Lycopene-Rich Fruits for Good Health

Prevent Cancer With Lycopene-Rich Fruits

Fight Cancer With Papaya(121112)
Credit: TenaciousR's Photostream

Nutritional Remedies For Acid Reflux Disease

Aloe Vera Is a Time-Tested Remedy for GERD

Acid reflux disease is a poorly managed common digestive disorder.  One reason for the poor management of this disorder is that the causes are not adequately understood.  The traditional approach for managing this disorder is to neutralize the  stomach acid or reduce acid secretion.  This approach is weak because it can turn acid reflux disease into a chronic condition instead of banishing or getting rid of it.  Additionally, this conventional approach often exposes the sufferers to numerous other adverse health conditions.  A better strategy for controlling and banishing acid reflux disease is to address the problem of poor food digestion which is a primary cause of the disease.

 Traditional Treatment of Acid Reflux Disease

 The traditional therapeutic measures for managing acid reflux disease is to  diminish the effects of stomach acid.  This is achieved by neutralizing the acid with anti-acids such as tums and by inhibiting acid secretion with proton pump inhibitors.  Some of the well-know proton pump inhibitors include:

 l  nexium

l  prevacid 

l  prilosec

l   protonix

l  aciplex

 Another conventional approach for controlling acid reflux is avoidance  of acidic foods and foods that promote acid secretion.  Many healthy foods like the tomatoes (an anti-cancer fruit) onions (a phytonutrient-rich disease fighter) and orange (a vitamin C-rich food that strengthens the immune system) are avoided.  Food avoidance approach is weak because the patient ends up avoiding many healthy foods.  Avoidance of healthy foods can weaken the immune system and numerous other systems in the body. 

 Causes of Acid Reflux Disease

 The basic cause of acid reflux disease is poor food digestion.  The specific mechanism(s) for this poor digestion have not been properly defined. Some people suggest that poor food digestion is due to  diminished release of important digestive enzymes such as pepsin, and some see acid reflux disease as a reflection of insufficient secretion of acid into the stomach.  Stomach acid  (hydrochloric acid)  plays an important role in activating some digestive enzymes so that they can work better for proper food digestion.

 Another suggested cause of acid reflux disease is incompetency of the gastroesophageal sphincter. The gastroesophageal sphincter is a muscular valve that controls the movement of food from the esophagus to the stomach.  If this sphincter remains closed after your stomach has been filled with food, then acid reflux would not occur.  On the other hand, acid reflux would occur if this sphincter stays open or partially open.

 Stomach acid plays an important role in food digestion and in the proper  functioning of the body.  Measures that neutralize stomach acid or minimize its secretion are weak approaches for banishing acid reflux disease.   Strategies that improve food digestion or support the proper functioning of the gastroesophageal sphincter are better.  In this article, attention is focused mainly  on  food digestion as the proper target for controlling this digestive disorder. 

 Adverse Effects of Lowering Stomach Acidity

 Acid secretion  in the stomach is a normal physiological process that supports your body's normal functions.  The beneficial effects of the secreted acid  range from support of food digestion to the destruction of ingested harmful microorganisms and parasites. This role of stomach acid on digestion is very important in acid reflux condition because stomach acid is also necessary for the absorption (improved bioavailability) of  important nutrients  such as calcium, folic acid (vitamin B9),  and cyanocobalamin  (vitamin B12).  The adverse effect of impaired nutrient uptake due to low stomach acid includes:

 l  loss of minerals such as  magnesium iron and calcium

l  osteoporosis

l  impairment of mental alertness and other cognitive functions

l  lethargy, tiredness and weakness

l  more prone to infections from food-borne pathogens

 The adverse effects of acid reflux can be exacerbated by approaches that diminish stomach acidity or interfere with nutrient absorption.  These adverse effects can be avoided or minimized by approaches that improve digestion without significantly lowering stomach acidity.  In this regard, papaya, pineapple and aloe vera are highly regarded edibles that provide effective nutritional remedies for acid reflux disease.

 Banish Acid Reflux Disease With Papaya

 Papaya is an important fruit for preventing and controlling  gastrointestinal esophageal acid reflux disease (GERD).  GERD is a group of gastrointestinal disorders that are characterized by problems with stomach acidity.  These gastrointestinal disorders include heart burn, acid reflux and erosive esophagitis. Papaya controls GERD primarily through the enzymatic action of papain, the papaya enzyme which supports and improves food digestion.

 Apart from improving  food digestion, papaya is a nutrient-rich food with numerous health benefits.  These remarkable health benefits put papaya in the same super fruit ranking as guava.  Among the health benefits of papaya is its anticancer effect, an effect that is mediated largely by lycopene, a carotenoid antioxidant phytonutrient.

 Banish Acid Reflux Disease With Pineapple

 Pineapple is an acidic  fruit that is effective for preventing acid reflux disease.  The pineapple enzyme, bromolin, is the primary factor that aids in food digestion.  The acidity of pineapple also helps with food digestion by supporting the activation of some digestive enzymes, such as pepsin.

 If acid reflux disease  occurs because the body does not produce enough acid to activate the digestive enzymes then pineapple would be very supportive of digestion because it will  improve the  environment for  activating the digestive enzymes.  On the other hand, if ulceration or acid-induced injury to the gastroesophageal tract has occurred, then the  acidity of the pineapple may aggravate the acid reflux  problem.  Consequently,  pineapple has a limited beneficial effect for managing GERD  compared to papaya.

 Banish Acid Reflux Disease With Aloe Vera

 Aloe vera is a herb with a long history of usage for treating gastrointestinal problems,  skin diseases and numerous other ailments. Aloe vera has two primary effects that help to relieve GERD.  It helps to heal acid-induced ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract, and it aids in food digestion.  Unlike papaya and pineapple, aloe vera may have a neutralizing effect on stomach acid.

 The medicinal value of aloe vera was recognized over 2,000 years ago. Its role for healing gastrointestinal problems, wounds, burns and various skin problems were well-recognized.   In Ancient Greece, Hippocrates (460 –377 BC )   routinely used aloe vera to treat  patients with various gastrointestinal problems.  In ancient Egypt the Egyptian Queen and a legendary beauty, Cleopatra (69 – 30 BC), included aloe vera in her  cosmetic arsenal for maintaining  beauty and healthy skin.

 Better Approaches for Better Results

 Ulceration can become a serious concern with  acid reflux disease, and measures to control such  adverse effects  should be taken, albeit, as a secondary concern.  One good approach for controlling acid damage or potential damage is to include deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)  in your diet.  DGL stimulates the production of gastric mucus that lines and protects the digestive tract from acid damage and ulceration.  However, primary attention should be focused on improving  digestion,  the  primary cause of acid reflux disease. 

 Measures for improving digestion can range from consumption of prebiotic foods like pistachio to consumption of papayas. When the nutritional basis for this problem is tackled, you can banish acid reflux disease and prevent it from becoming a chronic condition.  Best remedies are remedies that banish a disease or condition without subjecting the individual to chronic drug therapy.


Control GERD Nutritionally

Heal Acid-Induced Damages With Aloe Vera

Prevent Acid Reflux With Aloe Vera
Credit: - tjmwatson's photostream