What I Eat to Relieve Heartburn in Minutes, According to a Gastroenterologist

This one food cured his symptoms in 30 seconds, the doctor says.

If you've ever suffered from severe heartburn, you know just how uncomfortable the symptoms can be. Like many people, you may be looking for fast relief from that intense burning sensation you feel after eating. That's why Joseph Salabh, MD, a board-certified gastroenterologist and an expert in treating acid reflux, recently shared the one food that worked for him when he needed to fix his own reflux fast. "This was a miracle food. I was actually amazed at how quick it worked," he said in a TikTok video.

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According to the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Medline Plus Magazine, over 60 million Americans report heartburn symptoms every month, and 15 million report struggling with symptoms daily.

The problem occurs when, after eating, stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.

"Typically, when food is swallowed, a band of muscle around the bottom of the esophagus (lower esophageal sphincter) relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into the stomach. Then the muscle tightens again," explains the Mayo Clinic. "If the lower esophageal sphincter isn't working as it should, stomach acid can flow back up into the esophagus (acid reflux) and cause heartburn."

Salabh shared in his video that he recently suffered from some of the worst heartburn he'd "had in a long time" after eating something "super spicy."

The doctor turned to his medicine pantry and took a range of medicines to try to help soothe the pain. "I took things from Omeprazole to Pepsid to Gaviscon to Maalox, a bunch of different antacids, Tums, and nothing seemed to work," he said.

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When those medications failed to relieve his symptoms, he found himself considering alternative treatments. "I was thinking to myself, 'OK, what else can I take?'" he said in the video.

Salabh reached for a banana, a low-acid food that's known to help combat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). "Within 30 seconds my heartburn was completely gone and never came back. It shows you that food can also be part of the treatment plan for acid reflux and heartburn," he said.

The doctor noted that this isn't the only food that may help reduce symptoms of heartburn. Anecdotally, he shared that many patients have found relief by eating a range of other plant-based foods. "There are other people that tell me that they eat almonds or kale or broccoli or oatmeal and that helps their symptoms of acid reflux," he said.

However, as some commenters pointed out, all of those medications Salabh took may also have factored into the doctor's swift recovery. Speak to your doctor to find out how you can soothe your own symptoms through diet, medication, and more.

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Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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