Everyone will have experienced the uncomfortable feeling that comes with indigestion. The pain is usually felt in the stomach or chest and feels heavy and uncomfortable. People with indigestion might also experience nausea, bloating or belching, as well as feeling sluggish. When the discomfort is felt in the chest, it is called heartburn and can leave a person feeling so uncomfortable that they think they are experiencing a heart attack.
Indigestion is most common after eating or drinking something, however, it can also be experienced at other times of the day.
The first step to reducing symptoms of indigestion is to look at your diet. Foods that contain a lot of spices can cause indigestion. Eating in a hurry or eating when you are stressed will also contribute to the condition.
If you are struggling with the symptoms of indigestion, then eat smaller meals for a while to give your digestive system chance to settle down. Eat light foods that are easy to digest such as oatmeal or porridge for breakfast.
Moreover, avoid eating foods that are too hot, as this can also cause indigestion as can eating fried foods or drinking too many carbonated drinks. Foods that contain a lot of fat, too much sugar or too much caffeine can also contribute to the discomfort caused by indigestion.
If you'd rather not take medication to try and combat your indigestion, here are some natural remedies that will help.
Aloe Vera juice can be extremely calming to the digestive system. Aloe Vera can be added to juice or to water and is best drunk before a meal. The juice can also be drunk during the day, if required. The juice will help to reduce inflammation in the digestive system, thus calming the symptoms of indigestion.
Camomile is well-known for its relaxing effects and it will work just as well at settling the digestive system. It will help to relieve nausea and will act to calm an upset stomach.
Some people don't produce enough hydrochloric acid. If a person doesn't produce enough gastric acid, then this can leave them vulnerable to the symptoms of indigestion. Supplementing your diet with hydrochloric acid can be an effective way of reducing the symptoms of indigestion.
Ginger can have a calming and settling effect on the digestion. The tea is also extremely warming so can be comforting if you have the symptoms of a digestive upset. If you don't like the tea, then include some ginger to a meal to add some flavour, and to help ease your digestion at the same time.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Drinking apple cider vinegar is thought to have many health benefits and it is often used as a digestive aid. It is believed to help neutralise excess stomach acid, which helps to reduce the indigestion.
If you are unable to break the foods you eat down properly, then this can cause indigestion. As we age, we tend to produce fewer digestive enzymes, and this can lead to problems such as indigestion becoming more frequent.
Digestive enzymes can help improve the way that you digest food and will help to reduce symptoms such as bloating.
Bicarbonate of Soda
Bicarbonate of soda acts as an acid neutraliser. If your indigestion is caused by an excess of acid, then bicarb of soda or baking soda can provide a cost effective remedy. To try this natural remedy, just add a few teaspoons to a glass of water, stir it so the powder is mixed well and has fully dissolved, and then drink it. Bicarbonate of soda is best drunk before a meal, but can be used at any time if you start to experience indigestion.
Fruits that contain alkaline can help balance out the excess acid the stomach produces and help to reduce some of the feelings of ingestion. Try eating berries, bananas, pineapple, cherries or tomatoes.
Adding vegetables that have an alkaline effect will also counter the acid the stomach produces when you eat. Try adding alfalfa sprouts, sweet potatoes, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, kale or other salad vegetables such as cucumber to help eliminate indigestion.
Image credit: lisafx / 123RF Stock Photo