Digestive issues are often not given the due attention they deserve. This could be because most of the times the discomfort is temporary or for a short spell. We have a tendency to react only when the condition becomes too painful to endure. Digestive ailments, if left untreated, could also wreak havoc on your health. One of the most common digestive disorders is acidity. Acidity is defined as a digestive disease in which stomach acid or bile irritates the food pipe lining.Acidity can cause heartburn -- a burning sensation in the chest, stomach and throat. However, frequent episodes of heartburn (two or more times a week) may be associated with other severe problems like Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which calls for medical intervention.
A sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits such as irregular meals, skipping meals and consuming spicy, oily and fast-food can cause acidity. Along with this, obesity, stress, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and prolonged use of certain medications such as pain killers or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can lead to other digestive ailments.
Dr. Rajesh Kumawat, Head - Medical Services & Clinical Development, The Himalaya Drug Company, recommends a few modifications in our daily habits that help in managing acidity.
1. Drink adequate water throughout the day, preferably 8-9 glasses.
2. Reduce the intake of fried, fatty, spicy, and junk food.
3. Avoid alcoholic, carbonated, and caffeinated drinks.
4. Consume meals at regular intervals; avoid long gaps between meals.
5. Include fresh green salad in your diet (consume salad 15 minutes before your meal).
6. Consume fresh fruits; however, avoid consumption of acidity-causing citrus fruits (such as oranges and lemons).
7. Consume food two to three hours before going to bed.
8. Exercise/light physical activity, yoga, meditate on a daily basis.
10. Review your medicines (used for other ailments) regularly with your physician.
11. Indian gooseberry, a herb also known as amalaki or amla, is an antioxidant. It is effective in reducing the acid and normalising mucin (that protects the internal layer of the stomach) content in the stomach.
12. Cowrie shell ash or varatika is well-known for its antacid and digestive properties. It is useful for symptomatic relief from gastritis, hyperacidity, heartburn and indigestion.
Ayurvedic Herbs That May Help Prevent Acidity
1. Basil Leaves
The soothing and carminative properties of basil leaves can give you instant relief from acidity. At the first sign of gas, eat a few basil leaves or boil 3-4 basil leaves in a cup of water and let it simmer for a few minutes. Sip on it frequently.
You can also "chew sauf after meals, to prevent stomach acidity", advises Nutritionist Anshul Jaibharat. It is extremely effective for your gastrointestinal health.
This humble spice works as a natural antacid for stomach acidity and can settle your stomach, by improving digestion and absorption
Ginger has excellent digestive and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger helps neutralize stomach acids, you can chew a slice of fresh ginger, or have a spoonful of ginger juice two-three times a day, or steep fresh ginger in a cup of boiling water and drink up.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
(With Inputs IANS)
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