Stomach problems are common and include a number of serious conditions, such as gastritis, ulcers, and gastric polyps, which are usually chronic and cannot be cured quickly. Many people suffer for decades. The symptoms include pain and discomfort, belching and burping after eating, acid reflux, and vomiting. According to Chinese medicine, stomach problems should be treated 30 percent by medicine and 70 percent by good preventative care. Care of the stomach is based on good daily habits including the following:
1. Maintain a good emotional state
Do not let your emotions harm your stomach. Negative emotions can have a negative impact on the absorption and digestion of food. Many people do not think that bad moods have any impact on our health. Actually, being anxious on a long-term basis might negatively influence the gastric functions. Those who are anxious often think about problems while eating. For these people, it is important to learn to “switch off” or to practice being mindful and present so they can eat in peace.
2. Avoid overeating
Many people eat until they feel stuffed, which really hurts the stomach. According to Chinese medicine, if food fills up all available space in the stomach, it cannot function normally. Some people go off for a nap after eating. This is even more harmful, because the food stays in the stomach causing bloating and discomfort.
3. Chew food slowly
Food that is fully chewed in the mouth and digested in the stomach can provide nourishment to the spleen and the stomach. On the other hand, when food is wolfed down, it can only stuff the stomach and harm it by being a burden on your system.
4. Do not drink soup that is too hot
Soup can nourish the stomach, but drinking soup that is very hot, especially in cold seasons, may hurt the digestive tract and stomach lining. It would be better to wait until the soup has cooled for it to be beneficial to one’s health, not detrimental.
5. Avoid spicy food
Spicy food usually stimulates the stomach and brings discomfort. Don’t eat food considered “cold” in Chinese medicine, such as watermelon, seafood, or icy cold food. For those who have a sensitive stomach, spicy or cold foods frequently cause an upset stomach.
6. Eat foods that are brightly colored
Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber. This nourishes the stomach and helps digestion. However, those who easily develop esophageal reflux should refrain from eating them. Cabbage is a rich source of vitamins and minerals and can promote secretion of gastric fluids and protect the stomach lining. According to a Chinese home prescription, a cup of cabbage juice daily for 3-7 days may help heal ulcers. Also, pumpkins are rich in pectin and carbohydrates that can protect the stomach lining and keep the stomach healthy.
7. Stay away from problem foods
Those who have a sensitive stomach should make a note of how their bodies react to certain foods. They should stay away from problem foods, such as those that are hard, cold, chilly, sour, spicy, have sauces, or are greasy and fried.
8. Move or massage the toes frequently
Those with a sensitive stomach can move or massage the toes frequently to promote blood circulation. Extend and draw back the toes or turn them around while one is sitting, standing or sleeping. Over the long term it can gradually boost gastric functions.
Translated by Audrey