I have a predisposition to acid reflux. It can be quite painful and it’s always unpleasant. I only get it these days if I’m eating out, or if I stray away from my regular routine. As it’s something I know how to control really well, so I’ve never really given it much thought. However, a couple of months ago I was with Adam’s adorable grandparents in Poland when an unfortunate occurrence really got a bee in my bonnet.
Adam’s grandmother makes a real effort to be healthy, which really pays off for her, but Adam’s grandad, Tadek, is not of the same mindset. He is a meat and potatoes man. That’s always how he’s eaten and it’s what he likes. It’s an event when something green passes his lips. Tadek and I have a lot of affection for each other. His pet name for me “mapewka” which roughly translates as “little cawot”, as in “carrot” mispronounced, because I’m always eating carrots or some leaf considered by him to be rabbit food. This is all fun banter between Tadek and me, but recently I got quite upset; Tadek got pneumonia. What’s this to do with acid reflux? Well, before it turned into pneumonia, I was encouraging him to take high dose vitamin C to strengthen his immune system so that his body could fight this lurgy. He took one dose and then stopped. When I persistently asked him why he wouldn’t drink it, he replied (you guessed it) that it gave him acid reflux. I then discovered that he constantly suffers from acid reflux problems.
If Tadek had a better diet, he would not only avoid getting reflux, but he would be far less susceptible to infections and illnesses, too.
It really pains me to see those I love suffering when there are such easy way to control and escape these symptoms. Acid reflux, indigestion, dyspepsia or heartburn affects about 40% of people in the Western world. When symptoms are chronic this is called GERD. It can affect anyone, including babies and the elderly, and can come on with age.
What is reflux?
Acid reflux is the acid (or even food) from the stomach coming up through the oesophagus and sometimes into the mouth. Symptoms include acid or bitter taste in the mouth, pain behind the breastbone, coughing and burping. Uncontrolled, it leads to inflammation of the oesophagus, and can lead to cancer of the oesophagus. You are more likely to suffer from reflux symptoms if you are overweight, have diabetes, have a hiatal hernia, or if you are pregnant.
5 remedies that I swear by
- Apples. I never knew why I loved eating an apple or two after each meal until I read that it is a really good remedy for reflux! It appears to have something to do with the pectin in the apples. Jonagold type apples have highest amounts of pectin.
- Apple cider vinegar. Go for stuff with the Mother, which is usually cloudy, and unpasteurised. Mix a tablespoon of it in a large glass of water. You can drink this before or after (or before and after) a meal. Even though this is counter-intuitive that vinegar can help acid reflux, apple cider vinegar actually helps to neutralise the acid, perhaps something to do with the live enzymes in it.
- Flax seeds, also known as linseeds. Just an FYI, whole and dry flax seeds are indigestible. Flax is traditionally used in Eastern Europe as a reflux remedy and is very effective. Take after each meal. There are various options here:
- Have a tablespoon of ground flax seeds in a glass of water
- Sprinkle a tablespoon on your food
- Soak the whole seeds for 2 hours in water or fresh juice and then drink after your meal
- Take a tablespoon of cold-pressed flax seed oil after your meal
- Bicarbonate of soda. This is alkalising. Take a teaspoon in a large glass of water after your meal.
- Eat smaller meals and make sure that you stop before you’re full and bloated.
Acid reflux can lead to serious health problems, so please don’t ignore it and just keep using “remedies”. If you have a predisposition to acid reflux, like I do, you really need to watch what you eat and your weight. Here are some foods that you should definitely avoid:
- Cheap and nasty table salt – use pure salt, such as pink Himalayan salt, instead
- Fatty foods
- Refined foods
- Too much meat
If you wondering what that leaves you with and don’t really know how to change your diet, well, you’re in luck! That’s what I’m for! Book a free coaching session with me and I’ll show you how. Click here.
PS. I’m going to keep working on Tadek until he listens to me! 🙂
Do you suffer from acid reflux? What natural remedies have you tried that have worked for you?