Stomach secretes certain acids to digest the food and these acids help in the breakdown of food. Acidity is caused when the amount of acid secreted in stomach for the digestion of food is more than the needed quantity. Acidity can be caused by a number of causes such as

1. Weakness of the muscular structure which closes the stomach to prevent the food from returning to the esophagus.

2. It can be caused if a person takes heavy meal and the pressure inside the abdomen increases. Sometimes the pressure increases during weight lifting.

3. Sometimes acidity is caused because the normal mucus layer which protects the stomach is eroded and the condition is called gastric ulcer.

4. In certain conditions, acidity is caused because the stomach does not receive a proper supply of blood.

5. It can be caused by condition called Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome, in which the acid secretion is caused by the tumors located inside the stomach.

6. If a person does not take meal on time, the stomach starts producing acids. To prevent acidity, one should take regular meals.

The stomach secretes bicarbonate or alkaline substances to neutralize the effect of acid and certain food products helps in neutralizing the acid released in the stomach, subsequently reducing the effect of acidic pain. A person suffering from acidity has the symptoms of heart burns and burning sensation in the abdomen. Bloating, nausea, vomiting tendency and having a feeling of fullness are also some other symptoms of the condition. Some of the food products can aggravate the condition of acidity are spicy food, alcohol and NSAID drugs.

Some of the food products which can be taken for immediate relief are

1. Take boiled mint leaves or tulsi leaves in drinking water.

2. Banana can be taken with cardamom.

3. For instant relief one can take a spoon of sodium bicarbonate or baking powder in a glass of water.

Diet for relief

The food products which should be included/avoided in diet are

1. One should have dinner at least two hours before going to the bed.

2. An alkaline diet should be taken to reduce acid effect. It includes fresh vegetables, nuts, raw food, and salads.

3. Green drinks can be taken instead of tea and pure water should be taken instead of fruits juices.

4. Curry leaves and celery leaves are helpful in curing acidity.

5. Oily food and beverages such as tea and coffee should not be taken.

6. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and beet root can be taken in the diet.

7. Cumin and coriander can be taken in the food products. Also use cardamom and cloves in food preparation.

8. In staples wheat and barley can be included.

9. Include cucumber, garlic, green beans, onion and carrot in diet.

10. Pumpkin, lentils, sprouted seeds, soy, bean, radish and sunflower oil can be taken.

11. Avoid certain dairy products which raise acidity such as cheese, ice creams, creams etc.

12. Beef, pork, chicken and fatty meats should not be taken.

13. Carbonated drinks, sour fruit juices and spirits should not be included in the diet.

14. Take care in buying food products from stores as certain preservatives and chemicals may aggravate the condition. Do not buy products made from artificial sweeteners.

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Read about Acidity Treatment. Also know about Home Remedies for Acidity.