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What foods help alleviate heartburn?

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Heartburn results when stomach liquids, including acid, back up and irritate the esophagus, which means that eating low-acid foods such as bread, oatmeal and bananas can ease heartburn. The acids in the foods people ingest play an important role in the development of heartburn, according to WebMD.

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Bananas are not the only fruit that is low in acid, notes WebMD. Honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon are also low in acid, particularly in comparison to other fruits, and they make a healthy snack food. Oatmeal not only lacks acid but also has the type of soluble fiber that keeps cholesterol down. Whole grain bread also has fiber that keeps acid from filling the digestive tract.

Adding green vegetables to one's plate is another way to lessen heartburn, as celery, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans and broccoli all have low acid levels, according to WebMD. All root vegetables except for onions are helpful too, as they are all low in acid. Lean meats and poultry also cut heartburn, as long as one removes the skin and prepares it by baking, boiling or grilling -- not frying. Baked, poached and grilled fish are all helpful, as long as the sauces are not fatty and the fish are not fried. Egg whites, but not yolk, are also extremely low in acid.

In cases of uncertainty about a particular food, researching its pH, or acid content, is helpful, says WebMD. When a pH of a food is lower than 7, that means it is acidic. Some acid is acceptable, so choosing foods with a pH no lower than 5 is a good starting point.

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