Become a Mindful Eater to Prevent Heartburn

Dr. Giselle Lefebvre, ND

There are many supplements you can take to quell heartburn. However, a big step to a healthy digestive system is you. Using these tips you can become a mindful eater and get your digestive system on the right path to prevent heartburn.

  1. Take a pause before you dig in. Smell the food before eating to stimulate the appetite. Our digestive system uses all our senses to start breaking down our food. The process does bring in the mouth but actually the brain plays a big role. Thinking about, preparing and ideally sitting down to eat is essential for the proper secretion of enzymes required for digestion.
  2. A few deep breaths to slow your energy and help encourage your body into the parasympathetic system. This helps to get your body and brain prepared to receive food.  Take a couple of minutes to acknowledge the energy and the time that it took to get the food from field to table.
  3. Chewing your food well. This helps to assimilate food in our body and gives the enzymes a chance to do their jobs. Consider chewing your food at least 25 times – more with heavier proteins like steak and ribs, actually counting helps to create the habit.
  4. Keep meals stress free. Eating is a time to be happy and enjoy each other’s company. Be aware of your emotions when you eat. When your body is in the stressed aka sympathetic state, it stops our digestive enzymes from being released and prevents peristalsis.  It is worth putting your fork down and having conversations, but keep those difficult conversations for another time.
  5. Eat well but not too much – overindulging is a big cause of heartburn, aim to keep some room on your plate, this encourages you to eat slower and helps you decide if you truly do want to go for a second round. Remember your body needs about 30 minutes to know that it is full.

Take the time to enjoy your food and your company, BBQ season is my favourite. Also be sure to hydrate eating salty foods in the sun can be dehydrating.


The complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women’s Health, Dr. Sat Dharam Kaur

Medical Nutrition from Marz 2nd Edition by Russell B. Marz, ND