Stomach acidity: Nightmare of a foodie
Do you ever feel satisfied and glad to have gone to the wedding of a sixth cousin because the food was beyond amazing? But then you wake up with a sick burning sensation in your abdomen and thorax as if you swallowed acid.
Well that sensation is right: it’s acid and you can thank your cousin for all that free food you had the night before.
Cells in the stomach secrete hydrochloric acid (0.5%). Shocking, I know. This acid, however, is purposeful in the right quantities as it kills the germs in the food, and helps to activate the enzymes that digest proteins. However, when you eat too much and stuff yourself with loads of carbonated drinks, the amount of acid in the stomach increases.
The muscles that form the opening of your stomach also play a role. When these muscles don’t close the stomach, it causes the acid in your stomach to move upwards. Eating a lot and lying down right away will cause this problem and will affect the overall pH of your digestive system including your mouth.
Other causes of acid reflux include eating certain foods – such as tomatoes, mint, onions, chocolate, spiffy foods, garlic, citrus, chocolate, or fatty foods – and drinking certain beverages such as tea/coffee and carbonated drinks. Smoking is also a major cause of acid reflux as is taking certain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, certain muscle relaxants, or blood pressure medications. If you are pregnant, chances are you go through acidity a lot.
Prevention of Acid Reflux
- Consume smaller portions throughout the day. Eat after every 2-3 hours and don’t stuff yourself.
- Eat healthy! Have equal portions of protein and vegetable. Make fruits a part of your daily routine in order to detox frequently.
- Exercise regularly. If not a 2 hour session at gym, then at least a 20 minute long HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).
- Wear lose clothing, avoid tight belts or pants whenever you can, especially while sleeping.
- Ask your doctor if any medication could be triggering heartburn.
Foods to Cure Acidity
Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a fibrous food. It makes the stomach full and absorbs the acid.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a natural antacid and it always helps to lower the body ph levels.
Take a cinnamon stick, add it in 3 glasses of water and boil. When the water reduces to 2 glasses, have some tea. Take it twice a day.
Apple Cider Vinegar: This is magic potion for fitness fanatics. It helps with acidity along with other problems. Mix 2 table spoons of ACV in a glass of water and consume it before every meal especially breakfast.
Ginger: For centuries, ginger has been used for acid reflux. It is also an anti-inflammatory agent. Slice some ginger, boil it in water or with your normal green tea and enjoy the benefits of this highly useful root.
Bananas: Not only are they delicious and filling, but this fruit also has a pH of 5.6. This makes it an ideal remedy for GRED /heartburn. Banana shake or banana alone would work well in this situation. Toss 2-3 bananas in your bag on your way to work and your acidity will be taken care of.
Cumin Seeds: As boring as it sounds, cumin is a heavenly herb that has a cure for numerous diseases. Heartburn/Acid reflux is one of them. Roast some cumin seeds, crush them and mix them in water. You can also boil a tea spoon of cumin in water and drink it after a meal.
Jaggery (Gurr): If you are like me, then you have stolen jiggery from the kitchen as a kid. If you suffer from acid reflux, consume away. Jaggery aids in digestion and becomes alkaline in the digestive system, which reduces stomach acidity. You can buy jaggery at most grocery stores.
Suck on a small piece of jiggery after each meal until your acidity subsides. Diabetics need to be cautioned as this remedy is not suitable for them. Always consult your doctor for any nutritional substitutions if you have diabetes or heart related problems.