Acidity keeping you awake? Heartburn stress?

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

If you suffer from recurrent acidity, you may have been tempted to follow your grandmother's advice of drinking cold milk to subdue it. Although the remedy provides temporary relief, cold milk ends up increasing the state of acidity in the system and, therefore, can never really cure the condition.

Whenever we want to get rid of a problem, we need to understand and remove its cause first. Our stomach secretes hydrochloric acid in order to digest proteins. It follows that a high protein diet requires the stomach to secrete more acid. When we consume high proteins, especially animal proteins, we intuitively desire acid as a way of assisting the stomach to digest it. For example, you're most likely to order a glass of cola with a burger. Cola is pure acid and aids in the digestion of the burger (but either of these and the combination can result in symptoms of acidity). When you order a steak, you're likely to ask for wine as well. Again, an acidic combo!

Alternatively, if we eat foods that are designed for our species, namely fruits and vegetables, we are less likely to be attracted to acid yielding foods such as tea, coffee, colas and alcohol, and consequently suffer less from acidic refluxes. So, to get rid of acidity, try a whole plant-based diet for just a few days and see the difference.

Bottom line, most of our ailments today are man-made. And, making simple lifestyle changes is all it requires to eliminate any if not all of our internal imbalances.



Rohit (59) and Meenakshi (53) had quite a few health issues including acidity. After attending the ‘Reversing Diabetes and Hypertension’ seminar in Dubai, both committed themselves to a journey towards good health. A year later, they joined our June 2018 Health Retreat in SwaSwara, Gokarna. In just 21 days, their intake of medicines was considerably reduced. A month later, Meenakshi is completely medicine-free, while Rohit takes only a minimal dose. With relief writ on their faces, both look forward to every day with wholesome zest and infectious smile.

Herbal Infusions

Tea and coffee mixed with milk and sugar can so easily be replaced with home-made herbal teas. Check out this infusion and use your creativity and imagination to come up with several other combinations — all from Mother Nature's offerings. 


  • Mint leaves

  • Grated ginger

  • Crushed whole pepper

  • Lemon grass


Boil water. Set aside and add the ingredients to be infused. Take enough of each to extract the right amount of flavour. The quantity of ingredients can vary according to taste. Cover and wait for five minutes. Strain and serve. This concoction can be made in a large quantity and preserved in the fridge for three or four days to have it handy when needed.

Pause to Ponder


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3. SHARAN's Plant Powered Health This is the new group only for the past attendees of SHARAN's events: seminars, cooking classes, retreats or longer programs.

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All about Acidity

Acid reflux is a common phenomenon these days. In almost every session that we conduct, we always find people suffering from acidity. Heartburn leading to high levels of discomfort and lack of sleep is what troubles; however, the beauty is that with very simple changes, one can actually be free of acidity.

So what is acidity? At the entrance to your stomach is a valve called LES, which closes as soon as food passes through it. However, if this doesn't close fully or opens too often, the acid produced by the stomach moves up the esophagus, causing acidity. 

Read on for some simple steps that will free you from an acid reflux:

1. Go Plant Based

Products that come from animals – meat and dairy – cause acidity. Meat is the hardest food for the stomach to digest, while milk creates excessive secretion of acid. Going plant based opens your world to an incredible variety of foods to indulge in and savour, with no fear of a reflux.

2. Have Herbal Teas

Tea and coffee grow in acidic soils. Caffeine also leads to an increased secretion of gastric acid, not to mention the milk and sugar that goes along!

3. Indulge in Nature's Sugars

Refined white sugars, coupled with preservatives in processed foods create an acidic environment. Opt for fruits and dry fruits to combat your sugar cravings. And, of course, avoid packaged foods.

4. Check your Drinks

Carbonated drinks increase the pressure levels in our stomach causing acid reflux. Alcohol not only increases the gastric acid but dehydrates you too. Thirsty? Have a smoothie or even a glass of water or a freshly squeezed lemonade instead!  

5. Bake instead of Fry 

Fried foods and those foods high in trans-fats wreak havoc on the digestive system. These foods are heavy and slow down the digestive process. Also, fried foods get stuck for a longer time in the digestive tract leading to extra pressure on the system.

6. Go Easy on Fibre

If you are not used to having whole foods, then a sudden high fibre intake can cause acidity, so go slow initially. Great to have fibre, but it takes time for the body to get used to it.

7. Mindful Eating 

Eat only till you are 3/4th full, chew your food thoroughly and have smaller meals.

8. Daily Exercise

This does wonders for the digestive system.

9. Go Medicine Free

Antibiotics, steroids cause acidity. A whole plant based diet can help you get medicine-free.

10. Stress Free

Stress and lack of sleep are also connected with acidity. Work on your mental health. Everyone goes through stressful situations. However, the option of whether to take on the stress or leave it alone is entirely your choice.

This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Associate Reyna K Rupani, who is based in Mumbai. She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health & Weight Loss program and also conducts health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more. Find out how she has benefited in so many ways by going on a whole plant-based diet here.

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a non-profit organisation with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.

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