stomach acid is needed to break down the food you eat, something your stomach has no trouble handling. to keep stomach acid (and digesting food) in your stomach and out of your esophagus, a circular ring of muscle at the tube's base, called the lower esophageal sphincter, acts as a valve. if this valve relaxes abnormally and stomach acid is allowed to travel back into your esophagus, acid reflux occurs. if you're trying to avoid acid reflux or get rid of heartburn fast, here are ten ways to ease — and even prevent — your symptoms: the high potassium content of a banana makes it a fairly alkaline food, meaning it may help counteract the stomach acid irritating your esophagus. this works to help reduce heartburn since saliva can help promote swallowing — which can help keep acid down — and neutralize the stomach acid that's refluxed into your esophagus. having a large amount of food in your stomach may put more pressure on the valve that keeps stomach acid out of your esophagus, making acid reflux and heartburn more likely.