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iVillage.com: Natural Ways to Prevent and Relieve Heartburn, Gas and Other Digestive Woes

Chew Gum

According to researchers at Britain’s St Thomas’ Hospital, chewing gum after meals prevents heartburn by doubling the flow of saliva down into the esophagus, where it neutralizes any stomach acid that’s leaking up from your tummy. “You don’t have to chew gum nonstop,” adds John Lipham, M.D., director of the Heartburn and Swallowing Center at California’s Chapman Medical Center. “Just pop a piece in your mouth when you feel the first twinge, and chew until your heartburn disappears.” Should you opt for sugar-free? That depends on how the rest of your digestive tract functions! The artificial sweeteners in sugar-free gum have an odd little quirk: They’re surprisingly good at getting the large intestines moving. That means sugar-free gum is a great option if you’re prone to constipation -- but bad news if you tend to get diarrhea!

(CREDIT: Vintage Images/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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