Restaurant foods and snacks have become a significant part of our day to day life. No celebration is complete without eating delicious food. The change in the purity and quality of food, and vegetables and fruits grown through chemicals can cause indigestion, Hyperacidity, and burning sensation in stomach. Stomach secretes hydrochloric acid which is a strong acid that breaks down food particles into very tiny form that helps in the digestion of food. Hyperacidity is a condition when more amount of hydrochloric acid in produced in the stomach. It is a very common dietary disorder that can be treated by medications, home remedies, and by adopting some change in lifestyle. Hyperacidity has several other names like heartburn, Acid-Reflux, or GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease). Acid-reflux occurs when the valve or sphincter that connects the stomach and the food pipe known as esophagus becomes weak. Due to this the acid from the stomach moves up in the esophagus causing heartburn and Hyperacidity. This sometimes can also lead to dysphagia which is a narrowing of your esophagus. It can give you a sensation of food being stuck in your throat.
Some of the primary causes of Hyperacidity are eating oily and spicy food regularly, alcohol intake and smoking, consuming sour food and drinks, medicines, and excessive intake of tea or coffee. Hyperacidity is caused due to the worsening of Pitta Dosha in the body. In Ayurveda pitta is symbolized for heat and fire. Apart from diet, the main cause of Hyperacidity can be due to sedentary lifestyle. Insufficient sleep, excessive stress, lack of physical exercise, pregnancy, fasting, obesity, and even staying hungry for long period of time can cause the uncomfortable feeling of Hyperacidity.
Hyperacidity can cause moderate to severe heartburn, bloating, belching or burping, burning sensation in stomach and throat, nausea, indigestion, and reflux. It can also cause stomach pain and feeling of restlessness.
Hyperacidity can adversely affect a person’s daily routine. And if left untreated can cause stomach ulcers. There are many prescription and OTC medicines available for Hyperacidity which helps you to ease the symptoms. But only medicines will not give you long term relief. There are some easy to follow lifestyle changes that will help in treating the problem of Hyperacidity.
- Follow a simple diet.
- Take smaller meals at regular intervals instead of eating just two main meals. This may help to reduce the pressure on your stomach and help to digest food quickly.
- Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Wash thoroughly and peal if needed before consuming them. Include melons, banana, and coconut.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day. If possible take warm water after meals.
- Raise the head of your bed 6-8 inches for severe Hyperacidity and acid-reflux. The gravity will not let the acid get into your food pipe/esophagus. Using of pillows to raise the head can cause back and neck pain, so avoid it.
- Give some of your time to Exercise, Meditation, and Yoga. Practicing yoga and Pranayam regularly such as Vajrasana, Bhujangasana, Salabhasana, Anulom Vilom, etc. are also helpful in treating the symptoms of Hyperacidity.
- Avoid tea and coffee.
- Avoid or limit excessive use of soft drinks like sodas and alcoholic beverages. Instead drink plain water.
- Avoid processed and fermented foods.
- Avoid using tomato, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and onions in cooking.
- Avoid oily and spicy food.
- Reduce your salt intake.
- Avoid eating leftover food.
- Yogurt should be strictly avoided at night.
- Avoid lying down after having a meal.
- Cumin Seeds: Cumin seeds aids in digestion and stomach ache. It also works as a great acid reducer. Boil one cup water with 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Strain and drink the water after your meals. Alternatively you can also boil a cup of water with 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds powder and coriander seeds powder with some sugar. Drink this water on empty stomach to get relief from Hyperacidity.
- Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds acts as a cooling agent for your stomach and helps in digestion and stomach pain. Simply chew some raw fennel seeds after your meals. Another option is to soak 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds in half a cup of water overnight. Next day, grind the fennel seeds with the soaked water. Strain and drink this first thing in the morning. You can add sugar or honey if desired. This is one of the best remedies for acidity. You can also make a mixture of one teaspoon fennel seeds powder, half teaspoon of powdered rock candy (or unrefined sugar), and a pinch of green cardamom powder. Mix this in a glass of cold milk and drink to ease Hyper acidity.
- Basil Leaves: Basil leaves is a wonderful herb that has soothing and carminative properties which helps in relieving acidity and gas. Chew some basil leaved to get instant relief. Alternatively, boil 4-5 basil leaves in a cup of water and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes. Strain and drink it frequently. You can also add honey to taste.
- Coconut Water: Coconut water is a refreshing natural drink that has cleansing properties which helps to flush out toxins from the body. As it is also rich in fiber, it helps with easy bowel movements. Drink 100-200 ml of tender coconut water twice a day to get relief from Hyper acidity.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk contains lactic acid that controls the acid in the stomach and aids in digestion. Mix half a teaspoon of roasted cumin seeds powder to a glass of buttermilk and have it several times during the day.