Acidity or Acid Reflux is a digestive disease in which stomach acid irritates the food pipe lining or the oesophagus. It is also known as GERD. Acidity usually causes a burning sensation in the chest, i.e. heartburn, which radiates from stomach till the throat.
It is one of the most common issues among the Indian citizens as we eat food with various spices in them. Acidity is usually self diagnosable. The symptoms include burning in the chest that usually occurs after eating and worsens when lying down.
We have heard a lot about what to eat when suffering from acid reflux, but we don’t talk about the triggers or the food items which cause this issue.
Let's check some of the most common edible items which should NOT be eaten:
1. Fried and Greasy Food
In today’s world and age, it's convenient to just grab anything from your favourite fast food chain since it is both tasty and affordable. But what we don’t realise is that how bad it is for our health as fried and greasy food items take longer to digest. They cause heartburn by stimulating the release of esophageal irritants which creates an opening for stomach acids to flow upward. These kinds of food items are one of the worst and major causes of acid reflux or GERD.
Everything tastes better with cheese! True, but it aggravates and makes the acid reflux worse. Such food items which are high in fats and cheesy, can delay digestion by sitting in your stomach which lets the acid in and causes a heartburn. But not all cheeses are high in fats like; cottage cheese, ricotta and some other cheeses which have reduced fats.
3. Carbonated Beverages
What is better than having your favourite fast food with a carbonated beverage and a perfect movie? A body with no heartburn or acid reflux is! Carbonated beverages or sodas are one of the most common triggers of acidity or gerd. The carbonation or bubbles in such drinks causes bloating and therefore increases the risk of acid reflux.
4. Spicy Food
We all love the thrill and taste of having something spicy, it just never gets old! But it comes with a high price. Most of the spicy foods contain capsaicin, which slows down digestion and causes food to sit in the stomach longer. It increases the risk of heartburn. Spicy food can also irritate the oesophagus which can worsen the acid reflux.
Meat is one of the food items which tends to be high in saturated fats and oils. It is more prone to allowing stomach acid to splash up into the oesophagus. Meat also slows down digestion.
6. Potato Chips and Similar Snacks
The most convenient and easily accessible food item to consume is potato chips and similar snacks. Just like the above mentioned foods, potato chips are also high in fat content and it slows the rate at which the stomach empties.
7. Tomato and Tomato Based Sauces
Indian households can’t cook any food without tomatoes in them. But what we don’t realise is that tomato and tomato products are packed with citric acid which can make the stomach produce too much gastric acid. Tomatoes are also highly acidic in nature and increase the risk of heartburn or gerd.
Peppermint is famous for helping in digestion and stomach pain but what most people don’t know is that it can worsen acid reflux. Peppermints can help relax the sphincter that’s between the oesophagus and the stomach which in turn allows the acids in the stomach to flow back into the oesophagus. This only worsens heartburn. If one is suffering from acidity or gerd then they should avoid peppermint.
9. Citrus Fruits and Juices
Similar to peppermint, citrus fruits with high acidic value, such as; grapefruit, orange, etc., relaxes the esophageal sphincter and worsens symptoms. Such fruits and juices do the work of fueling the fire.
No celebration or dessert is completed without consuming chocolate in one form or the other. It is loved by a huge majority of the population with specific days dedicated to its consumption, like chocolate day during the valentine week in February. As sweet and delicious as it is, chocolate is also one of the most common triggers for heartburn.
Have you ever felt a burning sensation in your chest right after having your morning coffee or winding down in the evening with a cup of hot tea? That’s because these hot beverages contain caffeine which is one of the triggers of acidity and GERD. It’s essential to keep a check on the number of cups of these beverages you consume everyday as they can aggravate acidity.
All of these food items are suggested to be avoided if one is suffering from acidity or acid reflux, but at the same time, there are also alternatives for most of them. At times, a little exercise and a change in lifestyle can help and can allow one to consume such foods in small quantities.
If you suffer from acidity quite often and are looking for an organic solution, Acid Balance by LYEF is a perfect ayurvedic cure to your acidity problems.
It’s a blend of ayurvedic elements - Shatavari, Giloy and Guluchiyadi Kwatha and provides instant relief from acid reflux.