Today’s fast-paced world expects us to be great multitaskers by continuously juggling between workload and personal commitments. However, our erratic work schedules coupled with irregular eating habits make us vulnerable to gastrointestinal problems such as acidity. It is important to understand the causes of acidity to take appropriate steps towards curing it. The main three triggers of acidity are fatty foods, large proportions of food intake, and late-night meals.
Even a sumptuous meal results in stretching the stomach, making you feel stuffed. This stretching of the stomach also called as distention, pressurizes the LES (Lower Oesophageal Sphincter). The LES is a kind of a wall which prevents the food in the stomach from entering the oesophagus. When the LES is impaired or pressurized, due to excess food intake, the gastric acids get a free entry into the oesophagus, resulting in heartburn. Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest which is also a symptom of acidity. In severe cases where acidity occurs regularly more than twice a week, it is termed as Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
Acidity can cause great discomfort. Since the food you eat affects the production of gastric juices, eating the right kind of food becomes essential to avoid acid reflux. Read on to find out what you should avoid and what you should incorporate in your diet to keep acidity away.
Foods to Be Avoided
High-Fat Food Items
As stated earlier, fried and fatty foods are one of the main triggers of acidity. French fries, desserts, cream sauces, ham fat, bacon fat, lard, gravies, etc. lead to food staying in the stomach for longer, putting you at a greater risk of acid reflux.
Caffeine is a known cause of heartburn. People already suffering from acidity are advised to lower their intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee.
Intake of alcoholic drinks is another key driver of acidity. Apart from relaxing the LES and causing heartburns, excessive intake can harm the oesophagus lining, making it more sensitive to stomach acids.
Garlic, onion and other spicy and tangy food items trigger acid reflux when consumed in excess amounts because of the presence of a compound called capsaicin which slows down the rate of digestion.
Citrus Fruits and Vegetables
Citrus fruits and vegetables and their products such as tomatoes, tomato sauce, lemon, orange juice, etc., although indispensable for a healthy diet, can worsen GERD symptoms.
Like other high-fat foods, chocolate can relax the LES and cause heartburn. Besides, chocolate contains serotonin hormone and other compounds like theobromine and caffeine, all of which can stimulate heartburn.
Most often, milk is consumed to treat heartburns. However, research suggests that whole milk can increase the production of stomach acids, thus, becoming a cause for heartburn, instead of relieving the symptoms.
While the list above includes the common causes, it is best to look for specific foods that cause acidity in your body since each person has a different tolerance level towards different food items. The list below mentions the various remedies to treat acidity.
Foods to Cure Acidity
Green beans, cucumbers, broccoli, potatoes, cauliflower, asparagus, and several other vegetables help to reduce the production of stomach acids as they are naturally low in sugar and fat content. Complex carbohydrates in potatoes are especially very beneficial towards curing acidity.
As a whole grain and an excellent source of fibre, oatmeal can absorb acid in the stomach and help cure acid reflux, which is why nutritionists recommend taking oatmeal for breakfast daily.
Coconut water turns the body’s pH acidic level to alkaline, stimulating mucous production in the stomach, thereby protecting it from the negative effects of excess acid production.
Buttermilk is categorized as ‘sattvic food’ in Ayurveda. It contains lactic acid that normalizes the acid level in the stomach. Thus, if you suffer from acidity after having a heavy meal, you can always skip the antacid and consume a glass of buttermilk or “chaas”.
Aloe Vera Juice
This serves as a herbal remedy to acid reflux. The soothing properties of aloe vera juice help to reduce the feeling of burning pain.
Natural antacids present in bananas act as a buffer against acid reflux, which makes it the simplest home remedy for acidity.
Lean meats contain low fat and therefore, help to reduce symptoms of acid reflux.
Because of excellent digestive and anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is a natural remedy for several gastrointestinal problems including acidity. You can chew a slice of a fresh ginger, or grate and add it to your recipes. You can also simply, have a spoonful of ginger juice two-three times a day or sip a cup of ginger tea.
An addition to the above list of remedies is Gas-O-Fast. With the goodness of Ayurveda infused with the antacid properties of Jeera and Ajwain, Gas-O-Fast neutralizes the acids at the source and provides you with instant relief. So the next time you suffer from acidity, take Gas-O-Fast for effective cure and immediate comfort.