In order to facilitate digestion, the stomach secretes hydrochloric acid, a digestive liquid that break down food particles to the lowest possible size. Hyper-acidity is the medical condition when the stomach produces too much hydrochloric acid. Commonly we call it acidity and medical science calls it acid dyspepsia.
Lifestyle changes to prevent acidity
Keep moving and exercise often, whether it's swimming, cycling, dancing, or playing your preferred sport.
Avoid heavy meals, instead eat 3 to 4 small meals in a day.
Keep a gap of two hours between dinner and bedtime.
Avoid overeating, and chew your food thoroughly.
Don't lay down right after eating.
If you are overweight or obese, lose weight.
As you are lying in bed, raise the head end.
Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
Try sleeping on your left side as well. This approach of coping with acidity has to have a lot to do with anatomy. Because the esophagus enters the stomach from the right side, sleeping on our left side implies the lower esophageal sphincter is above the level of stomach acid.
Foods to avoid
Too spicy and oily food: avoid deep fried and spice loaded food
Tea, coffee, cold drinks: during acidity it is advisable to avoid
Raw onions, garlic: Allium vegetables like garlic, and raw onion may worsen acid reflux-related symptoms
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, kiwis: they are already acidic in nature hence better to avoid
Tomatoes: It contains both citric and malic acid hence to be avoided
Junk food: they are not good anyway
Handy Remedies for Acidity
Here are some effective yet easy 'ghar ke nushke' for acidity related problems.
1. Lukewarm Water
Drinking a glass of lukewarm water first in the morning is advisable for all and mainly those who face digestive issues frequently. It is very helpful in proper bowel movement too. You can also have another glass of warm water before going to sleep at night to get relief from acidity.
2. Cold Milk
Drinking a glass of chilled milk instantly relieves acidity and its symptoms. Try it out!
Suck a piece of clove to get rid of acidity and its symptoms like bloating, indigestion, nausea, gastric irritability etc.
4. Fennel or Saunf
Chew well a teaspoon of fennel seeds and drink a glass of warm water to lower acidity and related problems such as heartburn and bloating. It also helps in digestion.
5. Probiotic Supplement
Probiotic supplements such as WonderPro super probiotic contain “lactobacillus” , one of the good bacteria that helps in various digestive issues. It's banana flavoured with no sugar and free from gluten.
6. Watermelon Juice
In summers a glass of watermelon juice can be amazing in relieving acidity. Amazing for digestion as well.
Chewing one cardamom pod every day helps to prevent acidity and improves digestion.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
The proteins, enzymes, and pectin in apple cider vinegar makes it highly useful to add to your diet. Some people contend that low levels of stomach acid may be the root of acid reflux, and that vinegar might increase the quantity of acid in the body.
A lump of jaggery may be just what you need to calm your upset stomach because of its high potassium and magnesium content. Potassium is necessary for regulating pH levels and promoting mucus development in the stomach lining. Magnesium in jaggery helps the gut to remain healthy and robust, which lowers the risk of acidity and other digestive problems.
10. Mint Leaves
Mint leaves give a cooling impact on the entire body in addition to helping with digestion. Mint leaves are a straightforward yet sophisticated remedy for acid reflux, providing both short-term relief and long-term support.
Butter milk is cooling and calming on the stomach. The lactic acid in buttermilk balances stomach acidity. Across India butter milk is consumed however it is a daily drink in south india and Gujarat.
Peel off an inch of raw ginger and chew with a pinch of pink salt to deal with acidity and bloating issues. One can also try drinking ginger tea to prevent acidity and its symptoms. Ginger is a good ingredient for digestion process.
The enzyme papain present in papaya reduces gastric acid secretion and gives relief from acidity.
14. Ajwain or carom seed
Consumption of ajwain gives relief from acidity and digestion related problems. It is very good for digestion and also an effective anti-acidic. In some parts of India the flower of ajwain is also used as a medicine for indigestion by dissolving in water. It has a very strong smell and taste. However, it is known to be giving fast results. You can add pink salt for better taste and benefits.
15. Jeera or Cumin Seeds
Chew cumin seeds directly or boil 1 teaspoon of it in a glass of water and drink it to relieve acidity.
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory by nature. Make a cup of turmeric tea with a pinch of turmeric (haldi) and water and drink in small sips for some relief. Make sure you are not taking a lot of it.
A stomach infection or severe hyper-acidity needs medical assistance. Otherwise the above home remedies are safe to try for comfort. Prevention is better than cure, so eating enough fiber, probiotics in the diet, proper hydration and physical activity keeps hyper-acidity and many stomach related problems at bay.