If you frequently experience acid reflux, an otherwise enjoyable meal can quickly go sour once you begin to experience burning sensations and pressure in your chest.
Acid reflux is what occurs when a weakened sphincter in your esophagus doesn’t close all the way and acidic stomach contents back up through it. However, just because you’re prone to acid reflux doesn’t mean you have to suffer every time you sit down to eat. Many natural lifestyle adjustments will help you digest in peace.
Eliminate Risky Foods
Some foods can increase your risk of experiencing acid reflux. These foods typically trigger heartburn either by increasing your stomach’s production of acid or by irritating your esophagus which could possibly result in what’s largely known as Esophagitis.
Foods that commonly exacerbate acid reflux are fried foods, fatty foods, mint, chocolate, onion, garlic, spicy foods, and tomato sauce. Beverages can also make your acid reflux worse. Common beverage culprits are those that contain alcohol, caffeine, citrus, carbonation, and tomato juice. You may find through the process of elimination that some or all of these trigger foods make your acid reflux worse.
You may also discover other foods to be behind this condition. Your best bet is to eliminate them from your diet, or at least cut back on them significantly. Instead, emphasize non-fried sources of protein such as certified organic fish, lean poultry and alkaline foods such as bananas, broccoli, and melon. Non-mint herbal teas, skim milk and alkaline water known for its many scientifically proven health benefits should be your go-to beverages.
Eat more organically grown high-fiber foods to help improve your digestion and lower your chances of getting heartburn with meals. For example, soluble fiber- found in foods such as oats, barley, and beans – is thought to help lower the amount of acid your stomach produces.
Insoluble fiber – found in foods such as wheat bran, nuts, and many vegetables – helps food move through your intestines at a more expedient pace. Many foods that are high in fiber also happen to be low in fat. Fatty foods exacerbate acid reflux directly, but they also happen to be high in calories and contribute to weight gain. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of acid reflux because the extra weight places pressure on your stomach and causes its acidic contents to back up.
Embrace Soothing Ingredients
Some foods are known to help soothe your stomach and promote healthy digestion. Ginger is one of them, as it has anti-inflammatory properties and helps foods pass out of the stomach at a smooth pace. Pell, slice, or shave ginger root and add it to your meals or smoothies. Other known stomach-soothing ingredients are parsely, aloe vera, and fennel.
Adopt Other Helpful Habits
Reducing acid reflux isn’t just about changing what you eat. Reducing acid reflux means adapting how you eat and making consciously other lifestyle adjustments. For example, you may need to get more exercise to lose some weight. If your wardrobe mostly consists of tight and restrictive clothing, consider investing in looser garments that won’t compress your abdomen.
You should also carefully plan out your meals. Eating small and frequent meals and avoiding lying down for a few hours after you eat can help reduce acid reflux. Once you’re ready to lie down for the night, it helps to sleep on a bed that has blocks raising the head about 7 inches.
Also, if you smoke, now is the time to quit. Smoking makes acid reflux worse by slowing down digestion, by leading your stomach to produce more acid, by making your stomach acid more damaging, and by relaxing your lower esophageal sphincter.
Try Complementary and Alternative Treatments
Sometimes anxiety and stress make acid reflux worse. Complementary and alternative remedies may help reduce acid reflux that’s been exacerbated by emotional distress.
Hypnosis, yoga, massage therapy, guided imagery, and aromatherapy are a few possible solutions to chronic stress and anxiety. Keep in mind, however, that serious distress caused by anxiety and depression may require further medical intervention.
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