Overcome The Problem Of Acidity

Judging from the many ads for over-the-counter relief for heartburn, indigestion and acidity problemgastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), acidity could be more prevalent than we believe. With eating out getting more common, drastic lifestyle changes and work-related stress, our stomachs are taking a hit it seems.

What is acidity?

Cabbage juice helps relieve heart burn

The stomach normally secretes acid (HCL) that is essential in the digestive process. This acid helps in breaking down the food during digestion. When there is excess production of acid in the stomach, it results in the condition known as acidity. Normally, there are some protective mechanisms against the acid, in the stomach and proximal intestine, but an imbalance between the protective mechanisms and the level of acid secretion can cause acidity.

Symptoms to look out for

Heartburn: A burning sensation in the stomach and/or chest caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus.

Dyspepsia: A burning or an aching pain in the upper abdomen, sometimes described as a stabbing sensation penetrating through the gut. In rare cases there may be no pain, but only a feeling of fullness, bloating, flatulence or nausea.

Cure it with food

Simple changes in food can rid you of this trouble.

acidity problemEat a wholesome diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and high-fiber foods. This will ensure that you get the whole array of nutrients for the optimal functions of the body and its systems.

Increase your intake of fruits such as papaya and pineapple. These are high in digestive enzymes such as papain and bromelain that aid digestion.

Use fennel, cumin and mint in your daily cooking for their carminative properties.

Cabbage juice is particularly good for heartburn. Its high glutamine content must be the key to its success. It has a strong taste so blend with other vegetable juices. Drink peppermint and ginger teas 30mins before meals to stimulate the secretion of digestive juices.

Eat the right way

* Avoid drinking water in-between meals as it dilutes the digestive juices produced in the stomach.

* Eat regular, small meals throughout the day to avoid overburdening the digestive system.

* Change your eating habits. Do not eat 'on the run'. Eat slowly and enjoy your food. Savor every morsel and chew well.

Must avoid

* Citrus fruits and tomatoes if you are prone to acidity as these are acidic in nature.

* Fried foods, processed foods and very spicy foods. If you canít avoid it, limit your intake to 1-2 times a week.

* High-fat meals such as those from fast food chains. High-fat foods remain in the stomach longer as they are harder to digest, overtaxing the digestive system.

* Acid indigestion could be caused due to food allergies or sensitivities: so you need to zero in on what's yours and avoid it. See a doctor or a nutritionist for advice.

* Limit alcohol, chocolate, foods containing caffeine as these are acidic in nature. They are also stimulants and initiate the stress response in the body.

* Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) can also cause acidity. If you suspect that this is the case, consult your doctor for an antacid along with your medicine.

Lifestyle dos

There is a higher incidence of acidity in highly emotional and nervous individuals. Under stress the body sends energy to the muscles, via the blood stream, to help the body cope with a stressful situation. This means that enough blood is not flowing to the digestive system. When digestion is slowed down, undigested food and gastric juices remain in the stomach much longer enhancing the occurrence of acid reflux. Learn to de-stress. Work exercise and relaxation time into your busy schedule to help your body cope with stress. Yoga or tai chi classes can help to bring the body back into balance after a hectic day!