It seems that for the past few years dark chocolate has been the queen of healthy junk good. Well, if we take into consideration its potassium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, iron, and magnesium content, this makes sense. People turn dark chocolate is numerous situations and in case of different health issues: Let`s take a glimpse at some of them:
Suffering from obesity, diabetes and cravings? CHOCOLATE!
Stressed out at work, home, or on the road? CHOCOLATE!
PMS pains got you grumpy and frustrated? CHOCOLATE!
Feigning for something sweet, but you’re on a diet? CHOCOLATE!
Have a heart condition, high cholesterol or high blood pressure? CHOCOLATE!
Still, there is one condition when instead of improving your condition, chocolate makes you even more sick. We are talking about acid reflux, a condition which causes a burning sensation to the stomach, throat, and the mouth as well as sore throat and chest pain.
Contrary to popular belief, acid reflux is not always a cause of too much stomach acid. In certain instances, it may be caused by too little stomach acid, weak lower esophageal sphincter ( LES), or obstruction of the upper bowels.
FOODS THAT CAN WEAKEN THE LES
- Fish oil (dietary and supplementary)
- Citrus fruits and juices (orange, lemon, lime, etc.)
- Some medications like hormonal treatments and SSRI
It has been scientifically shown that chocolate is associated to a decrease in lower esophageal sphincter pressure and this condition is called ‘Chocolate-Induced Reflux’.
Just for the record, LES is the muscle which connects the esophagus and the stomach, opening to allow food and drinks into the stomach whilst closing to stop stomach acid from coming up.
Weak LES can be quite troublesome, as it allows the food and enzymes in the stomach to flow back and cause irritation. High pressure in the stomach caused by intestinal bowel overgrowth or small intestine obstruction may weaken the LES.
Acid reflux shouldn’t be neglected as it may potentially lead to ulcers and cancers, due to the fact that it causes damage to the mucosal membrane. Therefore, you need to avoid trigger foods and chew food thoroughly!
TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE STOMACH ACID?
Apple Cider Vinegar Test
– Swallow a teaspoon of raw ACV
– In case you don’t experience burning or sensation, it is very likely that you have low stomach acid and need to boost your stomach acid levels by adding a tablespoon of ACV daily until you get to six tablespoons daily or until a burning sensation arises
– In case of no visible symptoms, maintain the dose per day and reduce by tablespoon a day
– Experiencing extreme burning sensation with only a tablespoons of ACV indicates that you have excess stomach acid
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE LOW STOMACH ACID?
- If no burning sensation arises, continue dosing one to six teaspoon of ACV daily
- Take digestive enzymes after heavier meals
- Chew food more thoroughly
- Add more papaya and pineapple into your daily diet for their papain and bromelain content
- Abdominal massage to encourage gastric secretions
- Stress management: meditation, deep breathing
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE HIGH STOMACH ACID?
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid acidic foods like citrus fruits and spicy foods (pineapple, papaya, chocolate, tomatoes, alcohol, caffeine)
- Eat smaller meals
- Sleep more
- Weight loss, moderate exercise
- Don’t lie down right after eating
- Stress management: meditation, deep breathing, gratitude
- Start dosing 1-2 tsp of sodium bicarbinate (aka. baking soda) in a full glass of water daily
Heartburn is often mistaken for musculoskeletal issues, peptic ulcers, and serious lung and heart conditions. In case you have been experiencing heartburn and chronic discomfort, bleeding from the stool or mouth, or cannot find the underlying cause of your condition, seek medical attention.