Do you feel bloated, fatigued, or irritable? Do you suffer from gas, heartburn, diarrhea, arthritis or constipation? Do you have acne, allergies, weak fingernails, or dry skin? If so, you may not be producing enough stomach acid. The majority of Americans do not take the time to sit down long enough to chew their food thoroughly.
Stomach acid breaks food proteins into essential acids and nutrients. It stimulates your pancreas to produce bile to emulsify your fats. It prevents disease and illness by killing pathogenic bacteria before it enters the rest of your intestinal tract. Stomach acid is absolutely necessary for optimal health, yet the multi-billion dollar antacid industry continues to devastate the health of the American population.
When you do not produce enough stomach acid, proteins are not digested, raising cortisol and blood sugar levels. Over time, high cortisol levels can exhaust your adrenals (fight or flight organs), causing fatigue. Undigested proteins can leak out of the intestines and are attacked by the body’s immune system, leading to auto-immune responses like arthritis, food allergies, and skin conditions. When there is not enough stomach acid to digest food, it will not be released into the small intestine in a timely manner. Instead, proteins putrefy in the stomach, causing gas, leading to reflux, and GI damage. When we cannot properly absorb the vitamins and minerals our bodies crave and need, we have to eat more food causing weight gain, obesity, and diabetes.
Any amount of acid going back up the esophagus is painful. So when people experience heartburn, and indigestion, they often take antacids, suppressing the very stomach acid they need to properly digest their food. Antacids are temporary relief, but over time, they worsen the cause of reflux, and cause all the problems mentioned in this article. If you cannot digest your food, you will become sick and malnourished!
There are several easy ways to improve your digestion. Taking the time to dine in a calm atmosphere will allow you to properly start the digestive process by salivating, and breaking down your carbohydrates. Chew each mouthful 30 times, or until it becomes liquid. Remember – Your stomach does not have teeth! Drinking water with a lemon or non-filtered apple cider vinegar ½ hour before each meal helps promote stomach acid production. Help build good gut-flora by eating whole plain yogurt or cultured vegetables like fermented sauerkraut and pickles. Reduce or eliminate sugar, as it depletes mineral stores and causes immune-suppressing yeast overgrowth. Avoid antacids and soft drinks that inhibit stomach acid production. Eliminate processed foods, and eat whole, nutritious, foods the human body has evolved to eat. If you are still seeing undigested food in your stool, you can purchase supplemental hydrochloric acid from your local nutrition center.
For more information, I recommend reading “Why Stomach Acid is Good For You” by Jonathan Wright.
Be well ☮