People often complain of symptoms such as chest heaviness, burning in the sternal region (heartburn), frequent burping and sour belching, water brash, feeling as if food is stuck in the throat after swallowing and frequent pain in the throat. All these happen when stomach acid or bile irritates the food pipe lining. When prolonged, these symptoms may progress and lead to other complications.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
- Stress, worry, anxiety, tension
- Overeating, large meals or long gaps between meals
- Alcohol and smoking
- Certain drugs like aspirin, antibiotics, painkillers, etc.
- Bending, lying down or physical exertion soon after eating
- After eating certain foods like onion, coffee, tea, tomatoes, citrus fruits, spicy food, chilies, deep fried food and aerated drinks.
I have found many people start taking a PPI (proton pump inhibitors) and keep continuing it for long because they find that as soon as they stop it, the symptoms recur. It’s quite clear that GERD, to some extent, is a lifestyle disorder and if taken care of, we can easily manage it. PPIs/antacids are not at all a solution for it. Moreover, their usage for a long term is going to harm the lining of the stomach, and as a result, the absorptive power of the stomach lessens, resulting in deficiency of vitamins. This paves the way to begin a multivitamin along with an antacid.
Can Simple Lifestyle Measures Help You Curb It?
Now, the question arises, if we can take hold of this by simple lifestyle measures, why not try at least? Simple, yet much beneficial changes you could make include:
- Avoiding overeating: eat small meals at short intervals, little food at every 2 hours
- Avoid drinking immediately before meals and drink sparingly during meals
- Avoid fried food and fats: You can include sesame oil, mustard oil, oily fish, linseed oil, skimmed milk and low fat milk products in your diet in small quantities
- Eat fresh fruits and salads and add ash gourd juice.
Can Yogurt Curb Acid Reflux?
Doubts come into our mind when we are advised Yogurt/Curd, which by nature is acidic. In spite of being acidic in nature, yogurt is a low acid-forming food since it doesn’t influence the acid-alkaline equilibrium of the body. You know soured milk is superior to sweet milk as it is in a predigested form and more easily assimilated. Yogurt is prepared by the bacterial fermentation of milk. It has a sour flavor because of the lactic acid produced by the fermentation of lactose found in milk. It is this acidic nature of yogurt which prevents the growth of other unwanted microorganisms in yogurt and improves our gut health. Several studies suggest that weakly acidic yogurt helps in diluting the strong acid present in the stomach, thereby reducing acid reflux episodes.
These days Greek Yogurt (kefir) is in the limelight. This is nothing but a thicker form of our regular yogurt (dahi/curd), with the whey drained out. If you wish to avoid starting a PPI/antacid or stop the already prescribed one, think about making some healthy dietary changes and I’m sure you will be amazed to see the results. Next time you sit for your meals , don’t forget to have a bowl of dahi, either plain or in the form of cucumber raita. You may also enjoy it in the form of lassi/buttermilk with a dash of jeera powder, salt, black pepper and 1-2 mint leaves to feel that soothing effect.
We hope this article helps you curb acid reflux. Is there a specific way you enjoy eating yogurt or curd? Let us know in the comments below! For more on nutrition, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to classes by expert nutritionists on GOQii Play. To get these tips directly from your GOQii Coach, sign up for personalized health coaching here: https://goqiiapp.page.link/bsr
Eat Healthy and #BeTheForce