No one wants to end their meal with a bitter-sour taste in their mouth and a burning sensation in their chest. But if you are someone who experiences this frequently, which is a sure shot sign of chronic acidity, then perhaps it is time to visit a doctor or make some serious changes to your dietary habits.
A common symptom of heartburn and acid reflux, acidity, is an uncomfortable condition, which one could experience in varying degrees at any given point of time. While experiencing acidity, there is excessive secretion of hydrochloric acid by the gastric glands. This acid plays an instrumental role in digesting food and breaking it into simpler forms.
In order to overcome this gastric condition, you need to first be mindful about the foods in your diet that could be triggering the symptoms. Once you figure that out, you’ll be able to overcome the condition by simply eliminating these foods from your diet. Let us look at some of these foods in detail.
Foods to avoid acidity
Diet plays an important role in managing acidity. Just the way there are certain foods that, when included in your diet, can help maintain the pH balance of your body, there are some items when eliminated, can help you relieve acidity-related discomfort. Read on to find out what foods they are.
High-Fat Foods: Fatty meats, whipped cream, fast foods (like burger, fries, pizzas), processed food, and snacks among other things are all examples of high-fat foods. These trigger the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), which eases the lower esophageal sphincter, causing acid reflux.
Spicy Foods: These foods contain a compound known as capsaicin, which may cause the digestion to slow down. This further results in the food staying in the stomach for a longer duration, thereby increasing the risk of acid reflux and heartburn. Additionally, if you already have inflammation in your esophagus, spicy food would only trigger it further. Thus, it's best to avoid spicy foods altogether.
Acidic Fruits and Juices: Citrus fruits and juices have high levels of acidity in them, which are likely to cause an imbalance in the pH levels of the body and result in gastrointestinal issues like acidity and heartburn. Oranges, lemon, sweet lime, grapefruit, among others are examples of these fruits. These fruits are categorised as reflexogenic, which means that they are likely to cause or worsen reflux.
Alcohol: Alcohol consumption can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, which is further likely to cause the stomach acid to leak out and escape into the esophagus, triggering acid reflux and heartburn. Over a period of time, continued alcohol consumption can also damage the esophagus, further worsening digestion and causing acidity to become a common occurrence.
Caffeinated beverages: Beverages like coffee and tea that have caffeine are bad for those who are prone to acidity. While caffeine tends to stimulate the release of gastrin, a hormone that secretes gastric juice important for digestion, too much of it can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, causing the stomach acid to leak out, triggering acidity.
Refined/white flour products: If you are prone to symptoms of acid reflux, then you either need to completely eliminate refined flour products like pasta, bread, biscuits, etc. from the diet or reduce their intake. At the time of refining the flour, all essential nutrients are removed, making the flour acidic in nature. Also, white flour contains little to no fibre, which congests the digestive system, making digestion slow and metabolism sluggish.
High-Sugar Foods: Sugar alone doesn’t trigger acidity but when combined with ingredients that do, can cause acidity and heartburn. Foods like cakes, chocolate, cookies, and other desserts are a few examples.
Your diet can play an important role in either preventing or causing acidity. Knowing which foods to avoid in acidity and which to have is vital when it comes to managing or reducing the risk of acidity. Replace acidic foods with alkaline ones such as fruits and vegetables that are rich in dietary fibre, probiotics, and whole grains, among others.