Love spicy food like an Indian? Then get ready for the frequent acidity experience in your guts. You have a burning sensation in your chest, you feel uneasy and you wish you hadn’t eaten what you had. This leads to a solemn promise to yourself that you will cut down on spices.
What is acidity?
Eating a heavy meal or spicy food triggers more acid secretion than normal in the stomach. When some of the acidic contents of the stomach go back up into the esophagus, a burning sensation is felt in the lower chest area, often known as chest burn or acid reflux. Though it is harmless initially, it is highly uncomfortable and steps should be taken before it leads to something serious.
pH levels in the body
A pH above 7 is said to be basic or alkaline and below that is acidic. We, humans are more on the alkaline side and have a pH between 7.35and 7.45. But the stomach is very acidic. It has a pH of 3.5 or less, so as to help break down the ingested food. Excess secretion of Hydrochloric acid with a pH of 1.5 to 3.5 is what leads to acidity. pH level of the body can be easily determined by a simple Litmus Test with a saliva or urine sample before eating anything in the morning.
Long term effects of Acidity
Though acidity is usually harmless, frequent experiences are dangerous in the long run. They lead to disorders in the digestive system. It causes bloating of the stomach, bloody vomiting, painful burping, persistent hiccups and narrowing of the esophagus which makes it difficult to swallow food. These can be easily avoided with just a change in food habits. And remember to walk around a little after each meal. Sleeping right after a meal is just as dangerous!
Importance of Alkaline foods
Too much acid in the bloodstream results in stealing Calcium (alkaline substance) from the bones to balance the body’s pH level. This can lead to severe bone problems. So it is very important to include a good amount of alkaline foods in your daily diet. A glass of hot water with some lime in the morning is just the beginning. Though citrus fruits are thought to be acidic, they are actually alkaline. Leafy vegetables like Asparagus, broccoli and cabbage are great for you. You can also throw in some fruits like avocado, pomegranate and grapefruit. And not to forget the ones that are nutritious in more than one way are sprouts, almonds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and coconut oil.
So, ditch the over-the-counter medicines, include a lot of alkaline foods in your diet and you won’t remember what experiencing acidity feels like!
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