6 February, 2019
One of the common problems of aging is indigestion; it is a known fact that as we age, the gut health does take a toll. Heavy meals, overeating, greasy or spicy food, late meals, etc., are likely to have much more of an effect on the stomach, as compared to when young. Indigestion can be felt in many ways like stomach ache, bloating, discomfort, gastric issues or passing gas, heartburn, fullness in the stomach, belching, etc.
While the symptoms may also be due to certain other issues, it is common that these could be related to indigestion. The usual temptation is to reach out to some over the counter kind of medicines like Gelusil, Eno, or some tablets. While these may be effective in relieving the symptoms, it is good to avoid the causes like overeating, or eating spicy or greasy food, etc., especially in the evenings. Also, taking over the counter medicines on a day to day basis may not be good as well. There are natural ways to counter indigestion so that you don’t end up with more problems.
Staying hydrated will not just help you avoid indigestion, but can also help you ease the issues caused due to it. Water helps in digestion and thus helps prevent the indigestion issues. Also, it is better to avoid lying down when having indigestion, as the acid in the stomach travels back, causing more heartburn and reflux issues.
Ginger is an excellent home remedy for digestion issues. One may wash, chew it and swallow the juice, which can help a lot in easing the problems and aid in the digestion. However, if one is not used to that, you can also boil ginger in a cup of water and drink ginger tea. It is said that ginger contains certain compounds called as gingerols and shogaols that can help in speeding up the digestion through stomach contractions.
Drinking a glass of lime or lemon juice, with a pinch of baking soda can help relieve the indigestion symptoms and ease the digestion. The acid and nutrients in the lemon juice will help absorption and also will reduce the gas in the stomach. It will neutralize the bile acids, and thus people start feeling better.
Cumin is an ancient Indian cure for gas and indigestion; the grandma’s remedy that has been passed on for generations, in the household. One of the reasons why Indian cuisine uses these spices like cumin and ginger is to ensure that the digestive issues are taken care of. One of the best ways of using cumin to cure indigestion is to dry roast a handful of it, and then boil it in a cup of water and reduce it to half and consume. This ‘jeera kashayam’ or ‘kada’ is highly effective in relieving indigestion issues. You could also try mixing a pinch of jeera powder in a glass of buttermilk and consuming it. If a pinch of Hing or asafoetida is also added to this, it makes for a powerful drink aiding in digestion. If nothing, you could even just chew a few jeera seeds, and even that can help in relieving the symptoms.
Most Indians, especially down South where the coconut is available in abundance is used to having coconut water for aiding hydration and indigestion issues. When people are down with dehydration, they are advised to have coconut water for quick relief. It contains nutrients like potassium and magnesium and these are good at relieving issues like muscle cramps, and pain and also aid in the digestion of the food. This can be consumed on and off through the day, without any side effects.
It is not known to many that another spice that we often use in cooking, cinnamon is a good home remedy for indigestion. This spice contains a few antioxidants that can help in reducing gas, indigestion, bloating, heartburn, stomach irritation, cramps, belching, etc. They could add a pinch of cinnamon powder to their meals, or try a regular cinnamon tea, just like the ginger tea mentioned above.
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