One symptom I’ve been seeing a lot of in clinic lately is clients suffering from reflux. I know this is a common symptom that many suffer with. Often people go to see their doctor about this and get put on omeprazole. Being a holistic nutritionist I believe so much can be done with dietary and lifestyle change to reduce or eliminate symptoms.
Why does it occur? Reflux is the result of gastric acid, duodenal bile and enzymes flowing back into the oesophagus, causing inflammation. This can be caused if the stomach is not acidic enough, or if there is not enough stomach acid to break down food. It can also be caused from a number of other things, including consuming too much acidic foods, over-eating, high fat diets. It can also be a side effect of digestive, such as poor elimination (aka constipation) or IBS.
Before rushing off to your doctor why not try healing your reflux naturally by avoiding the following:
- Carbonated drinks
- Acidic food and drinks – coffee, tea, citrus foods
- High-fat foods
- Garlic and onions
Here are thing you can do right now to help reduce reflux symptoms:
- Upon waking and 20 minutes before each main meal kick-start your digestion by having 1 glass of warm water with 1-2 tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar.
- Chew chew chew your food – until it’s liquid. The chewing action sends a message to the stomach to let it know that food is on its way. When we inhale our food, this doesn’t happen.
- Slow down when eating – yes really. Many people I see with reflux admit to hovering down their meals. Stop, sit down (away from the TV and technology – this means away from your desk), and focus on your food, each mouthful, chew it and be present. Put your knife and fork down between each mouthful if you have too.
- Consume an alkaline and fibre rich diet, helllooo plant foods! Ensure you’re having at least 2-3 servings of leafy green daily and lots of other vegetables, some fruit, legumes, seeds, wholegrains (such as brown rice, kumara, pumpkin, quinoa, buckwheat, millet).
- Drink liquid between meals (not during) - as dilutes your stomach acid. And do make sure you're drinking at least 2L of water daily.
- Eat until your 80% full. Know when to stop and put down your cutlery!
- Avoid lying down straight after eating, and try to have your evening meal 2-3 hours before bed.
If you try these tips for 4-6 weeks and if you still have some discomfort there could be something else going on, so please don’t hesitate or be shy to get in contact with me. I’d love to hear from you and work with you to help you heal your reflux and overall health.