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There are several kinds of foods, herbs, supplements, and common household ingredients which can serve as a natural antacid treatment. As opposed to many commercial products, which work to block acid, these remedies neutralize acid in the stomach. Another way to achieve the affects of an antacid is to avoid the many foods, conditions, and lifestyle choices that cause an overabundance of acid in the body.
Aloe Vera, marshmallow root, and slippery elm bark supplements can all be effective as natural antacids. Marshmallow root and slippery elm bark are most effective when taken together. They come in a powder which can be mixed with water and taken after meals as a preventative measure. Aloe Vera comes in several forms, including juice, gel, and capsules. It is most effective when consumed at least 20 minutes before a meal.
Many foods can provide the effect of a natural antacid, though their effectiveness depends on the needs and diet restrictions of the individual. High fiber foods such as beans, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can lower body acidity. Bananas, papaya, and licorice also tend to be good natural antacids. Chamomile tea can provide relief as well.
Dairy products such as low-fat milk can also work as natural antacid. The active cultures in yogurt make it a particularly good choice for maintaining a healthy balance of acids and bacteria in the body. Ice cream can also reduce acidity, though it depends on the flavor; chocolate and peppermint can aggravate symptoms, while vanilla is generally a good choice. Eating a small amount of ice cream a couple of hours before bed can reduce nighttime heartburn.
A lot of items found in a typical household can be used as a natural antacid. Ginger, cumin seeds, and turmeric can all be effective ingredients for fighting heartburn. A daily spoonful of apple cider vinegar or baking soda mixed in filtered water can also work to neutralize acid before it becomes a problem. Vinegar is an acid in its natural form, but becomes alkaline within the body.
There are also several foods that can raise the level of acidity in the body. Chocolate, carbonated drinks, garlic, and black pepper can all cause heartburn. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and high-fat or spicy foods can also cause excessive acidity. Drinks such as coffee, alcohol, and mint or caffeinated teas can be problematic as well. Other ways to avoid heartburn include eating small, frequent meals, managing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, and abstaining from smoking.