to reflux. Thank you for your post, I hope it will help a lot of people.

    • Rob


      No, yogurt makes reflux worse as its very acidic. The only way to take yogurt is in the form of lassi. Take around 4 spoonfulls of live organic yoghurt and stir vigorously into a glass of water (preferably not chilled but room temperature ..as its best for the stomach.
      Google “how to make lassi”.

  • Marina

    Love this I stop having it after talking to you about it thanks for sharing!

  • Danielle

    Hi Kim,

    I have acid reflux pretty bad that causes a shortness of breath feeling a few times a week. When i do lemon in water or tea i feel like that might be irritating it and causesing symptons. Which is a bummer cause its the first thing i drink in morning and its also in the glowing green smoothie. Which i love both of those things… Im not sure if its the lemon for sure thou. Any thoughts?

    I also want to know if once the LES is widened does it ever repair itself and go back to its normal size? thank u

    • Michelle

      Hello there! I too have experienced a worsening in the feeling of esophageal rawness/burning following the Hot cup of lemon water in the mornings. I almost felt as if it dried me out too much. “?” I have been on various Rx’s for LPR/GERD since 2009, but since ending up with low iron, D3, and Calcium, I am trying a more natural approach. Nothing so far has brought me relief, save the alkaline veggies before a meal. They seem to be helping somewhat.

  • http://www.bioceutica.com/barbarawarman barbara

    great article Kim. If I have an upset stomach I drink Peppermint Tea,that has always work for me well.

  • Jo-Ann Kerry

    I do not have GERD but I wanted to ask a question about the GGS which I have been taking for about 2 weeks now. I have not noticed a difference in my bowel movements or my skin. I did not have any issues before but I wanted to start a health conscious lifestyle and was very interested in your book. I am 58 years old and separated after 38 years of marriage and I want to look & feel better…I have switched to all natural creams and my face is very tight and dry which I do not like, I am not prepared to do the colonics at this time…I know you constantly compare the strength of animals who just eat plant food as a reason for us to consume more plant food for strength and good health?

  • Susan Essien

    My dad and I have acid reflux. This is so helpful. Thank you so much!

  • Deanne

    Hi kim, any suggestions for gall stones. My doctor suggested surgery ASAP but I dont want too. I am working out n eating better. Read ur book, no working on being veggitarian. I have not had any attacks (severe pain) since over a month. Thanks to u no ur book.

    • Simon

      Dieting rarely has an impact once gall stones are produced as they take more than a lifetime to break down. It will however reduce the frequency of biliary colic (gallstone pain) as this is usually caused by your body detecting fat in the gut and the gall bladder squirting some bile out to emulsify the fat. The danger is that vegetable fats trigger the same mechanism and your doctor is understandably concerned that one of the gall stones will end up in your common bile duct which can cause a potentially fatal pancreatitis. I recommend taking your doctors advice.

  • Cheryl

    I read this on a website , but the best thing to alleviate acid reflux is to eat an apple and it REALLY WORKS! I never get heartburn just the terrible reflux and this works within seconds of eating the apple.

    • wendy zapfe

      heartburn is acid reflux.

      • Simon

        You’re not quite right there. Reflux is merely the ascent of acid within the oesophageal whereas heartburn is the pain that the acid reflux can cause. Hence you can have reflux without heartburn but not heartburn without reflux.

  • Giovanna

    Omg this is perfect! My boyfriend has constant heartburn that I thought was just unnatural, and now I know this is probably why. Either way, this is perfect seeing as I’ve been wanting to find ways to help him out. Thanks Kim you are amazing! 😀

  • http://www.inner-eco.com niki


    Don’t forget benefits of cultured fermented foods and probiotics like inner-eco™ for the reflux!

    I am enjoying your articles, i was working at a Whole Foods store and met a customer who is reading your newsletters and following your recommendations. good job!

    co founder
    inner-eco™ coconut water kefir

  • Deanne

    hi,Kim changing the subject what do u think of einkorn pasta?

  • Nicole


    I saw you this morning on Good Day LA! Can’t wait to try the Spring Beauty Smoothie 😀 I was wondering when would be the best time to consume this drink?

    Also, a couple more questions 😉

    I bought a bag of dried apricots but noticed they contain sulfur dioxide, is this ok?

    Lastly, I was reading that certain foods such as spinach, sweet potatoes, and tea act as iron absorption inhibitors. So I was wondering if I have a cup of tea how long should I wait before eating iron-rich foods?

    Thanks again for answering our questions!

  • Mike Myers

    when it comes to foods, fortunately there are delicious ways one could get heartburn relief ! For example honey, i wouldnt mind at all consuming it every day! 😀

  • Marianne Teubner

    Hi Kim,
    I was thrilled to read your Article on Acid Reflux. I was on Nexium for 3 years, then DR. took me off of it. He said it was found to cause Osteoporosis. I would never have known I had it, but I had a constant sore throat, and didn’t know why. So he recommended going to BJ’s or Costco to get the large size bottle. I rarely take them before bed, but now my problem has worsened again. They don’t give you too much help at DR. office on this. So, I look forward to following what you suggest.I am not overweight, but do not eat, and drink all the right things.You should be proud of yourself for all the help you are giving to us out here in the World.

    Best to you,

  • Irma

    I had a colonic done and muscle testing. The lady told me that most of the greens, fruits and all the healthy things I was eating are not good for my body. I had gotten heavier and very constipated for several months now after getting on Radiant Beauty phase. Can anyone please help me with any suggestions? The thought of not being able to digest my GGS and other beautiful veggies deeply saddens me. Any tips are greatly appreciated. Thank you fellow beauties.


    • Dana

      Are you taking the MagO7? When I eat poorly sometimes, like during the holidays for example, and then go back to the GGS and more raw veggie based diet, I have found that without taking the MagO7, I tend to get constipated. Also, make sure you take your digestive enzymes. Trust me, take a few of those MagO7’s and your waist line will shrink rather rapidly. I wasn’t using them at first and my goodness, what a difference.

      And never return to the person who told you that eating veggies is bad for you. That person clearly does not know what they are talking about.

  • Lynette

    I use Ginger Root to treat my moments of heartburn. I cut a slice or two and let it cook with the water first, then ad my tea of choice and it gets the job done in mins. :)

  • http://www.heartburnremediesu.com Ruth

    The absolute worst thing for acid reflux and heartburn is eating too much because the excess food has to go somewhere, and if it won’t all fit in your stomach, it starts to backup into the esophagus and Uggh! The pain from an inflamed esophagus can even be so bad it feels like having a heart attack. The worst foods that I’ve found to cause acid reflux and heartburn are drinks with caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol. If you are experiencing heartburn, just cutting out the morning coffee could help you feel better.

  • ayesha

    Hi kim, I have chronic gerd and I am on omeprazole 20mg for 2 years now. I am on ahealthy diet and eat small meals but a month ago my reflux started to get worse even while I’m on the medication. It feels like the meds is not working anymore! I went to a naturopath who gave me a herbal fibre blend and some leafy green plant supplements(all natural ingredients) and some more dietary advice and told me to stop the meds. But after 4 days of stopping the meds heartburn got very bad and I’m back on the meds. Help please don’t know what to do I don’t want to be on the meds any more because I read about what its doing to my body and I have lost almost all my hair since I started the meds. Please help!

    • B

      You need to be sure you have Acid Reflux and not Bile reflux. Many Dr.’s misdiagnosis because they are not aware of Bile reflux. They are different. Antacids do not help Bile reflux much and foods that should be good for you can cause problems especially food that are hard to digests. I have GERD, Hiatal Hernia, Gastritis, Bile Acid Reflux. In the past year I have started vomiting on a chronic basis. What I have noticed it is always a hard to digest food, fat or too much tomato based food (which I love :-( )
      Acid reflux is a problem with the Sphincter between the stomach and esophagus not opening and closing properly causing acid to flow back into the esophagus and Bile reflux is the Pyloric Valve not opening and closing properly causing bile to flux back into the stomach after digestion. Those who have Bile Reflux usually also has Acid Reflux. Hope this helps.

  • Kris

    I suffered acid reflux for 16 years. I took all the latest Rx’s and still my condition worsened and the side effects were scary. I was given the okay for surgery but I read horror stories about that. So I cut out dairy, chocolate, peppers, and began drinking the GGS. It was helpful but the best thing I have ever done was to take Acid Free-Flux by Native Remedies. I finally have relief and my poor old esophagus has finally healed. I only take it occasionally now and I maintain my careful diet. I feel for you all and your sleepless nights of pain.

  • Michelle

    Hello Kim. I am enjoying your book! I discovered it while perusing through Jordan Rubin’s “Extraordinary Health” Magazine and ordered it through Amazon right away! I have been anxioius to start following the eating plans and have incorporated the “Glowing Green Smoothie” and eating alkaline first. I tried to not mix protien w/ starches but have felt sooo restricted and starved. I have been a Health Nut for a while (somewhat of an Omnivore, but not ahearing strictly 100percent of the time), doing the “Daniel Fast” on occasion, and following “The Maker’s Diet”, etc. I am very thin already and for some reason feel like eating a whole cow when I get home from work since trying a combination of the blossing beauty/rdiant beauty phase. I don’t know how to stay satisfied and still allow my body to recoop from digestion. I have also felt, crazy, jittery, fuzzy in the head, at times, like I’m on a caffiene high. Tonight, when I got home, I had this incredible urge for anything and everything, I could shove in my mouth, total non food pairing items and SUGAR!!.! H_E_L_P :)

  • http://Dr.Oz Linda

    Someone please answer if cooking tomatoes & onions lowers acid for Silent Acid Reflex? Or rinsing canned fruit?

  • Gordon

    I’ve been having pains just above my stomach and chest. Went to the Doctor and he said my heart rate and blood pressure were normal. Went for x-rays but they couldn’t find anything. pharmacists think its heartburn. I’ve been on medication for two months now with no change. I’m quite active but this pain is worrying me. What could it be?

    • nicholeg

      Gordon I just started the same thing a few weeks ago and my MD order a barium swallow xray and found a hiatal hernia excursion 60 percent of Americans

  • Terra

    I have been dealing with a burning pain across my chest…..started sometime after I quit taking Prilosec that the doctor told me to take for 2 weeks. I quit after a week knowing that it wasn’t good for me. It comes and goes with no real pattern. I also have that feeling that something is stuck in the back of my throat. I have been doing all of the right things….probiotics, low acid foods, manuka honey, etc. How long does it take to turn this around?

  • shivakumar

    hello doctor,

    my name is shivakumar from bangalore 10months before i used to drinking alcohol continuously for 15 days, after that i got chest pain i was afraid and went jayadeva for heart diagnosis there everything was normal and doctor said it is gastric problem again after some days i went raghavs hospital there i was diagnosis for endoscopy, liver function test, OGD for GERD, Abd scan to look for pancreatites and blood HB% and lipase test. the result was all the investigations with OGD are normal showing LAX LES Oesophigeal. To avoid this doctor said me follow this procedure.

    avoid coffee or tea
    timely food
    water 1 glass every half hour
    After food donot drink water for 1 hour
    After food donot sleep still 2 hours
    When sleeping sleep towards left side
    Medicenes were Pantodac and pepticane
    this is my history of treatment, after this someday i need to drink alcohol and smoke cigaratee and know i had completely stop both. for 1 month iam going for check up every month doctor prescribed me some tablets like sensival 25 mg after food in night, Liofen before break fast and Esomac before break fast and sompraz before break fast and frankit after food in morning and night. And my problem is sometimes i will be fine some times i feel like something is coming from lower abdomen to thorat i don’t have word to explain that it may be acid it feels like irritation and i also feel something i happening if ask my doctor whether can i go for surgery he said no need of surgery. And know i thought of going for homeopathy please tell me what is this or it is dangeours. Doctor one thing i drink lot of water 5 to 6 liters a day or more

    • Abdul Rehman Nadeem

      Gone through your symptoms. It all the bad effects of excessive alcohol intake. Any thing used crossing the limits is harmful what to say of the Alcohol.
      Please stop taking alcohol (in any form) if you can’t permanently, at least for 15 days and take Nux Vomica 30c an unmatched homeopathic remedy three times a day i.e. after breakfast, after lunch and after dinner. Hope you will be cured. But the symptoms may reappear if you continued taking limitless liqor.

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  • joyta

    As a post gastric bypass patient I had problems with constipation for the first time in my life. My doctor recommended The Lady Soma Fiber Cleanse & after 3 days of taking the capsules there was no strain, no stress. Every morning (without fail) I would have a nice bowel movement. It’s been 3 months since that experience, & I’ve gotten my mother using Lady Soma too,

  • Kaki

    This is really great info. I suffered from acid reflux for many years and this is the type of advice that really helped me to overcome my problem. So, to all you sufferers, YES! There is hope! Just don’t lose faith and know that your body can heal itself. I was lucky to find some great advice that helped me overcome my acid reflux and get better.

  • Kaki

    This is really great info. I suffered from acid reflux for many years and this is the type of advice that really helped me to overcome my problem. So, to all you sufferers, YES! There is hope! Just don’t lose faith and know that your body can heal itself. I was lucky to find some great advice that helped me overcome my acid reflux and get better.

  • Jennifer Wright

    If your in a pinch use mustard. Yes..I did say mustard. I did a teaspoon and bada boom..relief. Like most ppl, we dont have roots of this and that or organic cider vinegar. Js.