Q. I have a new patient with severe heartburn. As a naturopathic physician, I find taking a person off their particular food allergens usually clears heartburn up permanently.
I saw her yesterday and she had a bad episode during our visit. I watched her stop it almost immediately with two almonds. She says it works every time.
A. Your patient is not the first person to report that a few almonds can prevent or stop heartburn. Last year one reader wrote:
“Almonds after every meal seem to be working for me. I haven’t taken Zantac for the past two weeks and I haven’t even needed much antacid.”
A review on food allergies in the Journal of the American Medical Association (May 12, 2010) suggests that food allergy may not be as common as some people believe, affecting fewer than 10 percent of adults. The authors conclude, though, that more than 2 percent do have food allergies and many others have some food intolerance. Avoiding foods that cause heartburn makes sense.