In the last decade, dark chocolate has become extremely popular, due to the fact that it is rich in iron, potassium, selenium, copper, fiber, zinc magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.
The dark chocolate became the choice number one whenever we felt like craving for something sweet when we felt depressed, anxious, frustrated, high blood pressure in the case of obesity and diabetes or high cholesterol.
And it seems that dark chocolate was perfect for almost every situation! Almost, as it is not beneficial in the case of one condition.
Acid reflux can be caused by weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES), excess stomach acid, as well as reduced amounts of stomach acid in the body, and obstruction of the upper bowels.
Acid reflux, or heartburn and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), is a condition which leads to pain in the chest, a stomach, sore throat, burning sensation in the throat, and even mouth. It can be very stressful and uncomfortable, and the pain can ruin important dinners and evenings.
The LES can be weakened by the following foods:
- Fish oil (dietary and supplementary)
- Certain medications (ie. SSRI, hormonal treatments)
- Citrus fruits and juices (lemon, lime, orange, etc.)
Condition known as “Chocolate-Induced Reflux”
Namely, chocolate has been found to reduce the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure. The LES is the muscle which binds the esophagus to the stomach, and it opens in order to allow the drinks and food to go into the stomach and closes in order to prevent their return.
It leaves the drinks and food to return back if it is weakened and lead to irritation. It can also be weakened due to an intestine obstruction or even small intestinal bowel overgrowth (SIBO).
Therefore, you should always chew your food well, eat in a relaxed state, and do not consume trigger foods. If left untreated, acid reflux can lead to a damage of the mucosal membrane, as well as cancer and ulcers.
There is a test you can perform, and you will need only one thing- apple cider vinegar. If the signs of an acid reflux are mild, you would probably not go to check the state at the doctor, and examine whether the reason is too much or too low stomach acid.
This is how to perform it:
First swallow a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- In case you feel extreme burning and irritation after the consumption of the first tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, then you are suffering from hyperchlorhydria (excess stomach acid). Note that you should consult your doctor and do the needed tests in order to make sure that the burning pain is not a symptom of a peptic ulcer or a heart condition.
High Stomach Acid
In the case of a high stomach acid, you should follow these steps:
- Eat a few hours before going to sleep
- You should not lie down immediately after meals
- Consume smaller meals and foods, like smoothies, which are easy to digest
- Lose weight and exercise regularly
- In order to relieve the gastric pressure and stress, regularly perform an abdominal and upper body massage
- Make sure you sleep more and your head should be a bit lifted
- Every day, add 1-2 teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate in a full glass of water
- You should take acid suppression pharmaceutical agents (antacid calcium carbonate, Proton pump inhibitor H2-receptor antagonist, etc)
- Drink plenty of water
- When you eat, take 3 deep breaths before meals
- Manage stress by reading books, meditation, exercise, swimming, gratitude.
- Avoid carbonated beverages and food triggers (caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, pineapple, papaya, spicy food, tomatoes), do not consume acidic foods (vinegar, meat, citrus fruits), and smoking for 1 week, and then again assess the intensity of discomfort.
This condition can be mixed with lung conditions, musculoskeletal issues, peptic ulcers and serious heart conditions.
Therefore, if you have noticed chronic discomfort, or unexplained pain, bleeding through the mouth or stool, you should immediately visit your doctor.
Moreover, if you have been using acid suppressing pharmaceuticals for some time now and you would like to try some other natural alternative.
Yet, you should never quit or start using certain medications on your won.
- In the case you experience no symptoms, you should maintain that dose and every day decrease it by one tablespoon unless you experience a burning sensation.
- In the case you feel no burning sensation, the reason is hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid). In this case, you should increase the levels by subsequently adding 1 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily until you reach 6 tablespoons or a slight burning sensation occurs.
In Case of Low Stomach Acid, you should follow these steps:
- After big meals, make sure you take digestive enzymes
- Always chew the food well
- Massage the abdominal area to stimulate gastric secretions
- Continue dosing 1 – 6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily in the case you do not feel any burning
- You should increase the intake of pineapple and papaya due to the natural bromelain and papain enzymes
- When you eat, take 3 deep breaths before the meal and smell your food, as the nose is the first step I digestion and it stimulates the secretion of saliva in the mouth and digestive enzyme release from the pancreas
- Deal with stress by meditation, deep breathing techniques, exercising, and walks in nature.