There are so many people today who suffer from acid reflux, acidity, burping, bloating, flatulence. These are all forms of acidity which if not handled properly at the right time can cause innumerable ailments like cancer, diabetes, poor skin quality, poor inability to lose weight, poor hair quality and much more. Every cell in your body requires oxygen for the health of those cells. In an acidic body, these cells become anaerobic which means they don’t allow oxygen to reach cells completely. So when your cells are deprived of oxygen which is the vital life force, body starts facing problems and diseases. These are simple lifestyle changes that can help you get rid of acidity and even the most serious cases.
Taking antacids may not be a good idea because antacids come up with their own side effects. If you keep taking antacids your body may become immune to it which means you may have to take higher dosages or more antacids at more frequent intervals. Most antacids have magnesium which causes diarrhoea so then they add aluminium to the antacid which causes constipation. In people with high blood pressure and kidney diseases, these antacids can wreak havoc with the medication they take and their condition. So taking an antacid is a simple fix to getting rid of acidity. But it treats acidity only at a symptomatic level.
In lifestyle we look at addressing the root cause of the problem. So I am going to discuss simple and inexpensive lifestyle changes you can make right away to take care of your acidity.
The gaps between your meals
We need to understand that an average meal takes about three and a half to four hours to digest in a human body. After that your stomach will produce HCL automatically for digestion. So if you give a gap of more than three and a half to four hours between your meals you become acidic naturally. Because even though you have not eaten anything and there’s no food in your stomach your stomach will still produce acid after three and a half to four hours. And if there’s no food in your stomach the acid has nothing to act upon. So it eats on the inner mucosal lining of your stomach causing ulcers, acid reflux. Acid reflux is the extra acid your body tries to eject when there’s no food in the stomach. Like sometimes you feel a hot burn trying to run up to your throat into your oesophagus. Acid reflux can be very damaging to your oesophagus which has very thin and delicate tissues. So first lifestyle change is do not keep long gaps between your meals. Three and a half to four hours is the right amount of gap that one should keep. This means you need to plan your breakfast, lunch, evening snack and dinner on time to prevent acidity.
Don’t eat your meals too quickly
We all know that digestion starts in the mouth. Your teeth are used to break down your food into smaller bits. When you don’t chew your food and larger bits of food go to your stomach undigested, your stomach needs to produce more acid to break these larger chunks of food. More acid means more acidity. So when you don’t chew your food and eat your meals too quickly, you could be acidic and there could be acid reflux again. So we should chew food slowly. Our saliva contains key enzymes that start to breakdown digestion of fats and carbohydrates in your mouth. So you send pre-digested food to your stomach and so the body produces less acid to break it down. When your body produces more acid, a lot of vitamins and nutrients in your food that you eat die in the presence of this excess acid. So you not getting nutrients from the food that you eat.
Regular Meal Times
Trying to keep your meals at same time every day is extremely important. So try to have your breakfast, lunch, evening snacks and dinner at the same time every day. Our muscles have a memory, just like our mind and so do our cells and tissues of the body. So when you eat at same time every day, your body muscles and stomach have a memory that it will getting food at these particular times and then your body produces acid uniformly. So try to keep your schedule and meal times similar every single day.
Watch the kind of food that you eat
When you eating wholesome food like fruits, vegetables, lentils, whole grains, seeds and nuts your body produces right amount of acid to break it down. But the problem is that the human body is not designed to process junk food, processed food, over consumption of sugar, salt, aerated drinks etc. Your body produces a lot of acid to breakdown this unnatural food. So sometimes a small portion of processed food will make your stomach produce a lot of acid and that’s how we get acidic as well.
We also have to be mindful of some of the medication we are on. A lot of medicines cause acidity as your body requires producing a lot of acid to breakdown this medicine. So when you are on antibiotics make sure you also take probiotics and B complex as well, because antibiotics wipe out the good and bad bacteria from your intestines making your body more acidic and it also wipes out the b complex vitamin. So you need to replenish that.
So the idea is keeping your body alkaline. Your body has a pH regulator which automatically has the ability to keep your body alkaline. But problem is when we have wrong lifestyles and we eat the wrong food, body produces too much of acid. So then right from drinking lemon water, to eating a bowl of cucumber or carrot or raw vegetables, it can make your body alkaline. And sometimes especially when we choose to eat junk food and processed food we need to make that extra attempt to make our bodies alkaline.
Water & Oxygen
So many people have less water intake in a day. Even a one percent drop of water, in your body, can produce fatigue, acidity and innumerable problems in the body. So make sure you have right amount of water in your system every day. Practising yoga, pranayamas and certain breathing exercises can reduce acidity. And of course there is power of oxygen as well. Every time you breathe, inhale oxygen, you help your body balance its acidic and alkaline levels naturally. This is why I have one simple exercise for everyone that is eating a meal. Before your meal take three deep breathes so that you flood your body and stomach with oxygen and inculcate a method of mindful eating. So between every spoon that you take, try to get into the habit of taking a deep breathe. One inhale, one exhale.