The term ‘dyspepsia’ is used for indigestion in the medical parlance. Those experiencing the discomforts of this condition, often refer to it as an upset stomach. The condition is caused due to various factors, however, it is basically related to the eating and drinking habits of a person. Eating rapidly, excessive eating, consuming spicy foods, consuming caffeine, alcohol, fizzy drinks, chocolates, etc. disproportionately or excessively, excessive smoking, and consumption of alcohol are the major causes for this condition. The other possible causes would include infection (bacterial infection), gastritis, and peptic ulcers. In dyspepsia, the person experiences pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen. This problem of constant indigestion is caused when the stomach acid comes in contact with the mucosa or the protective and sensitive lining of the digestive system. The stomach acid tends to break down the lining and causes inflammation and irritation, triggering the indigestion symptoms. When the pain and discomfort remains for a longer duration it’s called chronic disorder and it’s referred as functional dyspepsia. Before prescribing any medications, the affected person is advised to follow a dyspepsia diet. This diet mainly involves bringing dietary changes along with minor changes in the lifestyle.
Functional dyspepsia diet is also called non-ulcer dyspepsia diet. This diet is similar to the peptic ulcer diet where the main focus remains on consuming foods that are light and easily digestible.
Foods to Consume
Stage 1 – The first few days (2-3 days) of the diet requires the person to remain on a vegetable and fruit juice diet. In this initial stage, fresh fruit juice or vegetable juice should be consumed every two hours. The vegetable juice can be diluted with water, if the concentration seems to be too thick. Frequent intake of warm water is also suggested in this stage.
Stage 2 – After being on the liquid diet for a couple of days, one should shift to an all-fruit diet for 3-4 days. All-fruit diet involves eating fresh and juicy fruits such as oranges, apples, pears, etc. Avoid tinned fruits as the nutritional value is far less than that of the fresh fruits. Consume any of the fresh fruits three times a day.
Stage 3 – In the third stage, one may shift to the diet that can be called the normal diet or a well-balanced diet. This stage involves eating three proper meals in a day. Take a look at what those three meals include:
- Breakfast – Breakfast should consist of a glass of unsweetened milk. If one likes to sweeten the milk, add some honey instead of sugar. Other than milk eat some fresh fruit.
- Lunch – The middle meal of the day should consist of two-three whole wheat tortillas, a portion of steamed vegetables, and a bowl of yogurt or a glass of buttermilk.
- Dinner – The last meal of the day should consist of bean sprouts, vegetable salad with no dressing or only with lemon juice dressing, a small portion of cottage cheese, and a glass of buttermilk.
Besides these three proper meals of the day, one can have a glass of coconut water or carrot juice in the evening. As bedtime snack, an apple or a glass of milk is also permitted.
Foods to Avoid
The foods that one should avoid include spicy foods, pickles, vinegar, refined foods, potato, pulses, cheese, rice, tinned foods, highly seasoned meat, and rice. Mustard, pepper, and other such condiments should also be avoided. Besides these foods, the intake of strong tea, coffee, tobacco, and alcohol should also be completely avoided for the aforementioned diet to be effective in treating the condition.
As one may have observed, it is all about eating light and easily digestible food. However, one must also make other lifestyle-related changes that include following an exercise regimen and refraining from smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol. Furthermore, one also should try to get sufficient sleep of least 7-8 hours. Maintaining good digestive health is the key to treating this condition.