Acid reflux is a disease wherein the acid and food content in the stomach passes back through the oesophagus.
This condition can lead to heartburn and other symptoms.
The actual mechanism which lies behind such condition is that when food is swallowed, it passes through the oesophagus and then enters the stomach.
A set of muscle fibres (lower oesophageal sphincter) are involved in closing the path and blocking the passage of acid and food back into the stomach.
If these fibers don’t close well, the food and acid are refluxed through the oesophagus . The major symptom of acid reflux includes heartburn which is caused due to the touching of gastric acid with the lining of oesophagus, although few patients diagnosed with acid reflux did not show any symptoms of heart burn.
Some other common symptoms include nausea, bloating, regurgitation, vomiting, sore throat, dry cough etc.
Its complications can lead to swallowing difficulties, painful chest and respiratory problems.
The risk factors for acid reflux include smoking, obesity, pregnancy, or medications for asthmatics etc.
Acid reflux can affect sleep and lack of sleep can aggravate the condition of acid reflux, a study indicates.
Evidence-based data suggests that every month at least 44% of adult U.S population experiences acid reflux symptoms.
This could largely be associated with lifestyle, dietary changes, and several other food allergies.
Chia seeds for acid reflux
Many risk factors have been identified for causing acid reflux, some of them include smoking, eating allergic food (gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.), improper digestion, etc.
Wearing tight clothes, pregnancy, and obesity can also cause acid reflux as the pressure which is exerted on the stomach can ease up the back flow of acidic content from stomach to oesophagus .
So, how can chia seeds help us? Here are the ways -
Controlling obesity: Improper motions or irregular elimination of fat from the body may lead to fat accumulation in the body.
Slow bowel issues may be caused due to low fibre, dehydration problems, inadequate beneficial flora (prebiotics), etc.
The high dietary fibre content adds a boon for the people suffering from constipation or digestion related problems. Chia is high in soluble fibre, providing 27.6 grams of fibre for every 100grams of seed.
Fibre provides roughage and bulk and helps in easier elimination of wastes from the body.
Soluble fibres act as probiotics (which are the food for prebiotics (beneficial microorganisms in our gut).
Moreover, chia seeds can absorb water equal to 12 times its own weight and essential fats rich in omega3, this combined effect helps in rendering proper hydration and lubrication to our intestinal system and also helps in removing excess acid.
Due to its swelling properties, it occupies a good volume in our stomach, and the person ends up in eating lesser potion of food and the person feels fuller for a longer period of time which ultimately aids in the goal of weight loss.
Rich source of vitamins and minerals: If the body lacks in vitamins and minerals, there is a significant reduction in energy levels, due to which the person ends up eating more carbohydrate-rich food in need of energy, which finally adds to the fat content of the body.
Chia seeds are a rich source of ‘healthy’ energy as it supplies a well good amount of vitaminsB1, B3 and minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, etc.
According to the USDA (2001), Brown (2003), and the Instituto Nacional de Alimentos (2003), chia contains 6 times more calcium, 11 times more phosphorus, and 4.6 times more potassium than milk.
Generally, omega 3 fats help in maintaining metabolism and curbs unhealthy food cravings. Our body can produce Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid (EPA &DHA) from alpha-linolenic acid which, in turn, helps in weight loss.
Gluten free: Acid reflux can be caused due to gluten intolerance. Chia seed is a rich source of protein and mineral offers ideal gluten-free ingredient that can be included in your diet.
Omega 3 content: Acid reflux can cause inflammation of the lining of oesophagus (oesophagitis). Chia seeds are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties due to their high omega 3 fat content.
Possible side effects of chia seeds
- The high content of omega 3 fat: Omega-3 fats are known for thinning of blood; which although helps in the condition of atherosclerosis, but it is not at all suitable if you are taking anticoagulants or just have undergone a surgery. This is applicable also for haemophiliacs because high omega-3- fat intake during such a stage can increase the possibility of reduction of clotting time and an increase in bleeding.
- Allergic: People who showed allergic responses to sesame or mustard seeds have also shown similar symptoms such as watery eyes, diarrhoea, skin eruptions, etc. on ingestion of chia seeds.
- Pregnancy and lactation: Intake of chia seeds should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation, as not much research has been done in this field.
- hia seeds may cause bloating due to high fibre content: Bacteria breaks down food in large intestine and soluble fibers in chia seeds are known to increase the tendency of bloating.
Despite its drawbacks, chia seeds are a good source of diet for many patients suffering from acid reflux especially when it is consumed in the right amounts.