Web Desk: Studies reveal that more than 60 million people in the US alone experience heartburn due to acidity once a month. Many times, one doesn’t even realize that they are suffering from acidity. It is commonly seen not in adults, but in teenagers too.
Acidity is known by several names, from hyperacidity or acid dyspepsia to acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease. An uncomfortable sensation near the chest, slight pain in the stomach, excessive burping, burning sensation in the throat or chest, and sluggishness are some of the classic symptoms of acidity or heartburn.
Some of the most common causes for acidity are skipping meals, not eating on time, consuming fried and spicy food, stress, anxiety, insomnia, obesity, pregnancy, smoking and excess consumption of alcohol.
How to combat heartburn
Decrease acidic foods to 20 per cent of your diet. Avoid fatty meats like beef and turkey, as well as cheese, sweets and garlic. Beware of harmful ingredients in packaged or canned foods and instant meals that you may be unaware of. Avoid cashew nuts, pistachios and peanuts, as well as hydrogenated oils such as corn oil.
. Stay hydrated. Drink at least 12 glasses of water every day. Decrease your consumption of tea and coffee. You can also try some home remedies to decrease the heartburn by boiling cumin seeds in a glass of water and having it after your main meals. Drinking coconut water 3-4 times a day is another natural remedy. Having a daily glass of apple cider vinegar water (150 ml water + 5 ml apple cider vinegar) early in the morning on an empty stomach also helps. Lastly, you can add fennel seeds and basil leaves to a bowl of boiling water, and drink it once it has cooled down.
. Enjoy green smoothies. Have a green vegetable juice of kale, celery or mint everyday as a mid snack. Indulge in alkaline veggies such as asparagus, beetroot, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. You can make a salad or soup with these, or mix them up with proteins like chicken, egg whites or lentils.
. Consider non-acidic fruits your new friends. Bananas are filling and economical fruits that can be included in your diet, while melons are a great alternative if you’re looking to replace heavy, creamy desserts.
. Have an early dinner. Eat your last meal for the day 2-3 hours before sleeping.
. Maintain your ideal body weight. Excess weight can lead to acid reflux. Avoid overeating. Taking mini meals at regular intervals aids digestion.
. Stop smoking. The practice of lighting up, especially after meals, greatly increases the chance of heartburn.
. Adopt proper postures. After the meal, keep your back straight and upright. At night, sleep in the right posture, such as by keeping your head on a high pillow (up to six inches). Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
. Get enough sleep. Lack of rest can aggravate acidity. Make sure you get seven hours of sound sleep in one stretch.
. Exercise for at least 20 minutes every day. Exercise can be as simple as brisk walking. Yoga and meditation can help you keep your internal system in a healthy state.