Natural Acidity Cure - 10 Best Foods That Neutralize Stomach Acid
Published on Nov 25, 2019
By Dr. Surya Bhagwati
Chief In- House Doctor
BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, DHBTC | 30+ Years of Experience
The importance of healthy digestion cannot be stressed enough, with Ayurved regarding it as the cornerstone of good health. Although acidity is non-threatening and extremely common, when not dealt with appropriately, acidity disorders like acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD can also cause other complications. Conventional OTC medications can provide short term relief, but regular use of such products can give rise to other side effects. This makes natural cures for acidity your best bet and there are numerous foods that are highly recommended by leading Ayurvedic physicians, gastroenterologists, and dietitians. Here are some of the best foods for acidity relief.
1. Top 10 Foods to Fight Acidity
Despite its sour undertones, amla is not a citric fruit. In fact, its alkalinity helps neutralize stomach acids, restoring a healthy pH balance in the gut. Amla is also regarded as beneficial for anyone suffering from acidity because of its high fiber content. Containing both soluble and insoluble fiber, amla improves digestion and increases feelings of fullness, reducing the risk of overeating. This in itself lowers the risk of acidity. Additionally, the reduced risk of overeating can aid weight loss, which is also regarded as a risk factor for acidity and heartburn. Studies have confirmed the efficacy of amla for acidity, with patients experiencing heartburn relief with just 1 month of regular supplementation.
Bananas are not great for acidity because of their alkaline nature, but also because of their high fiber content. Like amla, this easily accessible source of dietary fiber can help strengthen digestion to ward off indigestion and associated problems like acidity. Bananas also contain pectin, which is a type of fiber that is notable for helping bulk stools and easing bowel movements. Bananas also increase protection against heartburn by coating the mucosal lining of the esophageal tract.
Melons are a great choice for anyone suffering from acidity, whether you like watermelons, cantaloupes, or musk melons. They are regarded as highly alkaline, helping lower the levels of stomach acidity. Melons are also an excellent natural source of magnesium, which is a commonly used mineral ingredient in acidity medications. In addition to melons, bananas, and amla, you can also increase your intake of other non-citrus fruits like apples and pears.
Ginger is one of the most important herbs in Ayurvedic medicines for acidity and digestion because of its strengthening effect on agni. As a natural anti-inflammatory, ginger is also a helpful natural remedy for heartburn and other inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders. Ginger and medications containing the ingredient are an important defense against acidity complications as studies demonstrate that ginger extracts exert a gastroprotective effect, protecting against inflammation and ulcers, which can develop with uncontrolled acidity.
Described in popular culture as the ‘breakfast of champions’ oats is best known as a healthy breakfast food because of its high fiber content and low caloric value. This feature of oats also makes it one of the best natural remedies for acidity. By increasing satiety for longer and lowering the risk of overeating, you are less likely to regurgitate undigested food. If you don’t suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you can also consider adding other whole grains to your diet like brown rice.
True to the saying that good things come in small packages, raisins pack quite a nutritional punch. They are regarded as one of the best natural sources of fiber. With a pH above 4, they are also regarded as one of the best alkaline-forming foods to help reduce acidity. Raisins are also a good source of essential nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, folate, and vitamin C. What’s great about raisins is that they are easy to add to your diet, pairing well with foods like oats or even with toast. According to some studies, raisins also have a positive effect on gut microbiota similar to probiotics.
Elaichi, better known to most of the world as cardamom, is a now a popular spice across the world for its distinctive flavor. However, the spice which is native to India, has long been used for its therapeutic power as an Ayurvedic cure for acidity. Elaichi is believed to strengthen agni, improving digestion and reducing the risk of acidity or indigestion. Researchers have found that cardamom also has a hepatoprotective effect, reducing toxicity in the body, and improves glucose intolerance and inflammatory response, helping reduce obesity. Through these actions, the spice also lowers the risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
Spinach may not give you Popeye’s biceps, but there’s no denying its nutritional power. In addition to being one of the best vegetarian sources of iron and potassium, spinach also has a pH of 6, which helps neutralize stomach acidity. In addition to spinach, you can also consider adding other leafy greens like kale and Brussels sprouts for the same digestive health benefits.
In recent years there has been growing recognition of the importance of probiotics in protecting the microbiome or gut microbiata to prevent a wide range of health conditions including digestive disorders. Regular intake of yogurt can give you much of your probiotic requirement, improving the health of your digestive system and lowering the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases and acidity.
Licorice is used widely in natural medicine across the world, but some of the oldest references to its medicinal use can be found in Ayurved, where it is referred to as jyesthimadhu. Some of the best Ayurvedic medicines for acidity and indigestion contain this ingredient, which is said to protect the mucosal lining of the esophagus and stomach from damage caused by acidity. Although licorice root can be chewed raw or steeped in water to prepare herbal teas, it is best consumed in medications for a more precise and safe dosage.
Keep in mind that while all of these foods can help fight acidity naturally, you also need to make broader changes to your diet and lifestyle to treat the condition effectively.
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