Your favorite foods can delight your taste buds. But if you eat too fast or consume too much of these foods, you may experience occasional indigestion.
Symptoms of indigestion can include uncomfortable abdominal fullness after eating, or you may have pain or a burning sensation in your upper stomach.
Indigestion isn’t a disease, but rather a symptom of other gastrointestinal problems, such as an ulcer, gastritis, or acid reflux.
Many people will have indigestion at some point. Instead of reaching for over-the-counter antacids to calm your stomach, you might want to try controlling symptoms with ingredients and herbs in your kitchen.
Indigestion is often caused by what, when and how you eat. The best food for indigestion is low in fat, spices and acid. Slowing down and eating frequently also help.
Focus on light food, such as oatmeal, to help with indigestion.
Indigestion can be prevented by avoiding trigger foods and overeating. Light, mild, nonacidic foods are best to eat for indigestion.
Meanwhile in as much it’s foods that cause indigestion, there are also what to eat or drink for indigestion.
Symptoms of Foods Indigestion
People who suffer from indigestion can experience a variety of symptoms in the upper abdominal region. Typical symptoms of indigestion include stomach pain, a burning sensation, nausea, bloating, burping, feeling uncomfortably full and feeling full without eating a lot.
Indigestion symptoms can also be triggered by consuming certain foods or drinks. Spicy peppers, pickles, fried foods, greasy or high-fat foods, citrus juices, coffee, tea and carbonated drinks can cause indigestion in some people, according to a January 2015 study published in the Middle East Journal of Digestive Diseases. Eating large meals or eating too quickly can also cause indigestion.
Food for Indigestion
Because high fat content in food can cause indigestion, choosing lighter foods can prevent pain and discomfort. Lower fat dairy products such as milk and yogurt, lean meats with skin removed and visible fat trimmed and raw, baked or steamed vegetables are better choices than greasy, fried or high-fat foods. Foods such as whole-grain bread and oatmeal are nutritious and filling, but soothing for indigestion.
Some of the best food for indigestion includes fruits such as apples, dates, figs, pineapples and cherries because they help to alleviate symptoms, according to the Middle East Journal of Digestive Diseases study.
Most fruits are good to eat for indigestion with the exception of citrus fruits and watermelon, which aggravate indigestion.
Indigestion With Heartburn
Indigestion and heartburn typically caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease are two separate diagnoses, but many people with indigestion also experience heartburn, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Chronic heartburn can be exacerbated by eating certain foods or by overeating. Like indigestion, heartburn symptoms can be triggered by fatty, spicy or acidic foods, notes Harvard Health Publishing.
Heartburn is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest caused by the reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. A sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach normally prevents this back flow, but a weakened or malfunctioning sphincter can lead to acid reflux.
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Heartburn is more likely to occur after eating a large meal or in people who are overweight because both situations cause increased pressure in the stomach. Tight belts or clothing around the midsection also put excess pressure on the stomach.
Natural Indigestion Treatment
Dietary changes and other changes to everyday habits can help to alleviate symptoms of indigestion. Keeping track of foods and drinks that trigger indigestion and avoiding them can keep discomfort at bay.
Converting from three large meals to eating five or six small meals per day and eating more slowly prevents the stomach from becoming too full and producing excess acid.
The Mayo Clinic recommends limiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages, aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen to help prevent indigestion or decrease the severity of symptoms.
Taking steps to reduce stress and anxiety can also help keep indigestion in check. Doing yoga can help to relieve stress and alleviate digestive symptoms. The best yoga positions for indigestion are child’s pose and bridge pose.
Ginger is one of the best digestive aids because of its medicinal properties. It’s alkaline in nature and anti-inflammatory, which eases irritation in the digestive tract. Try sipping ginger tea when you feel heartburn coming on.
Does milk help with heartburn? “Milk is often thought to relieve heartburn,” says Gupta. “But you have to keep in mind that milk comes in different varieties, whole milk with the full amount of fat, 2% fat, and skim or nonfat milk. The fat in milk can aggravate acid reflux.
But nonfat milk can act as a temporary buffer between the stomach lining and acidic stomach contents and provide immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.” Low-fat yogurt has the same soothing qualities along with a healthy dose of probiotics (good bacteria that enhance digestion).
Apple cider vinegar
While there isn’t enough research to prove that drinking apple cider vinegar works for acid reflux, many people swear that it helps. However, you should never drink it at full concentration because it’s a strong acid that can irritate the esophagus. Instead, put a small amount in warm water and drink it with meals.
Lemon juice is generally considered very acidic, but a small amount of lemon juice mixed with warm water and honey has an alkalizing effect that neutralizes stomach acid. Also, honey has natural antioxidants, which protect the health of cells.
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How a Doctor Can Help
If you have heartburn two or more times a week and changes to your diet or eating pattern haven’t helped, consult a doctor. A gastroenterologist (a doctor who specializes in the digestive system) can perform tests to measure the acidity in your stomach and see if frequent acid reflux has damaged your esophagus.
GERD is often treatable through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. But persistent symptoms of reflux need thorough evaluation by a gastroenterologist who can find the underlying cause and discuss available treatment options.