Acidity or heart burn is a common problem for people sitting at their desks for hours without any form of exercise or an unhealthy diet. The lower oesophageal sphincter is a bundle of muscles at the lower end of the oesophagus, where it meets the stomach. This muscle expands when we consume food, allowing the food to pass through the oesophagus into the stomach. An incompletely closed lower oesophageal sphincter allows acidic stomach contents to reflux back into the oesophagus, causing heart burn. The oesophagus, unlike the stomach, is not lined with membranes. This intensifies the heart burn, cough or hoarseness.
Consuming milk is an excellent remedy for acidity. However, having more than two glasses of milk isn’t advisable as the fat in it may lead to other diseases. People with lactose intolerance may feel discomfort in their stomach after consuming milk or milk products. Including lots of vegetables, leafy vegetables and fruits in your daily diet would be amazing. These contain omega 3 fatty acids, anti oxidants and phyto chemicals which eases the heart burn. Fruits should be consumed as it is instead of extracting its juice. Those who love to eat vegetables and fish should have it mildly spicy by adding a bit of turmeric instead of chilli, tamarind, and pepper.
Deep fried food items, ghee, sweets, packed fruit juices and desserts should be avoided. Besides these, soft drinks, pickles, spicy curries, too hot or cold dishes, Chinese dishes containing mono-sodium glutamate, processed foods, alcohol and smoking are some of the triggers of acidity. Those who have problems with indigestion should avoid chocolates, fatty food, cake and cream. It is better to say no to foods containing garlic, shallots, orange and lemon if you already suffer from gastric problems.
Do not over eat; instead five small meals could be consumed. It is better to avoid late night dinners as well. Food should be eaten slowly and chewed well. Try not to eat anything when you are stressed.
Eating big bananas would prevent acidity. Those who suffer from acidity should consume food which eases the digestive process and lower the secretion of the digestive juices. Herbal tea and honey are excellent to control heart burn. Dishes containing pepper, spices and masalas and vinegar should be avoided.
The protein contained in fish, chicken with less fat and skimmed milk strengthens the muscles in the oesophagus. Foods that are alkaline in nature are excellent.
You should retire to bed only at least three hours after having food. Else, the digestive juices would enter the oesophagus. It is better to sleep on your left side as the position of the oesophagus would be above the stomach. It prevents the digestive juices from entering the oesophagus.
Here are some easy recipes which do not cause acidity:
½ cup apple (diced)
¼ cup pineapple (diced)
¼ cup banana (diced)
5 dates (pitted and chopped)
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup water
Boil water with sugar in it
Mash the fruits well using a spoon
Add it into the sugar syrup after it has cooled down
This dessert eases acidity.
½ cup barley
1 small tomato
1 small carrot
¼ cup beetroot
½ cup milk (boiled and cooled)
1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
Salt as required
1 ½ cups water
Cook the barley well
Into it add grated carrot, cubed tomato and beetroot
Cook everything well together
Mash the cooked vegetables and barley using a spoon
Add the milk and salt as required
Garnish with chopped mint leaves.
LEAFY VEGETABLE DRINK
¼ cup moringa leaves
¼ cup tender Malabar nut leaves
Fist full of mango leaves
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin powder
2 cups water
Salt as required
Wash the moringa leaves well and cook it in two cups water
When it begins to boil, add the Malabar nut leaves and mango leaves
Mash it well using a spoon and pass it through a strainer
Into it add lemon juice, cumin powder and salt as required.
¼ cup mint leaves
½ cup rice
¼ cup urad dal
½ tsp fenugreek
Salt as required
Soak the rice and urad dal for at least 4 hours
Grind these along with the fenugreek seeds
The batter should then be kept aside for it to rise
Add chopped mint leaves and salt into the batter and mix well
Make delicious dosa with this batter
Mint leaves have been used as an effective remedy for gastric problems from the olden times itself.
1 cup yogurt (made from fat free milk)
1 tsp sugar
Pinch of cardamom powder
Blend the yogurt and sugar well in a blender
Into it add the cardamom powder and mix well.