As the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) curve spirals across the globe, the focus on health and immunity is greater than ever. People are learning about their bodies and realizing the importance of a robust immune system. If they had earlier ignored a certain pain or discomfort, people are now taking the pains to consult a doctor and find out the root cause. A problem which probably affects hundreds of people across the world, but is often ignored by people is acid reflux. It is a condition that occurs when stomach acid enters the food pipe. You might usually experience it after having a large meal or if you lie die immediately after eating. Acid reflux is associated with unhealthy eating habits and a careless lifestyle. If your diet is rich in unhealthy fats, processed foods, carbohydrates, and cholesterol, you are more likely to experience acid reflux.
What is acid reflux and its symptoms
As explained earlier, acid reflux is a condition that occurs when one’s stomach contents move up your esophagus. It is also referred to as acid regurgitation. One of the most common symptoms of acid reflux is heartburn and having a sour taste in your mouth. Other symptoms would be a hoarse throat, recurring hiccups, bloating, bad breath, and nausea.
There are several reasons why someone might experience acid reflux. For instance, some people certain foods or drinks like coffee or tea can trigger the condition. Others experience acid reflux because they are overweight or smoke. Pregnant women often have to deal with acid reflux as well as those with hiatus hernia. Doctors have also seen cases where stress and anxiety and, inflammatory painkillers lead to acid regurgitation.
A chronic form of acid reflux is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In other words, if a person has GERD, he/she experiences acid reflux very often. In GERD, the patient’s lower esophageal sphincter – a circular band of muscles at the base of the esophagus – does not close properly when one swallows food. Under normal circumstances, these muscles relax to allow entry of food. However, one experiences acid reflux when these muscles don’t tighten and the food enters the esophagus.
Acid reflux can easily be treated with over the counter medicines or visit a physician. However, the medical condition can lead to serious health problems for long. Acid reflux or GERD if untreated for a long time may lead to esophagitis, which occurs when the esophagus is inflamed due to the backwash of stomach acid. The condition might also lead to stomach ulcers and esophageal bleeding.
Another medical condition which might occur if acid reflux is not treated in time is a stricture. Strictures occur when damage to the esophagus leads to scarring. It interferes with eating by preventing the food consumed from reaching your stomach.
Barrett’s esophagus is a serious condition that can occur in GERD patients. In this condition, the damage caused to the esophageal lining by acid regurgitation leads to abnormal changes in cells.
In the previous article, we explained about Five Easy Solutions for Acid Reflux. In this article, we have explained Five vegetables which you should eat to combat acid reflux.
How can veggies help
As is the case with most medical ailments, nature has a way of treating acid reflux as well. There are several fruits and vegetables which can help you keep acid reflux at bay. Here are five of them:
Carrots: Being rich in fibre, carrots not only make your food healthier but also make you feel full faster thereby preventing overeating. You can also add more beets, broccoli and green beans in your food to get more fibre.
Ginger: This vegetable is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can be useful for gastrointestinal problems and heartburn. Add it to soups, salads or curries to get some great flavour and health benefits. A great way to have ginger is to brew some tea with it.
Cauliflower: Foods like cauliflower are great for those suffering from acid reflux as they are alkaline and have a high pH scale reading. Other alkaline foods which you can have to treat acid reflux are bananas and melons.
Celery: Vegetables which have high water content can reduce the ill effects of stomach acids. Load up your plate with greens like celery to keep acid reflux at bay.
Lettuce: Apart from adding a dose of freshness to your salads and rolls, lettuce can also help you get rid of acid reflux because it is rich in fibre and has high water content. Cucumbers are also a great option.
While most of us have a host of dreams that we would like to achieve, but you should remember that none of these experiences would be possible if you are not healthy. The fact that people with co-morbidities are more prone to diseases like Covid-19 underlines the fact that being healthy should be a priority for us. Hence, there is no time better than now for you to start investing in your health. A 20-minute walk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and including more fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet are some of the easiest ways to switch to a healthy lifestyle.