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Celery for Heartburn

by
author image Bethany Lalonde
Bethany Lalonde has been a professional writer since 1997. She has published for CBS Health Watch, WebMD, the "Ann Arbor Daily News" and "Entertainment Weekly." She holds two masters degrees from the University of Michigan, in dietetics and nutrition as well as journalism.
Celery for Heartburn
While crisp and refreshing, celery may not alleviate heartburn symptoms. Photo Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Celery is considered a natural remedy for heartburn, but its efficacy is not proven. In general, foods are not used to treat the symptoms of heartburn, although having a diet low in triggers for heartburn is a good idea. While celery is a healthy addition to any diet, changing your lifestyle and eating habits or taking medication is a more suitable course of action for treating and preventing heartburn.

Neutralizing Heartburn Acid

Because heartburn is caused by acid entering upwards through the esophagus, the theory is that alkaline foods — such as celery — can help alleviate or stop the symptoms by neutralizing the acid. In this case, the alkalinity of celery is insufficient to stop heartburn or to neutralize the acid. While eating celery may not trigger the symptoms of heartburn, it will also not alleviate the symptoms or prevent it from happening.

Food Triggers

In many cases, heartburn symptoms are triggered by certain foods. Different foods will affect people differently, but in general, highly acidic foods or high-fat foods will cause heart burn. Some common food triggers include garlic, onions, citrus fruits, spicy foods, high-fat foods like french fries, coffee and alcohol. If you are unsure which foods trigger your heartburn symptoms, maintain a food log to keep track of what you ate and if you experienced heartburn afterwards. Over time, you can narrow your list of possible food culprits to a smaller list. Avoiding those foods should reduce instances of heartburn.

Overall Weight

In some cases, specific foods may not be the cause of heartburn. For instance, being overweight increases the likelihood of heartburn. When you carry around extra weight, there is more pressure exerted on your stomach, which can cause its contents to travel upwards, thus producing the symptoms of heartburn. If you are unsure whether you're overweight, consult a medical professional beforehand to see if this is a possibility. Regardless, instituting a healthier lifestyle — with a balanced, nutritious diet plan and regular exercise — can improve your overall sense of well-being, which can help alleviate some of the stress associated with experiencing heartburn.

Underlying Conditions

In some cases, heartburn may actually be a symptom of a more chronic underlying condition. This may especially be the case if attempts at regulating and remedying the situation are to no avail. Heartburn can be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (commonly called GERD), a peptic ulcer, a hernia or gastritis. If you have persistent heartburn that is not resolved through your attempts at self-care, contact your doctor to see if there are any medications or treatment options you can take.

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