If you're one of the millions of Americans who suffer from indigestion, you know how uncomfortable it can be.
From heartburn and bloating to nausea and vomiting, the symptoms of indigestion can range from mild to severe. While there are a number of medications that might help, many people prefer to avoid taking that route whenever possible. There are certain things you can do—and avoid—to help ease the symptoms. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Learn to Eat the Right Way
Many people are shocked to learn there are right and wrong ways to eat. The way you chew, how often you dine and even how you focus on your meal can play a large part in whether or not you experience indigestion.
When you overeat, your stomach produces more acid than usual to digest the excess food. This can cause heartburn and other symptoms of indigestion. To avoid this, eat smaller meals more often throughout the day and take your time when eating.
Chewing your food thoroughly is one of the most important things you can do to avoid indigestion. When you chew, your saliva breaks down the food, making it easier for your stomach to digest. Additionally, chewing allows you to focus on your food and pay attention to the taste, texture, and temperature, which can help you eat more slowly. Eating too quickly is one of the leading causes of indigestion, so taking the time to chew your food thoroughly is an important way to prevent problems.
Are you practicing the best eating habits possible?
Avoid Fatty Foods
Fatty foods tend to stay in your stomach longer than other foods, which can increase the likelihood of indigestion. To avoid this, limit your intake of these fatty foods:
- Fried Foods
- Whole Fat Dairy
- Red Meat
- Ice Cream
Instead, try opting for leaner proteins such as chicken (grilled and without skin), fish, tofu, or legumes.
For Indigestion, Wear the Right Clothing, not the Tight Clothing
One of the lesser-known causes of indigestion is clothing that is too tight around the waist. This type of clothing puts pressure on the stomach, which can lead to symptoms like heartburn and bloating. To avoid this, choose clothing that's loose-fitting and comfortable—especially when eating a big meal! If you're prone to indigestion, you may also want to avoid tight belts, jewelry, or other items that can put pressure on your stomach. By taking these simple precautions, you can help to keep indigestion at bay.
Drinking Too Much Alcohol or Caffeine?
Alcohol and caffeine can both irritate your stomach lining and contribute to indigestion. If you enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage, try drinking in moderation and avoiding drinks that are high in acidity such as wine or mixed drinks made with citrus juices. When it comes to caffeine, try limiting yourself to one cup of coffee per day or opting for decaf instead.
Another Reason to Quit Smoking Cigarettes
Cigarette smoke contains a variety of irritants that can cause indigestion and other stomach issues. For example, tobacco smoke contains high levels of carbon monoxide, which can reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches the stomach. This can lead to indigestion, heartburn, and other uncomfortable symptoms. In addition, tobacco smoke contains a number of other chemicals that can irritate the stomach lining, including tar and nicotine. These irritants can cause inflammation and increase the risk of ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems. Quitting smoking is the best way to reduce your risk of these issues, but if you continue to smoke, be sure to see your doctor if you experience any indigestion or other stomach problems.
Still Experiencing Indigestion?
Indigestion is a common problem that affects millions of Americans every year—but it doesn't have to be a part of your life. By avoiding these five common causes of indigestion, you can help prevent the symptoms from occurring in the first place. And if you do experience occasional symptoms despite your best efforts, there are natural supplements that can help relieve them quickly and effectively without the need for medication.
Try incorporating these tips into your daily routine—your stomach will thank you!