What is Acidity?
When bile or stomach acids flow back into our esophagus or food pipe, it causes irritation and is referred to as acid reflux or acidity. As a result, we experience a burning sensation in our chest, which is the most typical acidity sign. Acidity is caused due to overproduction of acid by the gastric gland in the stomach. It is the imbalance between the acid secretion mechanism of the stomach and its protective factor. There are various home remedies to treat acidity like; as chewing Ajwain, drinking coconut water, do not sit right after taking any meal, etc.
General symptoms of acidity include a burning sensation in the chest, hiccups, flatulence, improper bowel movement, and thereby discomfort.
Causes of acidity –
Broadly the causes of acidity can be divided into two main factors-
- Unhealthy Eating Behavior.
- Lack Of Exercise.
Unhealthy eating behavior such as-
- Overeating or improper meal timing.
- Eating spicy food, street food, or fried food.
- Having too many citrus fruits.
- Having tea and coffee on an empty stomach.
- Smoking and alcohol.
Lack of exercise-
- Resting after a meal.
- Physical inactivity.
General causes of acidity –
- Some medication.
- Improper Circadian Rhythm
- Specific conditions like pregnancy or some medical condition
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Home remedies for acidity –
- Ajwain/ Carom seeds- It has carminative and antispasmodic activity. It contains thymol as an enzyme that helps in the release of gastric juices thereby comforting indigestion. Take a pinch of ajwain and chew it after having food or dissolve carom powder in water.
- Jaggery- It enhances metabolism and bowel movement. It has potassium and magnesium which helps to reduce accumulated acid in the stomach.
- Watermelon juice- It is a diuretic. It helps to digest food better and enhances bowel movement. It is also a good supplement for hydration in the summer.
- Coconut water- It has alkalizing properties. It is high in fiber prevents indigestion and has a monoglyceride that helps to cleanse and soothe the digestive tract. It instantly reduces acidity. Drink one coconut water daily to treat acidity.
- Banana/Alkaline food- Banana helps to neutralize acid due to their alkaline nature. It also contains potassium. Add bananas to your diet.
- Ginger – A cup of ginger water helps to reduce stomach acidity by eliminating H.pylori bacteria that cause an increase in acidity.
- Fennel/ Saunf- Chew a pinch of fennel or make a decoction of fennel to decrease stomach acidity as it contains anethole as an active ingredient that helps as a muscle relaxant.
- Aloe vera juice- Half a cup of aloe vera juice can help to decrease heartburn similar to aloe vera pulp that is used as a sunburn. Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties to ease acidity.
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- Apple cider vinegar – This ingredient is a neutralizer that can help to balance out stomach acid and get away from acidity.
- Cold milk- Milk contains calcium that can act as an antacid. It can prevent acid buildup in the stomach.
- Water- Intake of insufficient amounts of water can also cause acidity. A lukewarm glass of water helps in reducing the stomach acidity.
- Baking soda/ sodium bicarbonate- A tablespoon of baking soda with water acts as a natural antacid. It neutralizes the acid and makes the stomach stress-free.
- Pineapple juice – Pineapple contains an enzyme known as bromelain that helps to control the level of acid in the stomach.
- Buttermilk – Buttermilk has lactic acid that can help in the digestion of food.
- Tulsi leaves – Tulsi has anti-ulcer properties it works on the reduction of acidity and provides an irritant-free environment to the gut. Chew 4-5 Tulsi leaves daily.
- Sugar-free gums- Chewing gum helps to increase saliva that dilutes the acid present in the stomach.
- Raw Almond/ almond milk- It has some oils that help in the digestion of food and therefore help to release the discomfort caused by acidity.
- Mint leaves – Mint acts as a cooling agent. It decreases the burning sensation in the stomach. Can be added to water and then strained for intake.
- Honey- Honey is a sweetening agent that reduces the acidity by release of saliva and enhances digestion.
- Gulkand- It is rich in calcium. It can be consumed in the form of a jam. It is also used as an Ayurvedic tonic. It is helpful in indigestion and acidity-related problems.
- Turmeric – Turmeric acts as an anti-inflammatory. It helps to ease out the stomach flora during acidity.
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- Papaya- Eating papaya can help to prevent acidity due to the presence of an enzyme called papain.
- Mulethi/ Liquorice – It also aids digestion other than acting as an expectorant. It contains glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhizic acid.
- Methi/ Fenugreek – It is an antacid. It promotes digestion. Soaking a teaspoon of methi every night can help to prevent acidity.
- Cloves/Laung- It has carminative properties. It helps to reduce acid reflux.
- Lemon- Lemon juice with Jaggery helps to deal with indigestion. It is acidic but it is alkaline compared to gastric pH.
- Cumin/ jeera- Cumin seeds help in the metabolism of food. They help to increase salivation thereby enhancing digestion.
- Cardamom/ Elaichi – It helps to decrease stomach spasms and burning sensations. Acidity conditions can be improved using elachi too.
- Indian Gooseberry/ Amla- Amla has vitamin C as its main active constituent. It helps in the healing of the stomach lining and injury if acidity causes so.
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Acidity can be easily prevented by
- Healthy eating habits, eating fiber-rich, fewer carbs, and more proteins.
- A scheduled time for proper wake-up and sleep can affect health. 3. Drinking enough water and avoiding carbonated/ aerated drinks.
- Acid-triggering food must be avoided such as chocolates, caffeine, and spicy and oily food.
- Herbal Tea-Tea With traces of Cardamom, tulsi, ajwain, and other herbs will help to keep away from acidity problems.
- Kadha- drinking kadha can also prevent acidity- a ginger kadha with jaggery or clove cardamom kadha with chai masala.
Healthy eating habits –
- Drinking 10 – 12 glasses of water every day.
- Intake of watermelon or aloe vera juice.
- Intake of fruits like bananas, apples, etc.
- Intake of whole grains 2-3 times daily.
- Having green leafy vegetables.
- Eating soy proteins, fish, and yogurt.
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Yoga can also be a solution to this-
- Surya Namaskar- It consists of 12 steps that help to stretch out every muscle of the body thereby also improving the working of muscles supporting the gut.
- Bhujangasana- Also known as the cobra pose. Lying down with your stomach touching the ground and stretching out your arms and legs in an outward direction. It works well for a healthy working digestive system.
- Dhanurasana – The bow pose stretches all the muscles around the stomach and makes it more functional. Lying down with your stomach touching the ground and stretching your arms and legs in an inward direction and touching each other.
- Ardha halasana- The half-plow pose. It also contributes to stretching out the stomach muscles.
- Savasana- In this asana, the body is relaxed and helps in improving the chakra that is responsible for keeping the digestive system intact.
- Exercises like sit-ups, jumps, or twists.
- Going for a walk or cycling or skipping can keep digestive problems away.
Having acidity is very common in today’s day and life due to stress and a busy lifestyle. A good lifestyle is one with control in eating habits and regular exercise.
For frequent acid reflux do consult a doctor as it can be also due to ulcers or any other gastroesophageal disease.
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