What is heartburn or acid reflux?

Do antacids have a frequent flier account on your table? Do you wake up in the morning with a terrible burning sensation in your gut? Do you feel something climbing up in your neck after a heavy or hot meal? If you answered yes to the questions, there is a chance you're suffering from acid reflux. In this condition, stomach acid can flow back into the esophagus, resulting in irritation in the esophagus lining. If the over the counter medication has not resolved it, you can consider some simple home remedies and alternatives.

Typical heartburn sufferers understand the value of avoiding the trigger foods that cause acid reflux. For example, certain foods high in saturated fat can loosen the pressure of the sphincter muscle, situated on the stomach's peak. When it is not firmly closed, it allows food and stomach acid to backwash into the esophagus and throat, causing heartburn. While maintaining acids in their place is one way of preventing heartburn, another school of thought promotes avoiding highly acidic foods and stopping the acid before it is even in the gut.

See: Acid Reflux Foods To Avoid

Can the banana help heartburn & acid reflux?

The banana may be able to come to the rescue in a situation like this. Why? The banana is an alkaline fruit with a pH 5.6 and fights against the burning sensation in the chest, the upper stomach, and heartburn. This low-acid fruit can help people who have acid reflux by coating an irritated esophageal lining, thus fighting discomfort. As a result of their high-fiber content, bananas can also help strengthen your digestive tract, which may ward off indigestion.  Pectin is the soluble fiber found in bananas, which helps move stomach contents through your digestive tract. This one-two punch helps move the food along, as food that sticks around will just continue to create acid.

Bananas Are A Low-Acid Food: Quick chemistry primer: Water's pH is 7, making it neutral. Anything lower in ph value is acidic, and anything higher is alkaline. A ph value lower by one on the pH scale means the acidity is ten times greater, so even smaller declines in pH can expect a significant bump in acidity. The normal stomach pH is between 1 and 4. It is already acidic. The stomach's pH is reduced as it secretes gastric acid, which plays a huge role in food breakdown.

Some believe consuming a deficient acid diet can help relieve acid reflux symptoms. According to the US FDA, bananas have a pH range of 5-5.29. Eating a banana helps raise the gut contents' pH level and might function as a natural antacid. Ripe bananas have a pH of approximately 5, which makes them a somewhat acidic food. A meal with low acid content can give acid reflux a good fight. The banana increases the pH of the gut contents, reducing the acid levels in the stomach. That does not necessarily mean that bananas cause heartburn or reflux, however.

Decades ago, Indian researchers analyzed banana powder and found it useful for relieving symptoms of indigestion. More recently, animal study shows that banana extract helps treat drug-induced ulcers. The banana extract worked better in the studies than the acid-suppressing medication omeprazole.

See: Baking soda for heartburn & acid reflux

Banana benefits for acid reflux & heartburn

How do bananas help relieve acid reflux symptoms?

Many people are sold on the health benefits of bananas. They are known for preventing depression, strengthening bones, lowering blood pressure, and protecting against stroke. But can they be used as home treatments for GERD?

-Bananas support digestion

First, bananas significantly strengthen our digestive tract. Acid reflux symptoms often result because of poor digestion. To put it simply, poor digestion results in indigestion. Inadequate digestion causes bloating, belching, and gas, which could ultimately lead to stomach contents backing up into the esophagus. All steps that strengthen the digestive tract or promote intestinal health will assist against GERD symptoms.

- Bananas Antacid Properties

Banana includes critical nutrients like potassium and proteins. Banana comprises alkaline potassium, therefore reducing the acidity in the stomach. Additionally, it contains sulfur and protein that aids in digestion. Besides that, it contains protease inhibitors that help in eliminating specific harmful bacteria in the gut. Lastly, it's a perennial source of minerals and vitamin B6, which fortifies the esophagus.

Bananas Contain Prebiotics

Bananas also contain prebiotics. Prebiotics promote good gut bacteria (probiotics) by functioning as a sort of feeding ground for these healthy gut bacteria, or the good guys. Bananas contain prebiotics that helps in the fermentation of the great, healthy, and the essential bacteria in the gut. This property minimizes the possibility of acid reflux. The stomach needs to operate correctly and on a reliable basis. Having the perfect balance of food bacteria in the gut promotes an overall healthier and correctly working stomach in your digestive system.

- Bananas Are High In Fiber

One-way that bananas strengthen digestion is via their high fiber content. Bananas contain pectin, a soluble fiber that promotes regularity by transferring stomach contents along the digestive tract. Bananas contain pectin, a soluble fiber that assists in the gut contents' smooth motion, preventing any of them from lingering around on your stomach. The fiber acts as anti-acid reflux. When food lingers in your stomach, your gut will continue to create acid. Chances of you to experience an episode of reflux increases.

- Bananas May Protect Against Ulcers

Lastly, some researchers think that bananas may protect against ulcers. The gastric mucosa is a thin mucous membrane that lines the stomach. Gastric mucosa helps move food through the stomach and protects the stomach from being digested by its juices. Bananas contain compounds that are thought to fortify the gastric mucosa by increasing its thickness. 

The simple fact of the matter is, bananas have incredible health benefits, and including a daily banana into your regular diet may fortify your health in more ways than one. Bananas are a terrific help in digestion and offer a natural antacid and alkalizing effect, which might help prevent ulcers. Although most frequently just peeled and eaten plain, bananas are great in cereals, desserts, smoothies, and salads. We invite you to work peanuts in your regular diet and to keep a lookout for acid reflux favorable recipes that have bananas.

Consider adding bananas to your acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD diet.

See: Sore throat and acid reflux causes & natural treatments

Summary

You can include banana into your daily diet to handle acid reflux and heartburn as a home remedy. You could eat it daily with breakfast or after any meal. You might also make a smoothie when the weather is too hot, and you would like something to drink. The beauty is in the fact that bananas can be eaten anytime, anywhere. Bananas are usually thought of as alkaline in nature rather than acidic. They're a natural source of vitamin B6 and fiber and help keep potassium, which is excellent for your bones and heart generally. Raw bananas are most likely the best source of nourishment. You can eat them at any moment, to get a snack or with a meal. In specific low-acid baking recipes, you can mash them up as a replacement for a fat component.


See: Mustard for heartburn & acid reflux relief

References

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14. Jenkins, T. A., et al. (2016). Influence of tryptophan and serotonin on mood and cognition with a possible role of the gut-brain axis.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728667/

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https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/160/11/1098/142422

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See: Home remedies for GERD & acid reflux

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