Dyspepsia or indigestion is a common condition that occurs when the body has difficulty in digesting food. Dyspepsia can be an occasional or recurring problem. Modifications to the lifestyle can often provide significant relief from dyspepsia.
Indigestion is one of the most common problems faced across all ages. The feeling of irritated stomach and feeling full even despite not eating much is definitely not a good one. It is basically irregular bowel movements which can be due to anything from a sedentary lifestyle to consuming huge amount of fatty foods. Our indigestion diet is directly related to feeling of constipation, acid reflux or indigestion. It is caused either when stomach is inflamed and causes irritation or when the acid in our stomach flows back to your esophagus.
People who suffer from indigestion can experience a variety of symptoms in the upper abdominal region. Typical symptoms of indigestion include stomach pain, a burning sensation, nausea, bloating, burping, feeling uncomfortably full and feeling full without eating a lot.
Foods for Indigestion Diet
Ginger or adrak has been long associated with healing multiple issues such as cough and cold, constipation or indigestion. As per experts, it contains antioxidants including gingerols that are known for relieving indigestion and nausea while the presence of phenolic compounds are believed to reduce gastric contractions thereby relieving gastrointestinal irritation. Ginger can easily be added to many of your detox drinks and a simply cup of chai.
According to the USDA, a 100 grams serving of grapes contain 4 grams of fibre, which is known to increase bulk of our stool and helps the food to pass smoothly through the digestive system. One can eat grapes as is, juice it or add it to a salad.
Orange is another fibre-rich fruit which is rich in the soluble fibre – pectin. It helps accelerate colonic transit time and also reduces constipation. The winter fruit also contains a flavanol called naringenin, which researchers found can work like a laxative. You can juice oranges, add it to a fruit chaat or eat as is. Here are two recipes that you can try as well.
A wonderful Indian berry packed with innumerable benefits, Amla or Indian gooseberry boasts of aphrodisiac, diuretic, laxative, carminative, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that help stimulate your digestive process, further curing indigestion, heartburn or acidity. Here are two of the most popular ways to include it in your diet.
Not just vitamin C, lemon comes loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It also boasts of the presence of pectin fibre in them which is known to improve digestive health. You can add a pinch of this citrus fruit to your drinks, salads or snacks.
Papaya is one fruit that can help manage a number of health conditions. From heart diseases, asthma, bone health to diabetes, this sweet tropical fruit don many hats. Besides being rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, beta-carotene and calcium, papaya has a special enzyme called papain that reduces heart burn and helps in improving digestion.
The fibre content present in figs is enough to help in bowel movement and indigestion. Besides that it is also rich in natural sugars, calcium and iron.
Supplements to strengthen your digestion
- Many people who take antacids have problems with bloating, excessive abdominal gas and abdominal pain. This is because taking a regular antacid creates an imbalance in our gut bacteria, leading to an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts, creating excessive gases and bloating. I would recommend that anyone over the age of 50 who has weak digestion and is concerned that they are not fully absorbing nutrients from their food, or who has a history of taking antacid medication, to take my high-strength, multi-strain Live Bacteria (probiotic) supplement daily to re-establish healthy levels of “good” gut bacteria.
- I also recommend that anyone suffering indigestion take a plant-based digestive enzyme every time they eat. If you’re over the age of 50, it’s highly likely that your digestive system needs a helping hand. As we age, the production of certain digestive enzymes can begin to slow down. We need these enzymes to help break down our food into molecules small enough to be absorbed and transported as nutrients to ‘feed’ and nourish different systems and organs of the body. If we do not produce enough of these enzymes, then we need to consider supplementing with digestive enzymes to ensure that we are fully absorbing our nutrients. This is crucial to maintain good health in our later years. Try my plant-derived Digestive Enzymes with added calcium to support your digestion even further.
- You might like to try my Tummy Tea, blended with the herbs and spices that I use every day in my clinic, to aid digestion after every meal. A lighter alternative to black tea or coffee, it’s naturally caffeine-free, so perfect after your evening meal. Drink it daily for a little extra support for your digestion and to soothe you before bed-time.
Lifestyle tips for better digestion
- Make sure you are seated and relaxed before beginning to eat and do not eat standing up. Take time to look at and smell your food before eating as this will encourage production of digestive juices.
- Chew all your food thoroughly so that it is mixed with saliva to help begin the digestive process.
- Don’t eat large portions.
- Don’t drink water with your meals as this can dilute your digestive juices.
- Don’t smoke. The chemicals in cigarettes weaken the valve at the top of the stomach, allowing food and acid to flow out.
- Switch to caffeine-free coffee, tea, or try my caffeine-free Tummy Tea. Coffee can weaken the valve at the top of the stomach.
- Drink warm liquids before a meal such as warm water and lemon or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in warm water.
- If indigestion, heartburn or acid reflux is waking you up in the night, you need to slightly elevate your upper body. Try two pillows instead of one and consider putting a couple of wooden blocks under the bed (at the head end of the bed only) to raise it slightly. This can help prevent the acid from flowing out of your stomach and keep it in situ.
- If, after trying the above measures, your symptoms do not improve, then consider booking in to see a registered colon hydrotherapist. The colonic treatment will help relieve trapped gases in the digestive system, relieving pressure on the stomach and intestines and allowing food and wastes to move through efficiently. This treatment can give immediate relief from bloating, pain, indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux.
- If your symptoms continue, it might be worth arranging a gastric acid test through a registered nutritional therapist who will assess your symptoms and devise a diet plan to meet your specific needs. Some people may suffer from low stomach acid, which can give rise to similar symptoms as indigestion, heartburn and acid reflux, and so it is important that this is established so that the right diet plan can be devised for you.