Acidity also known as acid reflux is a very common condition affecting many people over the world. When the food consumed passes down the esophagus and into the stomach, the gastric glands in the stomach create acid which is needed to digest the food and to kill any germs. Acidity occurs when the gastric glands produce too much acid, more than what is needed for the digestion process. This condition is characterized by a burning sensation just above the stomach, or right below the breastbone called heartburn. A few symptoms for acid reflux include burning sensation in the stomach, burning sensation in the throat and heart, difficulty in swallowing, belching, nausea, prolonged sour taste in the mouth, bad breath, indigestion, and constipation.
Very few people realize the unhealthy eating habits and poor lifestyle choices that can lead to acidity. Acidity in Indians is very common due to the heavy consumption of oily and spicy foods by Indians.
Some tips to help deal with acidity:
Have a quality life and get enough sleep
Smoking and alcohol intake should be minimized if you suffer from symptoms of acid reflux. Smoking can trigger your reflux issues thereby increasing acidity and hence it should be avoided. Alcohol is also going to irritate your stomach by increasing the severity of acid reflux and heartburn. Alcohol can aggravate symptoms by increasing stomach acid, relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, and impairing the ability of the esophagus to clear itself of acid. So avoiding both smoking and alcohol can improve your health overall.
You must avoid spicy and oily food in your daily diet if you face a lot of acidity problems. Drinking a good amount of water daily will increase your fluid intake and can help decrease the severity of acid reflux. Also Indulge in a few exercises regularly for overall improvement of the digestive system.
Lack of proper sleep is also known to cause gastric issues. So it is recommended to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep daily.
Avoid raw onion
Few studies have shown that eating raw onion can significantly increase heartburn, acid reflux, and belching compared with an identical meal that did not contain onion.
It has been suggested that the high amounts of fermentable fiber in onions are responsible for increased gas production and belching. Raw onions can also irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause more painful heartburns in the body.
Bananas have many health-benefiting properties. Bananas are known to contain natural antacids that help to fight against acidity. Eating bananas is the simplest home remedy for getting rid of acidity.
You should eat one banana every day to prevent any gastric discomfort. Also having a few slices of apple before bedtime can relieve heartburn or acid reflux.
Basil, cinnamon and fennel
The soothing properties of basil leaves can give you instant relief from acidity. When experiencing acid reflux, eat a few basil leaves or boil 3-4 basil leaves in a cup of water and drink the solution. Sip on this frequently as it is one of the best home remedies for acidity.
Fennel seeds have many gastrointestinal benefits including helping the digestive tract be healthy and function properly. Fennel tea is considered very useful to help indigestion and bloating because of the oils found in these seeds. Sip on fennel tea or eat fennel seeds when you feel any discomfort in the stomach.
Cinnamon works as a natural antacid for stomach acidity and can settle the stomach, by improving digestion and absorption. You can consume cinnamon as a spice in cooked foods or as cinnamon tea.
Jaggery contains high magnesium content and helps boost intestinal strength. It aids digestion and makes the digestive system more alkaline in nature and thus reducing stomach acidity.
You can suck on a small piece of jaggery after a meal and you will feel the positive effects soon. Since jaggery can also help maintain normal body temperature and cool the stomach it is recommended drinking jaggery soaked in ice cold water during the summer.
Ginger is known to have has excellent digestive and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is a common natural remedy for dealing with upset stomach and indigestion.
Ginger contains some chemicals that can help speed up stomach contractions. This will move foods that are causing indigestion through the stomach and intestines more quickly. The chemicals in ginger can also help to reduce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If you have an upset stomach you can try adding ginger to the food or drinking it as a tea.
Elevate the head of your Bed
Some people suffer from heartburn and acid reflux symptoms during the night which may disrupt their sleep quality and make it difficult for them to fall asleep.
Some studies have shown that patients who raised the head of their bed had fewer reflux episodes and symptoms, compared to those who did not sleep on a raised bed.
Analysis done on some controlled studies have concluded that elevating the head of the bed is an effective strategy to reduce acid reflux symptoms and heartburn at night.