Experienced nutritionist Denise Kelly has joined our expanding editorial team to bring you a regular column examining how what you eat and drink impacts on your health. Here, she explains how you can energise your life this Christmas…and how you can avoid dreaded acid reflux.
I have had more people visit my clinics in the last month with acid reflux than in the entire year! I believe it is because of the overall increase in alcohol and rich foods. Often at this time of year we eat things in abundance that most of us wouldn’t touch for the rest of the year, and we drink far more than we would normally because we are in the mood to party and have fun!
This is all OK until we start piling on the pounds, feel absolutely nauseas and exhausted and end up being propped up all night with a pillow because the reflux is so bad if you lay down in bed you might vomit!
I am not exaggerating or taking this condition lightly by any means. The stories that I hear and the misery that it causes people are horrid, some even mistaking the chest pains for heart problems.
So what is acid reflux? The word “reflux” put simply, in Latin means “to flow back, or to recede”. If you suffer from acid reflux the acids from your stomach “flow back” into your esophagus, causing discomfort and pain — this discomfort is known as heartburn and it can be extremely unpleasant.
I have been totally amazed how much confusion and conflicting advice is given on this subject. I will only ever give the knowledge or advise that I do because I have treated many clients for this very successfully and it can be really simple to treat if you are willing to give it time and effort. Now is probably not the best time to be drastically changing your diet because it is unrealistic, but there are a few tips that you could follow to make your Christmas go smoothly and pain free.
• Avoid milk! Dairy is an acidic food can cause congestion and mucus formation in the body. This in turn will make it harder for the lymphatic system to drain properly causing all sorts of discomfort.
• Keep hydrated and limit dehydrating drinks such as caffeine and alcohol. If you are a wine drinker make it organic as it doesn’t contain horrid chemicals that increase toxicity within your body. Always drink plenty of water in-between alcoholic drinks as acidity increases when the body is dehydrated.
• Replace your milky tea in the morning with a slice of lemon in hot water. This starts cleansing the liver and kidneys and helps to flush your system giving you a better start to the day. Plus it’s a great tonic for the skin.
• Try to avoid as much as possible immune suppressant ingredients. These include salt, (Table salt and salt that is added to processed foods) refined sugars and flours, vinegars, heated oils, food preservatives, additives, stabilizers and colourings.
• Avoid microwaved and fried foods, which can suppress the immune system, cause more acid and lead to cancers and heart and circulatory disease.
• Some medication is essential, I understand that, however all medication has side effects and you need to have a conversation with your GP if you are on any medication that you feel is unnecessary. An example of medication causing side effects is the long-term use of any anti acid medication.
I will not mention any brand names but anti acid pills and liquids are sold over the counter in their billions worldwide, and here are some of the unwanted side effects you could experience if you are taking it on a long term basis. After reading this list you can decide whether or not it would be worth looking at your diet and making changes to prevent such ailments naturally, instead of just masking the symptoms and ignoring our bodies warning signals.
• Bone pain
• Weakening of the bones and links to osteoporosis
• Decreased reflexes
• Dry mouth
• Irregular heartbeat
• Poor balance
• Shallow, rapid breathing
• Stupor (lack of alertness)
• Neurological disorders
Top tip for 2018
1. It’s essential to have a healthy digestive system to feel fully energised and experience optimum health!
2. Drink freshly made beverages from green vegetables daily, either juiced or in smoothies. This will heal the gut from the inside, replace all the enzymes and good bacteria and allow normal digestion to take place.
Enjoy the festive season, but remember to look after yourself too! Health is all that matters!