Heartburn and raisins often get mixed reviews. Raisins are acidic in some ways, so it makes sense that one would doubt their ability to help with a symptom known to be related to high levels of stomach acids. However, raising and heartburn are good for each other when improper digestion is the culprit.
People with heartburn are told to avoid acidic foods, especially fruits. So what makes raisins so different? It depends on the person. In people who aren’t prone to frequent heartburn because of an acid problem, raisins might cause a slight increase in good acids that help digest foods. Raisins are also very high in fiber, which helps with digestion when foods get past the stomach and into the intestines.
Raisins are also good a producing saliva. As a short term solution to the onset of heartburn, holding raisins in the mouth for a minute or two can help produce enough saliva and induces swallowing so that stomach acids are pushed back down into the stomach where they below. (The same effect can be achieved by chewing a stick of gum.)
The Long-Term Benefits for Heartburn and Raisins
Raisins are acidic in composition, but they rarely cause enough acid production to harm a person who experiences occasional heartburn. They are certainly less offensive to the body than some prescription and over the counter treatments for heartburn. While they may not work in every case, heartburn and raisins can enjoy a symbiotic relationship if given enough time.
Heartburn is often cause by food that is slow to digest in the stomach. Foods that are oily or high in fat sit in the stomach much longer than low-fat foods. While these foods remain in the stomach, acids are constantly produced and pumped into the stomach to aid in digestion. As fatty foods are digested, gas is released. This gas causes pressure and promoted heartburn by forcing all of those acids into the esophagus.
Enter raisins. Raisins are acidic have an interesting affect on the stomach: when foods enter the stomach and digestion slows, raisins can help create an environment that helps the food to digest and pass through the stomach quickly. This makes them one of the possible heartburn remedies that you can eat with your food. Instead of aggravating the stomach and causing the over-production of stomach acids, raisins pitch in to help the stomach digest foods with less acid production. Less time in the stomach also means less pressure from gas.
By eating raisins on a regular basis, a person can actually experience less heartburn from consuming fatty foods. While the stomach is hard at work producing acids to digest these foods, the raising are in the mix and releasing extra acids to also digest the food.
When Heartburn and Raisins Collide
Raisins are an acidic food – a type of food that helps to restore the natural acids in the stomach. However, people who have chronic acid problems have plenty of these acids and should avoid acidic fruits in most cases. Citrus fruits are also acidic and rank pretty high on the “do not eat” list for people with chronic acid reflux.
Raisins on an empty stomach might cause heartburn or nausea in some people, too. This is because raisins are acidic and stomach acids always have some kind of reaction to other acids that are consumed. This is why raising bread and raisin oatmeal are better ways to eat raising if you have an acid reflux condition.