Dark chocolate is becoming extremely popular because it is packed with nutrients such as iron, selenium, copper, potassium, zinc, fiber, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Due to these properties it has become the first choice whenever we feel like eating something sweet especially in situations when you are anxious, frustrated, and depressed. Also people that are obese and have diabetes always eat dark chocolate because it isn’t as harmful as other regular chocolates.
Dark chocolate seems to be the best solution in all situations, but in fact it isn’t as beneficial as people tend to think especially in one situation/condition.
In case of acid reflux or heartburn and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition that actually causes pain in the chest, sore throat, stomach pain, and gives you a sensation in the throat. This condition could be very uncomfortable and stressful, and in fact your daily activities could be affected by it.
Acid reflux is caused by excess of stomach acid or it is caused by reduced amount of stomach acid. Also it could be caused by weak lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and obstruction of the upper bowels.
Weak LES could be caused by the following:
- Fish oil
- Citrus fruits
- Medications and hormonal treatments
In fact, the chocolate is the one that actually reduces the LES pressure, and this condition is known as “Chocolate-Induced Reflux”. The LES is actually a muscle that binds the esophagus to the stomach and it opens in order to allow the food and drinks to move through the stomach. Also it closes in order to prevent their return.
In case of weak LES it could lead to free flow of food and drinks back and forth which causes irritation. On the other hand, the LES could be weak due to weakened intestine obstruction or small intestinal bowel overgrowth (SIBO).
Also if you leave it untreated, the acid reflux could cause serious damage to the mucosal membrane which might lead to cancer and ulcers. Due to these reasons you need to make sure that you are chewing the food well, and avoid foods that are considered as triggers.
People that experience mild signs of acid reflux decode to ignore it without actually checking the amount of stomach acid. In fact, you could do the test on your own by using apple cider vinegar.
Here is how to test:
- You will need to swallow 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- If you feel any burning sensation you should know that the level of stomach acid is low, and in order to overcome the issue you should gradually increase the consumption by adding 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar on daily basis until you get to 6 tablespoons.
- If you don’t feel any symptoms you should know that the stomach acid level is normal, but make sure that you are decreasing the dose on daily basis.
- In case you are experiencing extreme burning and irritation you are most probably experiencing excess stomach acid.
It is best to consult your doctor in order to do the proper tests.
Low stomach acid and steps to follow:
- Make sure that you chew the food properly
- It is recommended after your meals to take digestive enzymes
- Consume more papaya and pineapple because they contain bromelain and papain enzymes
- Keep taking 1-6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar if you don’t feel any burning or irritation
- Regularly massage the abdominal area in order to relieve any gastric secretions
- Remember that you need to breathe properly when you eat, and make sure that you take 3 deep breaths before the meal because the nose is the first step of digestion which stimulates the saliva
- Reduce stress by regularly exercising
High stomach acid, and steps to follow:
- Make sure that you are consuming 1-2 teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate mixed with water
- After your meals avoid lying down and falling asleep
- Make sure that you lose weight especially if you are overweight
- Massage the abdominal and upper body in order to relieve any gastric pressure
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water on daily basis
- Avoid consuming foods that are acidic, and avoid carbonated beverages
- If you are under stress make sure that you manage it by exercising, reading book, swimming etc.
- When you go to sleep it is important to keep the head a bit lifted
In case you have noticed bleeding through the mouth or stool, or you feel unexplained pain make sure that you visit your doctor. In case of use of acid suppressing pharmaceuticals and you decide to use alternative make sure that you visit Naturopathic doctor before you change it.
Remember that you should never take certain medications on your own.