Stomach acid 101

Did you know that when we eat a meal which contains protein, our body sends a hormonal signal to the stomach to start releasing a highly acidic solution in order to chemically digest our meal?

The acidity content of our stomach acid is so high, that if it was exposed on to your skin, it would burn you.

Fortunately, our gastrointestinal system is considered external to us (a tube which starts at the mouth and extends all the way to our butthole).

Additionally, our body is so high tech, that it is programmed to change the environmental pH of each individual segment of our gastrointestinal tract according to function.

The stomach is where the bulk of chemical and mechanical breakdown of food occurs.

In order for our stomachs to produce stomach acid in sufficient amounts, we have to have good iron, zinc and vitamin b12 levels in our cells.

When we have a deficiency in these nutrients, our cells aren’t going to be sending a loud enough signal to be able to kick start the stomach acid production & release processes.

We also need to have a good amount of protein intake, because the enzymes needed to break down food are made from protein.

So guess what?

If you’re avoiding animal products, not supplementing nor pairing your foods strategically to get complete proteins (individual amino acids are not complete proteins), you’re most likely deficient in vitamin b12, iron, zinc and protein.

No wonder you have a terrible time digesting proteins!

There are many other factors which can negatively affect stomach acid levels:

-active gut infection
-regular consumption of sugar & alcohol
-smoking
-overeating
-fatigue
-stress
-old age

If you fall into the low stomach acid category, here’s what you can do to help:

-keep your meals small.

-chew each bite a minimum of 15 times.

-have a portion of ginger, rocket, chicory, mustard seeds, citrus, any cruciferous foods and/or tomatoes with your meals.

-avoid large volumes of liquid with food, small sips are ok.

-use apple cider vinegar in your meals, or drink 1-2tbsps in a small cup of warm water 20 mins before meals. If you react to ACV, opt for lemon juice + warm water instead.

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