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Naini Setalvad
Naini Setalvad


Battling acid reflux

acid-reflux Eat food that is more alkaline to balance the acidic level in the stomach

Acid reflux is a common problem with a majority of people. Ideally, one should eat plenty of foods that are more alkaline or less acidic in nature. To put it simply, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

These foods help create a healthy balance of acid in your stomach and prevent it from flowing back up into your throat. Ginger root, fennel seeds, herbal teas, non-citrus fruits and most vegetables can be eaten. Avoid a few like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. All grains are fine.

Another way to treat acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, is to include changes in your eating habits. Eat smaller meals every couple of hours throughout the day, rather than two or three large meals. Try and eat your last meal at least three hours before bedtime, particularly when symptoms are worse at night.

Begin the day with water, then follow with fruit . After an hour, have breakfast which has vegetables in it like a poha, upma or vegetable sandwich. Two or three hours later, eat lunch cooked with less oil and spice. Vegetables with roti or rice and a small portion of dal will be a good choice. In between lunch and dinner, bite onto fruits and a light snack like a sandwich or a vegetable wrap. Follow with dinner similar to lunch.

Cut out common culprits that make symptoms worse. High fat and high sugar foods such as sweets, chocolates, fried foods (think samosa, puris, bhajias, jalebis and farsan), high fat meats like red meat, sausages and hamburgers, and high fat dairy products like full fat milk, curd, cream and cheese worsen the problem. Avoid milk and milk products because milk is acidic by nature.

Another common cause is fizzy soft drinks. Give beverages such as coffee (including decaffeinated coffee), tea and other caffeinated beverages like colas a miss. Alcoholic beverages, chocolate, peppermint and spear mint, and chilli peppers and pepper irritate and damage the oesophageal muscles lining, causing acid reflux. Garlic worsens acid reflux because it weakens the lower oesophageal sphincter muscle, so do not include these in your diet for some time. And do not forget to quit smoking and drinking alcohol.

Raise the head of your bed about six inches higher than the foot. This way, gravity will keep stomach acids in the stomach. Eat slowly for starters. Many swear by the calming effect of a few minutes of deep breathing or meditation before meals to help relax the stomach and reduce acid reflux.

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Topics : #health | #nutrition

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