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Gastric reflux is a disorder that can become very annoying especially if recurrent. Among natural remedies there are several herbs, in addition to good living habits to be followed to decrease burns and inflammation, such as having proper nutrition. Gastric reflux, which is the rise of the stomach contents to the esophagus, can be treated with several natural remedies. In this piece, we will tell you all about them.
Acid reflux symptoms
The food we ingest comes to the stomach where the esophageal sphincter, a food passage valve, prevents acidic stomach juices from climbing upward to keep them digestive. The esophageal valve can only be opened in exceptional cases such as vomiting and haemorrhage. In the gastric reflux it may happen that this valve works badly, not tonic, allowing acidic gastric juice to surge back. Reflux symptoms are felt with irritation of the mucous membrane, burns in the stomach and throat, rhinitis, cough, nausea, erosion of the nail polish, wheezing, need to clear the voice and difficulty swallowing.
Stomach acidity can be due to many different factors, not just physical but also emotional. The burning sensation may vary in intensity and get up to the throat.
The acidity of the stomach manifests itself through several symptoms, more or less annoying. The first alarm bell is no doubt the stomach burning that in some cases can extend to the neck. However, caution should be exercised if the pain is felt 30 minutes after the meal (it may be gastric ulcer) or if they continue during the day even in the night (it may be a duodenal ulcer).
In other cases, the surge of gastric juice may give rise to gastroesophageal reflux (in these cases the burner intensifies when postural changes occur) and involve several other symptoms such as:
- Sore throat
- Erosion of the tooth enamel
- Upsurge of food
What causes acid reflux
Causes of stomach acidity are:
- Unhealthy lifestyle
- Bad eating habits
- Consequences of other pathologies
However, it is to be considered that the stomach is all the same with the emotional aspect, so ulcerations and wounds on the part of the stomach may also be due to a prolonged anxiety or intense stress.
Healthy habits against reflux
Rest and sleep can become a very difficult time for those who suffer from reflux, so a good habit is to sleep not completely horizontal but with a high pillow behind your back while maintaining a 30 degree angle. This precaution prevents the help of the severity of the force from preventing the rising of the stomach contents when we sleep. The best position is therefore to belly up or to the maximum on the left side.
Cigarette smoking is definitely an enemy of this disorder because it increases the irritation of the entire mucous membrane, cough and burns.
Physical activity always helps, because in overweight people gastric reflux is more frequent, and because blood is better oxygenated, improved strength and tone throughout the body and therefore also strengthened the digestive process.
Let us also remind you that physical activity should be performed away from meals, at least 2 hours after them, so as not to disturb the ongoing digestion.
Chewing on the food diligently is the fundamental exercise. Also avoiding physical activity immediately after meal is important.
Diagnosis gastroesophageal reflux disease
In medicine, ‘gastroesophageal reflux’ is the term indicating abnormal elevation in the esophagus of the stomach contents. When the phenomenon of gastroesophageal reflux has chronic cadence means that it is undergoing a known condition most as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
The content of the stomach has a typical acidic nature, which has irritating and detrimental effects on the inner surface of the esophagus and upper structures (e.g. larynx, pharynx, vocal cords, etc.). This explains why, on repeated gastro-oesophageal reflux phenomena, there are symptoms such as: stomach burns with retrosternal site, repeated acid regurgitation (especially after meals), sore throat, rhinitis, dysphagia, chest pain, pain during swallowing, hiccups, persistent cough, wheezing, dyspnoea and laryngospasm.
The complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease:
- Oesophageal ulcers
- Esophageal stenosis
- Barrett’s Esophagus
Generally, doctors formulate the diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease on the basis of simple objective examination and anamnesis.
The use of more specific examinations occurs only in certain circumstances, which are:
- When the typical symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease are persistent, severe and unusual;
- When prescribed medications, after an objective examination and a positive history, do not control the symptoms;
- When the medical practitioner is diagnosed, he / she feels that it is beneficial for a surgical operation;
- When the patient complains of symptoms that could also be brought to potentially more serious conditions of gastroesophageal reflux disease such as unexplained weight loss and difficulty swallowing;
- When the doctor who is formulating the diagnosis has doubts and wants to clarify them.
What are the in-depth examinations?
Among the in-depth tests that may serve to formulate a correct diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease, fall under:
- Esophagus-gastroduodenoscopy, more simply called gastroscopy;
- The radiological examination of the digestive system with a contrast agent for barium sulphate;
- The esophageal manometry;
- 24-hour oesophageal pH measurement or 24-hour pH-metering of the esophagus;
- Blood tests.
These examinations are useful not only because they allow to deepen the symptomatic picture but also because they exclude those conditions characterized by the same symptoms as gastroesophageal reflux disease. The diagnostic approach that is based on the exclusion of similar diseases takes the name of differential diagnosis. The objective examination and the history are two diagnostic evaluations that provide useful information about the symptoms (e.g., they lead to the finding of stomach burning with retrosternal site, acid regurgitates up to the throat, dysphagia, sore throat, Chest pain, pain during swallowing, etc.).
Esophagus-gastroduodenoscopy (or gastroscopy) is the endoscopy of the upper digestive tract; In other words, it is the diagnostic examination that allows visual exploration from within the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.
From the executive point of view, gastroscopy involves the use of a particular instrument, called endoscope, which the doctor gently introduces along the upper digestive tract of the patient through the mouth. Tubular and flexible, the endoscope is provided with a light source camera that, thanks to the connection to an external monitor, allows the visualization of the internal anatomy of the organs crossed. In practice, therefore, the endoscope is a probe that the physician inserts into the wrists to study their state of health.
When research on gastroesophageal reflux disease is underway, gastroscopy is essential for evaluating the health status of the internal oesophageal wall and for identifying symptoms of irritation typical of the esophagus in the juices Acid gastric; It also provides detailed images of cardias and offers an interesting opportunity to collect a sample of esophageal tissue to be subjected to subsequent laboratory analysis (biopsy). Thanks to an esophageal tissue biopsy, doctors can highlight an important complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease: Barrett’s esophagus. Among the in-depth tests of chronic gastroesophageal reflux, esophagus-gastroduodenoscopy is one of the most important and significant ones. Generally performed after the sedation of the patient, it is considered a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure.
Radiography of the digestive system with a contrast agent for barium sulphate. With particular reference to the first part of the digestive system, the radiographic examination with a contrast agent for barium sulfate is a useful test to evaluate the patient’s swallowing ability and identify any occlusions or anomalies along the esophagus-stomach tract. The execution of this particular radiological test involves the patient’s ingestion of a barium-sulfated drink-a contrast medium-and the observation, through X-ray images, of how barium sulphate is distributed Along the upper digestive tract. Barium sulphate has the property of being extremely white at X-rays: this is crucial for obtaining clear images rich in details.
Although painless, radiography of the digestive tract with contrast medium to barium sulphate is a mildly invasive diagnostic practice, as it provides patient exposure to a dose of harmful ionizing radiation to the human body.
Esophageal manometry. The esophageal manometry is an evaluation of the motility of the esophagus and the cardiac function, realized by measuring the pressure within the esophageal lumen. In other words, doctors measure the existing pressure within the esophagus to infer the function of the latter and the lower esophageal sphincter (another cardias name). From an executive perspective, esophageal manometry involves inserting a small tube with pressure sensors in the nose of the patient and conducting this tube up to the esophagus, that is, the location where the measurement is to take place pressor. Insertion in the nose of the tube for pressure measurement and subsequent conduction of the esophagus may be annoying or painful, therefore the esophageal manometry is considered to be a slightly invasive diagnostic test.
24-hour esophageal pH measurement. The 24-hour esophageal pH measurement is an examination of the acidity levels present at the esophagus throughout the day. For its execution, the physician employs a pH sensor, coupled to a catheter to be inserted into the nose and leading to the esophagus; such a sensor is connected to an external portable recording device. Applied around the patient’s waist or shoulder, the recording device serves to activate the pH sensor and to collect, in an internal memory, the measurements that this pH sensor performs. Activating the pH sensor through the recording device is the same patient whenever you experience the classic symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. After spending 24 hours on the diagnostic exam, the doctor withdraws the catheter from the nose of the patient and extracts the data on the pH of the esophageal pH collected by the recording device. During the day you are subjected to oesophageal pH measurement, the patient has to limit some activity, but it is good that you eat as usual; what you eat, in fact, plays a decisive role in the appearance of gastroesophageal reflux phenomena. The 24-hour esophageal pH measurement is almost as important as gastroscopy. Indeed, in some cases, it may be more exhaustive.
Blood tests. Blood tests allow you to find out if the patient suffers from anemia, a condition that can be the result of major internal bleeding, at the digestive system level. In the presence of gastroesophageal reflux disease, a state of anemia following internal hemorrhage may occur due to severe esophageal ulcers.
To determine the severity of gastroesophageal reflux disease in a patient, doctors resort to a measurement system known as the Johnson-DeMeester scoring system.
According to this measurement system, there are 4 levels of gravity which, from the least serious, are:
- Level 0 corresponds to the absence of gastric reflux phenomena.
- Level 1 refers to gastroesophageal reflux disease characterized by symptoms of minimal symptomaticity and quite rare in terms of frequency.
- Level 2 corresponds to a moderate form of gastroesophageal reflux disease, with frequent uplift phenomena.
- Level 3 is the most severe level of gastroesophageal reflux disease, with frequent lifts and interfere with normal daily activities.
Natural remedies for gastric reflux
A glass of fresh water and lemon juice in the early hours of the morning remains a good habit that preserves the right stomach acidity and allows for a proper digestive activity. Malva, altea and plantain are plants rich in mucilage with soothing and anti-inflammatory effect of the gastroesophageal and stomach mucosa.
At your local herbalist’s you can find malva in herbal form and we can prepare it by maceration in water that is left overnight in diving and then in the morning drink the liquid after it filtered, rich in mucilage that will create a protective film on the mucosa and help healing.
Aloe gel for internal use is refreshing, emollient and regenerating for the mucosa. Be careful, however, not to buy the most commonly used aloe juice for laxative purposes that are not necessarily your line of treatment.
Among natural remedies specific to heartburn and stomach pain, there are phytotherapies that can rebalance inflammation and improve digestive function. A prominent place in homemade therapy for this disturbance is held by licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), whose root has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, cicatrizating and mucosal proteins, and is therefore useful in virtually all gastro-oesophageal problems, including such serious disorders as ulcer.
Licorice is a proven anti-inflammatory drug for the stomach and esophagus mucosa due to its ability to produce more mucina, a useful and protective substance from gastric acid. Liquorice solves many cases of stomach ache and gastroesophageal reflux. The best liquorice formulations are tablets, capsules or tablets of dry extract titrated and standardized at least 4% in glycyrrhizin, the most important active ingredient in licorice. Those suffering from high blood pressure should, however, choose glycyrrhizin-free licorice root. The science behind this is that in subjects suffering from hypertension, deglyceryryinated preparations (or deglycerides, also referred to as DGL), which are free of glycyrrhizin, may be preferred, which may increase blood pressure. Daily taking of glycyrrhizin up to 0.5 milligram per pound of body is, however, perfectly safe even in hypertensive subjects. The efficacy of licorice is guaranteed by the presence of other active ingredients useful for the wellbeing of the stomach, such as flavonoids.
The active substances present in boswellia resin also help reduce the inflammation caused by gastroesophageal reflux. This Indian plant, highly appreciated by Ayurvedic tradition, stimulates repair of the gastric mucous membrane, without contraindications or significant side effects. We suggest opting for the most concentrated preparations, such as dry boswellia extract capsules, titrated and standardized in boswellic acids.
Artemisia is Is a plant with a bitter taste widely used for various disorders related to the digestive system.
The main properties of the artemisia are: cholagogic (promotes biliary secretion), eupeptic (facilitates digestion), emmenagogue (promotes and regulates menstrual flow), febrile and vermifuge. The drug is commonly recommended in case of: appendicitis, biliary secretion, digestion disorders, gastric antonia, nervous vomiting, intestinal parasitism, inflammation of the gastro-intestinal mucosa, amenorrhea, menstrual irregularities, prolonged dysentery. The plant is also used as a hepatoprotector.
Due to the presence of numerous active ingredients, which confer on phytocomplex eupeptic, coleretic, cologun, digestive, vermifuge, emmenagogue, artemisia is widely used in case of appendicitis in post-convalescence, dyspepsia, inflammation of the gastric mucosa, gastritis, gastric atonia and intestinal worms.
The herb can be used as a fluid extract or as an infusion or decoction. It is especially beneficial to consume the herbal tea about thirty minutes before meals in case of appetite; after meals in case of dyspeptic disorders. From artemisia, a strong liquor is derived from symptoms comparable to those of light drugs, due to certain specific essential oils present in the plant.
Essential oils for acid reflux
Essential oils are used to balance the psychic and emotional sphere and are also suitable for the treatment of stomach problems. Camomile essential oil, for example, is an excellent remedy for irritated stomachs and the same can be said of anise essential oil. Even essential lemon oil eliminates acidity and forms of gastric burning.
Hypericum (St. John’s Wort)
Hypericum is used in internal phytotherapy for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antidepressant, antiviral, soothing and healing properties. Hypericum is therefore used for internal use in the treatment of depression, dystonia, gastritis, and ulceration. For outdoor use, the hyperic is suitable for protecting the skin from sunlight, moisturizing dry skin, for fatty or devitalized hair, for sores, burns, ulcers and itching.
Plant parts used in phytotherapy are: flower buds consisting of flowers, leaves and trunk pieces (aerial parts). The active ingredients that characterize are flavonoids (hyperine, routine, quercetin, biflavones), naphthodiantrons (hypericine, pseudo-pericine, iso-peripine, proto-periperine), hyperforin, essential oil, tannins and procyanidines in small quantities.
In modern phytotherapy, hypericum is used in the form of dried extracts titrated, infused, decoiled, glycolic extract, oily extract and mother tincture. The usual recommended dosage regimens are: 2-4 grams of heroic per day per day or 0.2-1 mg of hypericin. For other forms of administration, 2-4 grams of drug in 150 ml of boiling water (infused), 5 grams of hypericum in 100 ml of boiling water (5% infused for external use), 10 grams of drug in 100 Ml of water (decoction), 300-900 mg of dry extract of naphtha per day, or 50 drops of herbal mother tincturetaken three times a day.
Passionflower is known for its calming and sedative properties, which is often used in the field of phytotherapy to cure diseases such as anxiety, depression, anxiety, nervousness and psychophysical stress. Its relaxant effect on the smooth muscles can be successfully employed for the relief of abdominal tension associated with
Take 1 tablespoon of dried flowers of passionflower and organic honey to sweeten. Boil water in a pan, pour dried flowers of passionflower in boiling water and leave off the infusion for 10 minutes. Filter the infusion before consuming it. Sweeten with two teaspoons of organic honey. Drink one cup a day before bedtime, in case of acid reflux and associated insomnia.
More than a relaxing grass, it is a natural remedy useful for gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux, abdominal pain, and tired eyes: the properties of the camomile that you may not yet know. Its fame is mainly related to the calming effects on the central nervous system. In fact the sedative activity of camomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is rather modest. More interesting than those are the anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic and soothing properties of camomile, explained by the active ingredients such as alpha-bisabolol, essential oil, flavonoids (especially apigenine) and polysaccharides.
Camomile expresses the most profound and decisive action on the esophagus, stomach and, in many ways, even the intestine. Its use is especially effective in such health conditions as gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux, ulcer and irritable bowel syndrome. The compounds present in camomile contrast the inflammation of the digestive mucosa and exert spasmolytic activity on the viscera. Camomile mitigates heartburn, acidity and other symptoms of gastritis and gastroesophageal reflux. The gastroprotective effects of this phytotherapy gland have also been documented in case of ulcer. However, it is important to choose common camomile and not Roman camomile (Chamaemelum nobile), which is instead contraindicated in the presence of acute gastritis, ulcer and other hypersecretive pathologies of the digestive tract.
Thanks to antispasmodic and analgesic properties, camomile also provides a good contribution to preventing and controlling various manifestations of colitis, including cramping pain, sometimes very intense, which can affect those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
Brew 3 ounces of dried common camomile preparation per approximately 8 ounces of boiled water. Let infuse for 15 minutes, filter and drink 1-3 times a day.
Larkspur root was used up to a few years ago, even in our country, as a popular remedy against gastritis and gastric ulcer, in relation to allantoin content.vHowever, since many studies have shown the presence of toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids, the use of the solid should be abandoned, or possibly reserved, only on prescription, external use as an anti-inflammatory, for short periods and on limited surfaces. Larkspur is a plant that is attributed to several properties, including anti-inflammatory, emollient, antiulcerogenic, vulnerable, astringent, anti-diarrheal, and healing. Anti-inflammatory and ciclosuring action are mainly due to the allantoin contained in the plant. The emollient activity is instead attributed to the presence of mucilage; while the astringent and anti-diarrheal properties are conferred to its tannin content. As mentioned, the consolidation was used internally as a remedy against gastritis, gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers. However, the internal use of the plant is highly discouraged due to the pyrrolizidine alkaloids contained therein. In fact, these molecules are endowed with hepatotoxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic and mutagenic properties.
Acid reflux diet
Good eating habits:
- Portion-controlled meals to facilitate and speed up digestion;
- Simple meals with minimally prepared dishes (proper food combinations);
- Avoid fast food and highly processed foods;
- Chew very well the foods and for a long time;
- After meals do not sleep at least for a few hours;
- Avoid acidifying foods
The foods to avoid in acid reflux
The foods to avoid
As for the last point, acidifying foods usually create more difficulty when gastric reflux is present. Here belong alcohol and coffee which are to be eliminated for at least a period of time sufficient to reduce or eliminate the disorder. Foods such as tomatoes, dairy products, white sugar, citrus fruits, chocolate and others acidify the body or can lead to reflux for their internal acid pH.
Fatty foods, spices and of course all fried foods must also be under control: these foods, which are more difficult to digest, remain in the stomach for longer, increasing the risk of reflux; Moreover, their complexity of ingredients can lead to a worsening of the symptoms themselves.
Foods that help acid reflux
However, they are excellent food aid, such as calcium-rich almonds, which are extremely alkaline, able to bring back the most basic pH. The same function of alkalinizing is possessed by whole vegetables and fruits. Among cereals, semi-integral rice is a great helper to fight inflammation and irritation of the mucous membranes.
Another ally in your fight against acid reflux is apple cider vinegar that has the right acidity to allow it to buffer and rebalance the pH of the body. It is recommended to purchase apple vinegar from organic farming, to be eaten in small sips diluted in water during meals, or taken every morning in the dose of one or two tablespoons in a little warm water to start the day.
Vegetables seem to never be too much and there are some specifics that help the stomach: thus, fennel naturally restores the well being of the stomach. But to restore the state of health, the rule that is to be observed at the table is simple: common sense. No butter or excessive oil, fried foods, sausages or too many dairy products.
Manuka honey has great effects in the event of heartburn and acidity in the stomach.
It is also useful to supplement feeding with herbal teas that help soothe the various stomach disorders and facilitate digestion (see above for the recipes).
Gastroesophageal reflux in newborns
In most cases, infant gastroesophageal reflux evolves spontaneously towards healing that usually occurs when transferring to a solid feeding and the baby begins to sit more or more upright.
Why is the phenomenon so frequent? The main reasons are as follows: because of infant feeding, which is exclusively liquid; because the baby has almost always been in a lying position; because the cardias is not yet fully formed. Cardias is a valve that connects the stomach to the esophagus and has the task of preventing the rise of gastric contents.
Do not thin the feeders in the belief that they have given too much milk to the baby. Breast milk should be offered ‘on request’, not at regular intervals. If we stretch the times more than necessary, the baby is likely to get hungry at the feeding time, consequently, overeat and provoke vomiting. On the contrary, it is advisable that the meals are more frequent so that the child takes less milk at a time.
It is also important to attach the baby properly to the breast because incorrect suction can favor reflux. And what if the baby is lactating with formula? In this case, your pediatrician may recommend a thickened milk, but do not take this measure on your own.
Practical advice on acid reflux in infants
- Keep the child as far as possible in a vertical position, then in the arm or in the carrier, rather than lying in the cradle.
- When the baby is lying down, make sure that the head is slightly raised in relation to the body. Prams usually have a mechanism that increases the height of the side on which the baby’s head rest. In any case, the baby must be put to sleep on the back, to avoid the risk of SIDS, that is sudden death in the cradle, and therefore should never be put with the belly down.
- Avoid any stressful situation for the baby as much as possible and keep it for a long time in close contact with the body.
- Check often the weight of the baby; if he or she loses weight or does not gain enough, consult your pediatrician. Also address the pediatrician in all cases where the child shows signs of suffering.
- Do not administer medication to the child, unless it is the pediatrician who prescribes them.
Alleviating sore throat caused by acid reflux
Sore throats are not all the same: reflux, then, does not look like a cold o a similar illness, but are the accompanying symptoms of the original causes that affect the stomach. Let’s see how to cure it with proper nutrition and lifestyle.
There are no resolving therapies of this pathology: gastroesophageal reflux can become chronic. That is why it is crucial to make that proverbial stitch in time and maintain a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Aloe vera gel works very well as a soothing agent for the throat inflamed due to reflux will go very well aloe vera gel, but surely it is good to go back to the causes to treat it properly.
Nutrition is the first method of treatment: it is absolutely necessary to avoid spicy foods, coffee, chocolate, alcohol and super-alcohol, tomatoes and citrus fruits, very seasoned and fried foods (for which digestion requires a greater amount of acid hydrochloric); the spirits are to be abolished.
You should prefer unprocessed foods, drink plenty of water to dilute the acids, eat little and often, to buffer the excess of gastric acid.
The lifestyle, too, can be improved, with some small adjustments:
- Slim down if you are overweight and maintain weight shape.
- Do regular physical exercise but not too intense, especially after meals.
- Avoid wearing tight belts and tight suits.
- Do not eat abundant meals and eat slowly.
- Stop smoking.
- Do not sleep or lie down after eating: wait for at least two hours.
- Sleep with your head and torso a little higher than your body.
Adopt the good habit of walking at the end of the meal: walking facilitates the digestion process and avoids uncomfortable and contracted positions that can increase reflux.
As for medicines, you should contact your physician who will first have to determine if this is a passenger phenomenon that can only be corrected with a better lifestyle, or if it is a chronic condition requiring a real pharmacological care. In the second case, the most commonly used drugs are the so-called proton pump inhibitors that block the secretion mechanism of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Other complementary supplements include: stomach emptying drugs (procinetics) and mucous membrane proteins (magdalised).
Consult your doctor in the presence of alarm symptoms: digestive hemorrhage, chest pain or respiratory disturbances, nighttime disturbances, unjustified weight loss.
Cough is one of the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux; In that case, in order to combat it, it is primarily necessary to solve the root problem.
Natural remedies for reflux cough
Below there are some natural remedies that help to fight esophageal reflux and, consequently, reflux coughs.
Avoid smoking cigarettes. If you are a smker, this is the first remedy of the list. Smoking, in fact not only increases the irritation of the gastric mucosa but is also, in itself, one of the major causes of coughing.
Here, again, it is important to sleep in the right position, i.e. with a high pillow behind your back so keep an angle of about 30 degrees. This prevents gastric uplift during rest and subsequent coughing. Generally, however, this is a position that also helps in case of cough due to other causes.
As described above in the case of alleviating gastric reflux sore throat symptom, you should not sleep or rest in a lying position immediately after meals, but wait at least two or three hours.
Follow a proper diet. In the case of gastroesophageal reflux, it is important to pay attention to what you eat and how you eat it. The ideal would be to divide the consumption of food into five light meals so as not to weigh the gastrointestinal tract, and chew very well. All foods that are very fat and / or too elaborate should be avoided; sweets and other foods rich in simple sugars; fries and spices should not be too piquant. It is also advisable to limit the consumption of alcohol and chocolate in those who facilitate reflux. Coffee, lemons, oranges and tomato juice because they irritate the esophageal mucosa. There are, on the contrary, foods to be preferred: seasonal vegetables, mostly whole grains and semi-integral cereals, dried fruits, especially almonds with good alkalizing qualities.