Acid secreted in stomach aids in digestion and breakdown of food. The key ingredient of stomach acid is hydrochloric acid. When there is high level of acid secretion in stomach we refer to the condition as hyperacidity. Hyperacidity may cause heartburn, pain in stomach and gastric derangement. In severe cases it can erode stomach lining, which sets in as a precursor stage for development of stomach ulcer.
Normally body does not require external aid in neutralizing the acid, since the cells in stomach lining also produce bicarbonate as the buffering agent. Stomach also produces mucus which envelopes its internal lining and protects it from acid. Hyper secretion can occur after eating certain specific food such as coffee, wine, tea, cola beverages, and alcohol. It is also associated with certain diseases. In such cases it becomes necessary to neutralize the acid. Many people try over the counter medication to get relief from acidity. But there are safer ways to neutralize stomach acid naturally.
Natural Ways To Neutralize Stomach Acid
- Avoid eating heavy meal during nighttime. It is one of the leading causes for stomach acidity.
- Instead of three big meals, eat 5-6 small meals. Eating less quantity of food at a time encourages the stomach to secrete less acid.
- Eat foods that are high in complex carbohydrates to neutralize stomach acid. Some of the foods are sweet potatoes, corn, beans, bread, pasta, wheat, oats, rice, etc. Complex carbohydrates remain for a longer time in the digestive tract and therefore it slow down the digestive process. It also helps in absorbing excess of acid. However, it has to be eaten in one serving. These foods when taken in excess can cause excess secretion of acid.
- In fact eating any kind of food should be in moderate amount, since over eating initiate the stomach linings to secrete more acid to digest the food.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, beverages which are rich in caffeine such as tea and coffee. It is well established fact that alcoholic beverages double the acid secretion in one hour than normal.
- Avoid eating fried food and junk food or food that contains excess of fats.
- Avoid lying down after eating. Remain upright or sit for one hour after your meals. This will help the stomach content to empty in the duodenum, instead of backing up towards esophagus, which may lead to heartburn.
Home Remedies To Neutralize Stomach Acid
- A cup of ginger tea is said to be an effective home remedy for neutralizing stomach acid. Ginger contains chemicals that help in curtailing excess secretion of acid. It helps to reduce nausea and vomiting caused due to hyperacidity.
- Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate as it is called is a considered a natural home remedy for neutralizing gastric acid. Mix a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in a glass of warm water and sip it slowly as much as you can.
- Oats are another good food for neutralizing acid secretion.
- The fruit banana is considered to be an effective natural stomach acid neutralizer. Banana stimulates the mucus secretion in the stomach which helps in protecting the inner lining of the stomach.
- One of the best ways that you should follow everyday to neutralize excess of stomach acid is to drink a glass of water after you get up.
- Yogurt helps in relieving symptoms produced by stomach acid.
- Herbal tea prepared from spearmint is useful for relieving hyperacidity.
- Drink a glass of coconut water at least three times in a week if you want to keep your stomach acid well balanced.