Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

From our early memories, we would have been drilleed down with the importance of food and the benefits of eating certain foods. We naturally tend to assume that foods make us grow and sometimes we end up gobbling tons of food with a childhood innocence that they are going to make us taller and smarter in a jiffy. Looking back, we tend to smile at those memories nostalgically. However, in some cases, we grow up or we simply ignore one basic rule of eating the right food at the right time.

Foods are very much related to time and the physics of our body can agree with them only if they are taken for a certain period. For instance, there are some foods that are beneficial to us, but can actually work in a negative way, if taken at a wrong time. For example, there are some foods that should never be taken on an empty stomach. Here are some such foods that you may want to know:

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are no doubt full of vitamins and antioxidants. However, when eaten on an empty stomach, these ingredients combine with acidic nature of our stomach and can result in stomach block. They put unnecessary pressure on the stomach and can cause stomach ache. This can be dangerous for people who are already suffering from ulcers.

Citrus Fruits: Though citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are high in vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, they may irritate your stomach when taken first thing in the morning. The oesophagus lining of your stomach gets enlarged when there is no food to digest and taking these fruits can directly enlarge them even more, causing more friction to your stomach.

Short Crust/Puff Pastry: Pastries can be a good combination for breakfast but it is a strict no on an empty stomach. Pastries and crusts have yeast in them and they simply will not go well for an empty stomach.

Carbonated Drinks: Carbonated drinks are basically bad for health and imagine having them on an early morning. Nothing can be more troublesome for your stomach than having these carbonated drinks first thing in the morning. They up the risk of cancer and heart diseases and can also lead to many other complications. Strictly avoid them on an empty stomach.

Coffee or Tea: Is having coffee the first thing that you do in the morning? You may be unaware but you are actually causing a lot of harm to your body. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach can increase the levels of hydrochloric acid and can lead to constipation vomiting. They also slow the digestion process. Try having a glass of water on an empty stomach; give it some time to settle and then intake caffeine.

Soreness or swelling that occurs on the inner lining of the stomach is commonly referred to as Gastritis. The main characteristics of this condition include severe stomach pain, constipation, blood in the stool and diarrhoea. The development of gastritis can also cause stomach ulcers. There are many reasons why gastritis or functional abnormality of the stomach is caused, and the main causes include:

Food poisoning
Consumption of alcohol, fried foods and caffeine
Intake of steroids and drugs
Allergy to certain foods
Physical stress due to flu or some surgery
Unbalanced and stressful lifestyle

Symptoms of Gastritis

The main symptoms that occur due to gastritis include discomfort and burning sensation, pain in the stomach, vomiting, poor digestion, dyspepsia, acidity and headache. Some people even experience a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating food. If any of these conditions last longer than a week, it is advisable to visit a doctor to determine the cause.

Home remedies

It is very necessary to adopt a healthy lifestyle and eating small and frequent meals is always better than eating large three meals in a day.It is always better to avoid foods that irritate your stomach and hence it is best to avoid fried, acidic and spicy foods.One of the major reasons behind the occurrence of gastritis is stress. It is necessary that we be trained to cope with this condition and perform relaxing activities that would calm our body and mind like yoga and meditation.

Treatment for Gastritis

It is always better to intake foods like cheese, cereal, baked potatoes, soup and chicken instead of carbonated beverages and painkillers to eliminate this condition. Aloe Vera juice can also be consumed as it is good for treating gastritis problem, and it is very important at first to start with a small amount of the juice.

With the temperatures breaking records now, one should try and become more conscious about their health and wellbeing. This season is known to be very brutal for those who eat and drink with no regard for their wellbeing; staying fit and healthy should be top priority for everyone.

The most common health issues reported during summer are reflux and acidity. Symptoms of acidity like heart burn, bad breath, sour tongue and reflux are experienced when excessive heat in the body leads to the production of high amount of acid. Food being one's medicine, one must be watchful about what they eat, and design their diet on the basis of how helpful and healthy food could be. Let us introduce you to the food items that will make your summers less acidic:

Water And Fluids

Maintaining the water and pH level of the body is extremely crucial. Increase in the intake of plain water, coconut water, lemon juice, kokam sherbet, cold milk, buttermilk, etc. is important. Coconut water is a natural diuretic as well as one of the richest sources of potassium and minerals. It helps in excreting toxins out of our body and should be consumed regularly.

Cold Milk

Inclusion of cold milk in your diet would help in absorbing the excessive acid produced in the stomach. Adding 1 tbsp of chia seeds in cold milk, gives the best results for those suffering from acidity.

Curd And Buttermilk

These are the most recommended items for surviving summers, both curd and buttermilk are the best-known probiotics. It keeps one's gut healthy by protecting the lining of stomach and improves overall digestion.

Fruits

They are not just natural antioxidants but power boosters of vitamins and minerals. Rich water content, potassium, magnesium and fibre in fruits makes it best bet, especially during summer. We always recommend opting for whole juicy fruit, rather than consuming its juice. Fruits like amla, guava, oranges and sweet lime are rich in vitamin C. As they are sour, many tend to think that it will aggravate their acidity symptoms, but vitamin C actually helps in treating the acidity and boosting one's immunity. Summer fruits like mangoes are also very rich in vitamin C. Ice apple, white jamun, muskmelon and watermelon are great sources of potassium and magnesium, which are known to maintain the hydration levels of the body. Banana is one of the most commonly consumed home remedy to tackle acidity, as its fibre content makes bananas a natural antacid. Choosing seasonal as well as colourful varieties of fruits is recommended to get the benefits of their natural antioxidants and power boosting capacity.

Vegetables

Vegetables like bottle gourd (lauki), padwal, pumpkin, cabbage, cauliflower are beneficial due to their high water and mineral content. A special mention here goes to cucumber, as it contributes towards body's hydration. Capsicum is also known to have a neutralising effect on stomach acids. Varieties of salads and cold vegetable soups are recommended for consumption during summers.

Jaggery

Jaggery is known to be very effective because of its magnesium content. It not only improves our immunity, but also regulates the body temperature. Jaggery water would be of good help in treating acidity and its symptoms.

Other Foods That You Must Consider Eating In Summers

Sipping lemon water with basil leaves and a pinch of salt added to it, and chewing fresh sugarcane is also a good way to deal with the rising temperature, since these are natural coolants.

Excessive consumption of beverages such as tea, coffee, alcohol, soda etc. increases the acidity and reflux problems. Spices like red and green chili, pepper, mint, and chocolates are known to be acid producing agents. Hence, it is better for people who suffer from acidity to avoid the consumption of these items. But, we can definitely consume ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin seeds (jeera), cinnamon to give flavour to our food. Intake of oily food needs to be limited at all times, not just during summers, since, oily and fatty food leads to delayed stomach emptying, it causes acidity.

Diet plays a vital role in dealing with acidity and reflux problems that all of us face during the summer season. Being extremely careful and food educated while designing the correct diet would definitely prevent many health hazards. A tip for everyone this summer-Stay cool. Stay summer ready!

What would it be without milk; a nourishing elixir that has innumerable benefits to offer. It is not only enriched with calcium and vitamin D, but also essential nutrients that promote health. According to the book Healing Foods by DK Publishing, evidence show that milk can be termed as a healthy food. Its calcium content helps the body burn calories more efficiently and maintains a steady weight, while its healthy fats help lower blood pressure. In India, we generally consume hot milk considering various condiments are mixed in it. While hot milk makes for a healthy drink, cold milk is equally good for health and beauty. If you haven't known already, here are some amazing benefits a glass of cold milk has to offer.

1. Reduces Acidity

One of the best remedies for acidity and discomfort is to sip on a glass of cold milk. Gradual sipping on milk can help alleviate pain from peptic ulcers too.

2. Keeps Your Body Hydrated

Cold milk is a great beverage to keep your body hydrated. Dehydrating beverages like alcohol, coffee and sugary foods signal the kidneys to get rid of the extra water by producing more urine making you feel more dehydrated. However, when beverages contain nutrients and electrolytes like potassium and sodium, as milk does, the stomach empties slowly with less significant effect on the kidneys.

3. Controls Hunger Pangs

Cold milk makes for a nutritious way to control hunger pangs. You can easily make cold coffee or flavoured milk out of it and enjoy it in the evening. A glass of it will not only kill your cravings but also keep you fuller for longer.

4. Acts As An Excellent Skin Toner

Milk has nourishing effects on your skin. It makes for an amazing toner that you can use every day to get a glowing skin. Take cotton and soak in some cold milk in it and dab it on your face leaving it hydrated and smooth. It is a rich source of vitamin A and other antioxidants that help give you a glow, further reducing dark spots, pigmentation and freckles.

5. Acts As A Moisturizer

If you have a dry skin, look no further. Cold milk can surely come to your rescue as it helps maintain the pH levels of the skin. All you need to do is to add a few drops of lemon juice and rose water to cold milk and soak cotton with this solution. Apply it to your face and leave it for 10 minutes. Wash it off with cold water.

You can enjoy cold milk along with cereals, shakes and smoothies too. Milk lovers, this health drink is surely your go-to elixir.

We all have known that feeling too well- right after eating a hearty meal; a fiery sensation grabs hold of the lower chest, often followed by sour or bitter taste of acid reflux in your throat that can cause discomfort. Well, that's what acidity does to you after having certain foods that are universally problematic. It is because of some highly acidic foods, which our body tries to become accustomed to. However, our stomach refuses to sufficiently process the acid, which results in acid reflux. If you have been experiencing a frequent acid refluxes, it is time you toss the culprits away and instead choose some alkalizing foods that balance out the acid in your stomach.Here are some foods that may cause acidity-

1. Chocolate

Chocolate may taste heavenly, but it could prove to be quite a culprit when it comes to your tummy. In fact, there are three reasons that make chocolate a bad choice for people who suffer from acid reflux frequently. First, it contains caffeine and other stimulants like theobromine that causes reflux. Second, it is high in fat content, which also causes acidity and third is its excess cocoa content which is also responsible for promoting reflux. We aren't asking you to stop eating chocolates, but limit the quantity in order to avoid complications.

2. Soda

Soda and other carbonated drinks are responsible for causing acid in the stomach. The bubbles of carbonation tend to expand inside the stomach. The increased pressure further contributes to reflux. In fact, soda has caffeine too, which can contribute in causing acidity.

3. Alcohol

Yet another reason that should convince you to limit alcohol consumption! Various alcoholic beverages like beer and wine not only increase the gastric acid in the stomach, but also dehydrate the body causing major acid formation. Also, even if you are drinking alcohol, do not mix it with soda or carbonated drinks, which will only worsen the condition.

4. Caffeine

A cup of coffee or tea in a day is fine; however, more than that may lead to acid reflux, thanks to the excess caffeine content in them. The consumption of caffeine leads to an increased secretion of gastric acid in the stomach causing acidity. Never drink tea or coffee on an empty stomach, here's why!

5. Spicy Foods

Excess consumption of spicy foods can wreak havoc on your health. Chilies, garam masala and pepper are all acidic in nature. Eating them frequently may cause acid reflux. While they may be healthy, it is important to limit their quantity to ensure a healthy stomach.

6. Fatty Foods

Fatty foods are highly acidic in nature plus they tend to stay for longer in the stomach, increasing the chances of acidity. Avoid eating too many fried foods, meats and other greasy foods that are hardest to digest. Instead, switch to lean meats and baked foods for a healthier stomach.

7. Citrus Fruits (Only when eaten on an empty stomach)

Fruits are undoubtedly healthy; however, some of the citrus fruits can cause acidity especially when eaten on an empty stomach. Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, tomato, berries, et al are highly acidic and may cause heartburn. Never consume these fruits on an empty stomach as it will only worsen the case.

Dr. Ankita Bora
Dr. Ankita Bora
BHMS, Homeopath, 5 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sachin Kuldhar
Dr. Sachin Kuldhar
BHMS, Gynaecologist Homeopath, 8 yrs, Pune
Dr. Shalthiel Sathe
Dr. Shalthiel Sathe
BHMS, Medical Cosmetologist Trichologist, 10 yrs, Pune
Dr. Jalpa Desai
Dr. Jalpa Desai
BHMS, Medical Cosmetologist Trichologist, 6 yrs, Pune
Dr. Rajendra V. Yelwande
Dr. Rajendra V. Yelwande
BAMS, Ayurveda, 38 yrs, Pune
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