How To Get Rid Of Reflux
Unfortunately, indigestion and reflux are incredibly common. If you have not experienced it yourself, I bet you know someone who has!
Common symptoms include heartburn, chest pain, difficulty swallowing and the regurgitation of food. The intensity of symptoms experienced can vary greatly from mild to extremely uncomfortable or anywhere in between.
All too often we reach for medications for a quick fix. Unfortunately, these can come with side effects such as poor absorption of nutrients, which may have a long-term negative impact on our health.
The good news is that there are lifestyle factors that can influence reflux and indigestion, and there are things you can do (and stop doing) to help.
Factors which may have an impact on our digestive health include smoking, obesity, stress, fried and fatty foods, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, gluten, garlic, onion, spicy foods, tomatoes, and citrus fruits often make indigestion and reflux worse.
We often assume indigestion and reflux occur because we are producing too much digestive enzymes, but often it is because we are not producing enough digestive enzymes. Lifestyle factors and diet can play a major role in this.
Maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, oatmeal, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, and healthy fats (avocados, walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil) often help improve reflux symptoms. Soups and smoothies are easy to digest and a great way to pack in lots of nutrients.
To help ease symptoms of reflux you can try drinking a mix of 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 100ml water.
If this eases your symptoms, it could indicate that you are not producing enough digestive enzymes. Apple cider vinegar may help support your digestion whilst you address any lifestyle factors that may have an impact.
If your symptoms do not ease, it could mean that you are over-producing digestive enzymes, in which case Slippery Elm may be helpful in soothing an irritated digestive tract.
Building your meals around a good protein source may also help. Along with tofu, lean meats and seafood, Clean Lean Protein is a great addition to your meal planning. It’s easy to incorporate into a smoothie, it’s hypoallergenic so you are less likely to react to it, and it’s easy to digest.
When you are eating, take time to sit down and relax, this activates your parasympathetic nervous system and supports the digestive process.
Eat smaller meals and chew your food thoroughly, this breaks down food particles to a smaller size which aids digestion and absorption. It also supports the production of digestive enzymes.
Avoid drinking large amounts of liquids with your meals this dilutes your digestive enzymes and makes indigestion more likely.
We are all unique and what triggers reflux in one person can be quite different from another. You could try keeping a food and symptom diary to help pinpoint exactly what makes it better or worse for you. Paying attention to your body and how you respond to what you are eating and doing is vital to understanding your digestion.
If your symptoms persist or become worse, make sure you see your doctor or naturopath for advice.
The information provided in this article is intended for educational purposes only and is general advice. It should not, nor is it intended to be, relied on as a substitute for individual medical advice or care. If the contents of this, or any other of the blogs in this series raises any concerns or questions regarding your health, please consult a qualified healthcare practitioner.