Acidity is one of the most common issues faced by working professionals on day to day bases. While most people ignore the symptoms, it is imperative to take appropriate measures to reduce the effects of acid reflux or persistent heartburn without relying on heavy medication.
Acidity is caused due to a number of reasons and habits that we practice on a daily basis:
Sedentary lifestyle: Most professionals have long working hours with very little or no movement at all during the day. It is important to be active especially after main meals for optimum digestion of food.
Excessive caffeine intake: It is very common for professionals in office to intake multiple coffee/tea throughout the day which leads to dehydration and indigestion.Caffeine is acidic in nature and excess intake can create accumulation of abdominal fat and other lifestyle diseases like diabetes, thyroid, etc.
Junk food/increase in calorie intake: It is a common habit among professionals to order unhealthy/ fried/ sugar loaded/ processed foods especially in the evenings which leads to indigestion and thus creates acid in stomach. There are also various celebrations and social commitments with fellow colleagues which further increase the consumption frequency of unhygienic/ spicy foods.
Dehydration: Under work pressure, most professionals reach out for coffee/ tea/ food to satisfy their cravings which they believe to lower their work stress. This reduces the intake of water which helps to digest whatever we have eaten. Most of the time they mistake thirst to be hunger and overeat which leads to acidity.
Lack of time to prepare home cooked meals and carry to office is also one of the main reasons.
Erratic eating schedule: There is no such thing as proper meal times in most cases. Long gaps between meals lower the metabolism in the body that slow down the digestion process.
Ignorance: A lot of times we eat out of ignorance. We need a good balance of macro and micro nutrients in our body to live a healthy life. Professionals eat what is available not knowing what is actually healthy for them and what should be avoided.
Smoking or alcohol consumption
Lack of sleep: There are a number of visible symptoms, that can help us identify acidity and take necessary steps or precautions viz.,Burning sensation in the stomach
Easy and quick fix for acidity during working hours:
Avoid stomach irritants like tea/ coffee/ sour foods
Few Indian spices are very effective in healing acidity like cumin seeds, bishops weed (ajwain), fennel seed (saunf), etc.
Easy to digest food like curd rice, khichdi, suji should be taken
Take pre-probiotics in the form of curd, kefir, kimchi, etc. They help in strengthening immunity and aids in better digestion
Avoid meat, fried and spicy foods
Avoid alcohol and smoking
Avoid long gaps between meals
Prolonged acidity can trigger a number serious health issues and diseases, such as:
Severe chest pain and discomfort
Difficulty in swallowing
Ones diet can alter the pH value or the measurement of acidity in the body. Therefore, it’s important to alter our diets in accordance with the change in weather conditions.
Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables is a healthy habit that one must adopt. Staying hydrated has more benefits than one – consuming more water and other fluids during the summer like coconut water, buttermilk and juices, helps in raising the pH level in the body and dilutes the acid.
During winters, while most people prefer hot comfort foods, it can actually worsen the symptoms of acid reflux sufferers. People suffering from acidity must eat nuts and dark colored vegetables to curb down the issue.
During monsoon, include foods which are rich in antioxidants in your as we are more prone to catching infections. Foods such as papaya, garlic, turmeric, black pepper, berries help in strengthening our immune system during the season.
About the author:
Juhi Mimani, Clinical Nutritionist at Pro Care.