Today, several people hop on the internet to find out how to prevent indigestion. For those, it's safe to say that healthy lifestyle changes like adjusting and correcting the sleeping position, eating dinner early, and avoiding certain acid-forming food and beverages can help you prevent indigestion and heartburn symptoms.
Several individuals can relate to the pain or burning sensation in their chest that comes when experiencing heartburn. According to studies, around 20% - 30% of people in India suffer from GERD or heartburn symptoms. This indigestion and heartburn may occur due to many reasons that one can treat with some medications and mainly by improving lifestyle.
Indeed, medications will be necessary to deal with your heartburn and indigestion if it happens regularly. However, lifestyle changes will play a more significant role in reducing the symptoms. In this article, you'll learn all the tips and ways to avoid indigestion and heartburn while reducing existing symptoms. But before we get started, let's learn what indigestion is.
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Indigestion: What Is It Exactly?
It isn't a true sickness to have indigestion. Instead, it's a string of symptoms that appear during or right after eating. Although a more severe ailment may be to blame for stomach problems, it is frequently a question of consuming the inappropriate thing at the wrong time.
Typical signs include:
- Bloating: Bloating and constriction are brought on by a gas accumulation.
- Belching: Belch to let the gas out.
- Nausea or diarrhea
- Fullness: Having a feeling of fullness that lasts longer than expected might occur during or right after a meal.
- Uncomfortable upper abdomen: You may have mild to severe pain or burning between your belly button and breastbone.
13 Tips To Prevent Indigestion & Heartburn
1. Eating Ripe Banana
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A banana has a high potassium level, making it a relatively alkaline food. The presence of alkaline makes it the ideal food as the stomach acid won’t irritate the esophagus.
On the other hand, unripe bananas have a lower alkalinity and a higher starch content; for some people, they can actually cause acid reflux. So make sure you select a ripe banana. Nuts, fennel, cauliflower, melons, and other alkaline foods may lessen heartburn symptoms.
2. Eating Fiber-Rich Food Items
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Consuming foods high in fiber can reduce heartburn in several different ways. The fact that your gastric motility boosts when you eat fibers means fiber-rich foods enables quick passage of food through the digestive system. Not eating sufficient amounts of fiber means your consumed food will stay in the stomach longer and result in more acid formation.
Delayed stomach emptying is the term for this. Additionally, fiber may neutralize acid and quickly satisfy you, preventing overeating. Whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits are examples of foods that are rich in fiber.
3. Avoid These Trigger Foods
Many people have heartburn sensations after eating certain meals. Therefore, those who experience chronic heartburn should restrict or totally avoid foods and drinks that may exacerbate their symptoms. If you're wondering what foods to avoid with indigestion, this section is for you.
The following foods are what cause heartburn in people:
- One of the main causes of indigestion and heartburn is eating deep-fried foods. Dishes high in oil are difficult to digest and can raise your risk of experiencing heartburn. Examples include blooming onions, fried chicken, french fries, and other foods.
- Fatty foods make the process of digestion slow and difficult. Your chances of experiencing heartburn increase the longer food remains in your stomach.
- Avoid eating meals and snacks that are very fatty, such as pizza, cheesy casseroles, and sweets. The skin of birds, marbling in beef, and creamy recipes can all cause heartburn.
- Citrus fruits and other foods high in acid can make heartburn worse. Avoid citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and lemons, as well as their juices.
- Heartburn may be induced by tomatoes and tomato-based products (tomato juice, paste, and sauce). For those who are prone to heartburn, foods like pizza (tomato sauce and fatty cheese) and lasagna (meat, cheese, and tomato sauce) can be especially troublesome.
- In regards to heartburn, coffee carries two red flags. Coffee is an acidic beverage, and caffeine can promote acid. Decaf may be tolerable for you, but you might have to give up coffee completely to see whether it helps lessen heartburn attacks.
- The LES may not close completely when chocolate is consumed, which allows stomach acid to back up into the esophagus and induce heartburn.
- The LES is calming to peppermint. Although peppermint tea may seem like a calming treatment for heartburn, it really has the opposite effect.
- Another cause of heartburn is spicy food, which can strain the esophagus. Learn what your tolerance for spice is.
4. Say No To Smoking & Any Sort of Smoke Exposure
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Smoking increases heartburn in several ways, including:
- When you smoke, you produce less saliva, which means you have less of the naturally alkaline fluid that can help counteract stomach acid.
- The valve at the intersection of the esophagus and stomach, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), might become weakened and relaxed as a result of smoking. Acid from the stomach and food particles can reflux into the esophagus again if the LES isn't functioning properly or relaxes improperly. This could aggravate heartburn by irritating the esophagus.
- Smokers are more likely to cough, which raises the pressure inside the abdomen and can cause heartburn.
You should stay away from areas where individuals smoke because secondhand smoke exposure has also been connected to heartburn.
5. Start Chewing Gum
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Gum chewing may help reduce esophageal acidity, according to a few earlier research. The ability of bicarbonate-containing gum to neutralize acid and stop reflux makes it seem particularly beneficial.
Gum chewing can also stimulate salivation, aiding in acid reflux and esophageal cleansing. Chewing gum may effectively cure acid reflux or lessen heartburn symptoms, but a more recent study is required to determine this.
6. Try Keeping a Healthy Body Weight
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Obesity and overweight are frequently associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease and recurrent acid reflux (GERD).
It becomes simple to keep a healthy body weight when you skip meals that make you bloated and consume more fiber-rich meals to stop bloating.
Once you’re done having lunch or dinner, try taking a walk down the lane or garden. This will not only improve digestion but lower the chances of reflux. Plus, doing it at regular intervals will help you maintain or attain a healthy body weight.
7. Limit Alcohol Consumption
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Alcoholic drinks, such as distilled spirits, wine, and beer, can bring on heartburn. Alcohol softens the LES and causes the stomach to create more acid. Some individuals do not experience reflux when they occasionally drink alcohol.
Others have heartburn after even a tiny amount of alcohol. Make a note of the alcoholic beverages that make you get heartburn, and steer clear of them whenever you can. Pay close attention to cocktails containing acidic mixers, such as orange juice, lime juice, or grape juice.
8. Try Adjusting your Sleep Position
According to several studies, resting on the right side at night may trigger reflux symptoms. Do you know that the esophagus in your body enters through your stomach’s right side? Since you sleep on your left side, the lower esophageal sphincter is elevated above the level of stomach acid.
The likelihood of reflux increases when you rest on your right side because stomach acid conceals the end of the esophagus sphincter. Even while it might not be possible to sleep on your left side the entire night, doing so might help you feel more at ease when you drift off.
9. Say NO to Eating Before Exercising or Going To Bed
Resting by lying flat somewhere right after eating might cause acid reflux and aggravate heartburn symptoms. Avoid eating three hours before bed so the stomach has time to clear. Possibly you should wait a minimum of two hours before working out.
10. Elevate The Head of Your Bed
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Gravity can help ease heartburn symptoms if the bed's head is raised. The bed can be raised by 6 to 8 inches by putting blocks underneath the top bedposts. Placing foam blocks between the box spring and the mattress is an additional method for adjusting the angle of the bed's head. Pillows do not lessen the symptoms of heartburn.
11. Check If Any of Your Medication Is Linked To The Indigestion & Heartburn Symptoms
Heartburn and GERD may be brought on by drugs like Viagra (sildenafil)11 and others. Numerous disorders are treated using these medications.
Some of these medicines consist of:
- Asthma treatments: drugs that inhibit calcium channels are used to combat high blood pressure
- Antihistamines often used to alleviate allergy problems
- medicine for reducing pain
Discuss all prescription medications, over-the-counter remedies, and dietary supplements you are using with your healthcare physician.
To help lessen the symptoms, your healthcare professional might be able to alter the dosage schedule for your drugs. Additionally, if you suffer from nocturnal heartburn and take medicine to avoid it, there may be a better time to take it.
Note: Never discontinue taking the medication without first consulting a medical professional.
12. Refrain From Eating Fast or Overeating
You can effectively prevent heartburn by paying more attention to the size of your mealtime portion. The valve that keeps stomach acid from getting into your esophagus may be under more strain if you have a lot of food in your stomach, which increases your risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
If you frequently experience heartburn, think about eating more frequent, smaller meals. Eat slowly, chew your food, and drink your liquids because eating hurriedly can also cause heartburn.
13. Control & Lower Your Stress Levels
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Over 50% of the population who get heartburn frequently share that a busy lifestyle and stress from the workplace exacerbate their symptoms. Although stress and heartburn haven't been directly connected, it is understood that stress can cause actions that can cause heartburn.
Routines are disturbed during turbulent situations, and people might not take their medication, eat their meals, or exercise as they usually would. It's critical to develop methods of stress reduction to lessen the likelihood of heartburn brought on by stress.
Some suggestions are:
- regular exercise helps relieve stress
- sleeping for seven to eight hours per night
- maintaining a healthy diet
- thinking of a relaxing place or scenario while taking a brief mental break to unwind.
With this comprehensive guide, you now know all the lifestyle and dietary tips to avoid indigestion and heartburn. Now that you know what foods to avoid with severe indigestion, prevention won't be that difficult.
However, if this problem continues, you may want a quick yet effective treatment. One alternative solution without any side effects is the digestive care Ayurvedic capsules and churna powder from ZanduCare.
Made with 100% natural herbal ingredients, ZanduCare digestive care products will take care of your indigestion and heartburn issues in no time, that too without any side effects. Pick one of ZanduCare's digestive care products and get rid of indigestion.