I know we have all heard the saying…an apple a day helps keep the Doctor away. That saying is over 150 years old and still holds true today. It’s no secret; I’m not a nutritionist. However, both Brad and I have first hand experience with the crazy awesome medicine benefits of eating an apple. Not just any apple; a red delicious apple.
Brad has a hiatal hernia…aka acid reflux disease and about three years ago, Brad stumbled across information that suggested eating a red delicious apple would help calm and sooth the acid. It seemed to good to be true, but we decided to give it a try and…OMG it worked! It didn’t just work; it completely has replaced his need for ant-acid medication of any kind. More information on acid reflux is at the bottom of this post, click on continue readying.
When I decided write this post, I really looked into the benefits of an apple. I was blown away by the medical findings and…seriously; can curb off all sorts of cancer, calm acid reflux, aids in the control insulin levels, lubricate lungs, boost the immune system and can also kill bacteria in your mouth! This is crazy good stuff and I can tell you for sure…I’m going to be eating at least one apple everyday for the rest of my life.
Fire! Fire! Fire! I have Acid Reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). It runs in my family on my dad’s side. I remember when I was a child that my father was never without chewable antacids. He had a bottle next his bed, one at work and even some in the car. It seemed he was always chomping on one. He used to tell me, “I love onions but they don’t love me.”
I started getting symptoms of Acid Reflux early on at about age 16 after my football games at school. I would say I first felt the burn around age 15 after a serious car accident. I finally understood what my father had been going through all those years. For the first few years I got Acid Reflux, it was not too serious and would not last long at all. It was uncomfortable but at the same time it was manageable.
At the age of 22, it started to get worse, much worse. It was sometimes unbearable. I went to the doctor who officially diagnosed me with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). He wanted to put me on medication (tagament,zanax) that I would have to take every day. I did this for the next eight years. Later, I thought it was strange that he gave me no advice on how to prevent the acid reflux. I do not like to take a ton of medication if I don’t have to and I can’t stand the chalky texture of chewable antacids. I cannot imagine taking the same medication for a lifetime with its side effects. I really believe in holistic type home remedies because they are usually cheaper and safer with little or no side effects. Plus a good number of items used in natural treatments are in your house already.
I have tried numerous home remedies to get rid of my Acid Reflux:
-Clear soda such as lemon lime flavor. For me, this only works if the heartburn was very mild. It did not work to prevent the acid reflux or heartburn.
-Apple Cider Vinegar. I was told by my friend to take 1-2 Tablespoons to help ease the burning. This is more effective than the clear soda as it does tend to help mild to moderate heartburn. It did not help if it was serious heartburn and had no effect on prevention for me. Some years later, another friend told me I was supposed to put the vinegar in water. I tried this and it made no difference as far as how it worked but was certainly easier to swallow.
-Baking soda and water. I knew a guy who swore by this method to rid himself of heart burn. It works for sure however, how the hell can you justify this over a long period of time when it’s also used to clean the pipes in your home and rid your freezer of smells.
-Ginger Tea. The way I made my tea was by just boiling a good chunk of fresh ginger in water. I tried it hot, warm and cold. The temperature of the tea did not seem to make a difference and worked well for mild to moderate heart burn with no effect on prevention.
-Cold milk. This really works for my mild heart burn. I have tried non-fat milk, 2 % and whole milk. The 2% works best. I really had to catch it right away for this to work. Milk did not prevent the acid reflux. Plus I am now lactose intolerant. So this is OUT!
The Real Secret- A Red Delicious Apple!!!! Now this is the best natural remedy I have found by far! Make sure you get Red Delicious because other types of apples do not work. Even an Organic Red Delic does NOT do the trick! Not only does it prevent acid reflux, it will completely stop mild, moderate or serious heart burn! I have heard some people say you should eat the apple with a teaspoon of honey but I never needed to add honey to get results. I ate one a day for a couple of months, and it almost completely prevented it. If I did start to get a little burn, I would just eat a few slices and it would be totally gone. Now I eat about 2-3 a week just because I know it works. I have made several lifestyle changes recently that have almost eliminated the acid reflux so I almost never get it anymore but when it creeps up on me, I eat a few slices of the red apple and it takes care of it.
Now let’s talk prevention:
-Lose Weight. People who are heavier tend to get more Acid Reflux which is most likely due to eating larger meals and not moving enough. I have lost a good amount of weight recently and have seen the frequency and severity of the acid reflux drop dramatically.
-Eat smaller meals. Your body can better handle and digest small portions which keep acid levels down. Instead of eating large meals try smaller more frequent meals.
-Plain natural Almonds are another fantastic source that are great in calming Acid Reflex
-Avoid certain foods. It seems to me that everyone has different food triggers for their heartburn but I can give you a good idea of foods to eliminate for a while and slowly bring back to test your sensitivity. Acidy foods such as tomatoes or tomato sauces, orange juice and citrus fruits can cause acid reflux especially on an empty stomach. I know if I drink orange juice on an empty stomach, I will almost always get heartburn. So I mix my OJ with Cranberry and all is cool. Other foods that may cause an issue include caffeinated beverages, chocolate, wine, alcohol, onions, garlic, spices or spicy food. Coffee is out!! Some people also have a hard time with fatty or greasy foods. Some people get the worst acid reflux when they eat bananas. I do not and swear by a banana a day. I have asked other people with GERD if they have to avoid bananas and have not had anyone else tell me they are sensitive to them. It is very personal and you will just need to keep track of the foods that cause a reaction.
– A helpful idea would be keeping a food diary and a record of reactions .
-Slow it down. Eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly will help prevent acid reflux. Remember that digestion starts in your mouth so if you chew your food well, your stomach does not have to work harder later. This will keep the acid down. I find that slowing down can help enormously.
-Stop eating 3 hours before bed. Nothing after 7:30pm. When your body is trying to digest food when you are sleeping, it can cause you to wake with acid reflux. Since I started doing this, I almost never wake up with that burning sensation.
-Lower Stress. I don’t know about you but sometimes my stress hits me right in the stomach which causes me to have acid reflux. Lowering my stress is very beneficial to the prevention of acid reflux.
-Stop Smoking. This makes a lot of sense to me. I smoked for a short two year period and I actually did not see any decrease in the frequency or severity of the acid reflux when I stopped but it is always mentioned in the prevention of GERD. If you are a smoker and suffer from GERD, you may look into quitting. If it doesn’t help, you will still feel better for it!
-Do not lay flat when sleeping. The best way to do this is to raise the head of your bed. I had a doctor tell me to use a bunch of pillows but that actually made it worse. I am guessing it is because, with pillows, you are raising your head when the real goal is to raise your head and chest. I used 6 inch blocks that I placed under my bedposts at the head of the bed. This really helps.
Did you know that heartburn/acid reflux can mimic the chest pain that can be felt when someone is having or is going to have a heart attack? It is not uncommon for people to mistake heartburn symptoms for the chest pain one might experience before or during a heart attack. I remember getting a call from my dad one afternoon several years ago telling me he had spent several hours in the Emergency Room because of severe chest pain. They told him it was heart burn. Of course they did several tests to rule out any chance of it being his heart. If you have chest pain that you are not sure about, you should get immediate medical attention.
If you are not able to effectively treat Acid Reflux at home, please see your doctor right away.
Xo dented ego