Medically reviewed by Spandana Nagulapally, Masters in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics
Are you burning up from inside and commonly attribute it to jealousy? Well, for starters, that could be the acidity speaking.
Acidity is one of the most common problems seen in everyone, including the clients of Possible.
While it isn’t a major condition like diabetes or heart disease but the discomfort it causes is equivalent or even more.
Table of Contents
- Symptoms of Acidity
- Common Acidity-related Food Myths
- Causes of Acidity
- Cure Acidity Permanently
- Home Remedies for Acidity
There can be different symptoms of acidity as well as its causes. For different cases, the reasons or causes differ, and therefore, the dietary approach has to be customized according to their causes.
Do you suffer from acidity and are brushing it under the carpet?
Consult a Possible Nutrition Coach for FREE and understand the underlying causes and symptoms of acidity to prevent acidity from crippling your life.
Take the case of a 51-year-old Possible client. She achieved her weight loss goals, was happy with the program but routinely suffered from acidity attacks. She was worried sick that the attack might repeat.
Upon careful consideration, we found that her major acidity triggers were acidic/ sour foods including buttermilk and raw vegetables and vegetable juice. Her diet plan was changed to suit her needs.
Symptoms of Acidity
Although heartburn or a burning sensation in the chest are the common symptoms of acidity, there can be other symptoms too. Below is the list of those symptoms. Make a note of it so that you won’t be late identifying the acidity attack.
- Sour taste
Common Acidity-related Food Myths
Having an attack? People will rush to you with a whole world of solutions.
The most common and popular one being the cold milk! We explore 2 such foods which are supposed to cure acidity permanently whether they really work!
a] Is cold milk good for acidity?
Cold milk only provides temporary relief from heartburn or acid reflux. If you happen to drink cold milk on a full stomach, then chances of it releasing acid increases. Instead, go for a glass of water!
b] Which fruit juice is good for acidity?
Any non-citrus fruit juices can provide relief. Which means vegetable juices like carrot juice, aloe vera juice. apple juice and green leafy juice are fine. Citrus fruits can increase acid secretion.
Dietitians record a detailed diet and lifestyle history to know what suits the clients and which foods can trigger unwanted symptoms.
Most often, information on food sensitivities are either not known or remains undisclosed at the time of diet history. It is best, to be honest about it to your dietitian and bare your heart out!
Causes of Acidity
1. Long gaps between meals
Irregular meal timings, long and odd working hours are some of the common reasons. Most people working the night shift have acidity and other gastric problems.
2. Sensitivity to sour foods
Many people cannot tolerate sour foods, this can aggravate their acidity. For some, acidity can be aggravated even with mild acidic food.
Usually, acid-containing food like Trujuice, Amla drink, lemon water, citrus fruits are not tolerated on empty stomach. You can try to eat them at different timing by combining with a neutral food.
3. Consuming too much coffee or tea
This again is a common cause. When taken on an empty stomach, tea or coffee could trigger acidity.
4. High fibre foods may cause acidity
Many women face acidity problems after starting on high fibre foods like brown rice, vegetable juice, raw salads, sprouts etc.
In such cases, they can gradually proceed from white rice to semi-polished rice. Boiled or steamed vegetables and sprouts are rather better than raw.
They can consume Trufiber with small quantity until they are comfortable to increase further.
5. Gut bacteria imbalance
Imbalance in the gut bacteria can also cause acidity. This can be tackled by having probiotic supplements and foods with a natural probiotic like buttermilk.
6. Spicy food
Most people with acidity complaint cannot tolerate spicy food as spices increase acid secretions in the stomach.
7. Low acid level
While acidity always brings out the image of excess acid secretion; bloating and indigestion also falls under this category.
For many people, low stomach acid production can hinder digestion and cause bloating. In such cases, acidity and bloating can be managed by dietary modification. Adding a few acidic foods can help.
8. Lack of sleep
Sleep deprivation is found to be associated with an increased GERD condition. GERD is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
The sleep deprivation causes fatigue that can inhibit stomach functions. Also, lack of sleep and stress can be promoting acid formation in the stomach. 
9. Too much stress
There isn’t a direct connection found that can show how stress results in acidity in the stomach, however, there are many studies that show that stress can be a crucial factor in producing GERD symptoms.
There are studies that show people with work-related stress are significantly more at risk for GERD symptoms.
10. Other food sensitivities
Food sensitivities like alcohol, gluten, dairy etc can also cause acidity.
Antibiotics, steroids, anti-depressants etc can lead to low acid levels.
Understand the underlying cause of acidity and the related symptoms. The first and foremost thing would be to eliminate the cause rather than giving our own remedies.
What is hyperacidity?
Hyperacidity is a medical condition wherein the stomach is known to secrete an abnormal level of acid. Hurry, worry, and spicy curry are the reasons for hyperacidity. How to know if you have hyperacidity? Well, you will have symptoms like sudden stomach pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, flatulence, and heartburn.
Cure Acidity Permanently
You can say goodbye to acidity forever by tweaking your lifestyle. Here are 4 simple ways you can do that.
1. Eating and lifestyle
Acidity can be conquered by simply tweaking your diet. For starters, always prefer foods that are low in fat but high in protein! So when given an option to consume grilled chicken sandwich or paneer sandwich or pizza; go for the protein sandwich.
Eating small frequent meals is also a trick so that you give something to your stomach acid to keep working on. And importantly remember ‘Hara Hachi Bu’ which means don’t stuff yourself till you feel full.
2. Know your triggers
Does chocolate bring out the acidity attack or is it that can of cola? DO you feel your throat burning after that evening cup of coffee?
Then try eliminating these foods from your diet and notice if it makes a difference!
3. Sleep makes the difference
To counter acidity, you need to get 8 hours of sleep. Sure! But according to WebMD, these sleeping positions can help you counter the flush of stomach acid into your food pipe.
Trick 1: Place few logs of wood under the head of the bed. This will help keep the contents of the stomach to travel up and prevent heartburn. More pillows under your head don’t help so much.
Trick 2: Give a gap of 2-3 hours after dinner
4. Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
Acidity is not a serious condition, you can overcome it if you follow some healthy lifestyle tips. We have a detailed video which enlists some healthy lifestyle tips to follow.
Apart from these healthy lifestyle tips, you can remember these points too:
- Don’t wear tight belts or pants as it can put pressure on your belly. It could make the stomach acid travel upwards into the food pipe to cause heartburn.
- If you are obese or overweight, then it is just like like wearing a tight belt! Lose some weight now. Here is a good start for you, a free consultation from a Possible nutritionist.
- Stop smoking if you do! Smoking increases the secretion of stomach acid and this one can’t be managed simply by dietary changes.
Home Remedies for Acidity
Although doctors may recommend an antacid whenever you are down with a bad bout of acidity, some home remedies can be the first step to cure acidity permanently. We list them down and how to eat them for you.
Ripe bananas have potassium which can reduce the production of stomach acid. Overripe ones have even more! So when everything seems to be burning up, douse the flames with a ripe banana
Chewing on 5-6 tulsi leaves can help abate the acid waves in the body. Why tulsi? Because it helps produce mucous, the slimy protective layer in the food pipe which makes it immune to the acid attack.
3. Aniseed or saunf
The volatile oils in these fragrant seeds does the trick. Chew a few and find relief. Or add a teaspoon in a glass of hot water, strain and drink the water.
4. Jeera, clove and elaichi
This is for indigestion related acidity. All these masalas help stimulate the saliva and jack up the digestion process.
5. Mint leaves
Just as mint is associated with a cooling effect, it does exactly the same to your stomach too. Chew a few leaves or boil them in water to have their essence.
According to Ayurveda, amla’s vitamin C is a kappha and pitta pacifier! A teaspoon of amla powder consumed twice a day can do the trick.
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