Acid reflux is becoming increasingly common in our hectic lives. Fast food, late dinners, alcohol, bad-for-you processed snacks and skipping meals are all culprits. However, before you reach for that antacid medication, here are ten easy things you can try to prevent acid reflux.
1. Drink less with meals
Ayurvedic and naturopathic advisors suggest taking only little sips of water during meals. Drinking while you eat increases the volume of food in your stomach, bringing on bloating. Instead, drink most of your water in between meals throughout the day.
2. Smaller meals are best
Eating massive plates of food puts more stress on the digestive system than we were designed to handle. Big meals press and stretch internal organs and increase the risk of acid reflux. Graze throughout the day on nuts, seeds, and unprocessed, whole foods like granola and leafy greens, instead of stuffing down large meals. See how you feel—you may quickly notice a difference.
3. Enjoy your food
Slow down! Stop eating like it’s your last meal, and take the time to appreciate each bite, the ingredients, and the person or people who prepared your food. Eating fast also facilitates overreacting, which aggravates acid reflux as well. Eat mindfully, pace yourself, and enjoy your food.
4. Explore gluten-free options
Studies are linking gluten intolerance to acid reflux. Try a gluten-free diet and keep a journal, noting when and if you feel any better. Sometimes, the process of elimination is the only way to the get to the source of our problems.
5. Skip greasy foods
You know, the fun ones like deep fried anything, burgers and fries. This one is pretty much common sense, but we had to put it in writing, just in case you thought deep fried bacon donuts were good for you.
6. Maintain a healthy weight
Strong, toned and healthy is the way to go, and there’s no time like the “now” to start or resume regular exercise. Research has proven that obesity is a prime cause of acid reflux. Having extra fat around the stomach presses gastric juices into the esophagus. Start walking daily, and try picking up something new (such as yoga, dance classes or boxing) to get and stay fit.
7. Drink other stuff
Alcohol and caffeine aggravate acid reflux. Swap your next coffee break for a trip to the juice bar instead. Great alternative beverages include green juices, water with cucumber, and herbal tea.
8. Keep an eye on the clock
Ayurvedic doctors teach that you should not eat late at night, so put down that candy bar right now. Don’t recline fully for a few hours after your latest meal. Instead, go for a brisk walk after your dinner, then sit up and read, meditate, and talk to a friend or loved one for a while. Work with gravity so that food and stomach acid flow properly into your stomach.
9. Ditch the skinny jeans
I know, we all want to look good, but tighter isn’t always better. Constrictive clothing can affect our breathing and digestion. Squeezing your stomach into anything that’s uncomfortable can agitate acid reflux. Try loose-fitting garments instead; trust me, it is possible to pull off sexy without spandex.
10. Ease into bedtime
Shut off all of your devices, put on some gentle music, and meditate or read for an hour before bed. Stress can bring on acid reflux, so work on creating a peaceful, gentle environment around bedtime. Take a nice, long bath and process your emotions—get rid of any negative thoughts by breathing consciously and stilling your body and mind.
I know how difficult our daily lives can be, believe me. However, making small modifications can help you to get rid of acid reflux, so why not give these suggestions a try, starting today?