3 Ways to Combat Stomach Acid
Experiencing too much acid in the stomach – and not sure why? Understanding why your stomach is making too much acid will help you solve the problem and not just the symptom.
We explore the various causes and ways to regulate and treat excessive stomach acid. Read on, there is relief ahead.
How do stomach acid problems occur?
The body produces stomach acid as the final digestive response to food after food enters the stomach. Enzymes do most of the work digesting the food. Then, once mostly digested, the stomach releases acid to finish the digestive process before it passes into the small intestine. And this is an essential part of the body’s process, contrary to acid myths.
If food is not digested enough due to low digestive enzymes, the stomach will secrete more acid to get the job done. So when enzyme levels are low, or food is not chewed well, the stomach will produce more acid to digest the food.
Low enzyme levels = high acid levels
Too much acid leads to the protective mucous lining of the stomach walls being destroyed. This creates a very painful experience every time the stomach produces acid.
And taking antacids only alleviates the symptoms. They stop the production of acid or neutralise stomach acid, but allow for poorly digested food to pass into the small intestine. Because of this, the body cannot absorb nutrients from food. It also irritates the walls of the colon causing inflammation, diarrhoea and constipation.
This is where proactive gut wellness needs to happen.
3 ways to avoid an overproduction of stomach acid
Keep your digestion system in check by following these three steps for an effective, holistic approach.
Chew your food well
For softer foods, chew them about 5-10 times. For meat, crunchy vegetables and harder bites, chew and count up to 30. Don’t rush, pace yourself. Encourage children to be mindful of their bites. Help them by cutting up their meals as small as possible so they can feed themselves in manageable forkfuls.
Take an enzyme supplement
We know trying to balance gut health and wellness can be frustrating. To combat this, we highly recommend taking Digest-It tablets and for persistent cases of stomach acid symptoms, the Digestive Repair Bundle.
When taken before meals, Digest-It tablets ease bloating, flatulence, indigestion, acid reflux and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). This solution ensures that the food consumed is digested quickly, and properly. It bypasses indigestion from food that sits in the stomach for too long. Supplementing with Digest-It will reduce the need for the stomach to release large amounts of hydrochloric acid (HCL), in turn easing the symptoms of heartburn and reflux.
Eat foods rich in enzymes
Reinforce your diet with gut-conscious fruits like:
Our top fruit pick contains enzymes that help digest proteins (papain, chymopapain, glycyl endopeptidase, and glutamine acyltransferase).
Next, pineapples are high in the bromelain family of protein-digesting enzymes (peroxidase, acid phosphatase, cysteine proteinases, and proteolytic).
Also a popular choice, mangoes contain amylase enzymes that help break down complex carbohydrates into glucose and maltose, improving starch and protein digestion. Pro tip: This specific enzyme becomes more active as the mango ripens. Be sure to consume ripe mangoes!
When in doubt, grab a banana. Not only do they contain the natural digestive enzymes amylase and glucosidase that help break down complex starch into simple sugars to be easily absorbed, but are also an excellent source of fibre, that supports overall digestion and gut health. Plus, their high levels of potassium make it a quick fix for muscle cramps.
This fruit contains lipase, a digestive enzyme that breaks down dietary fat and ultimately assists the body in digesting high-fat foods. Avos fast-tracks your gut health by reducing bloating and flatulence, and even supports immune health. We recommend avos to those living with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Tiny but mighty, kiwis contain actinidin, a cysteine protease enzyme that assists in digesting proteins and increases the protein absorption rate in the small intestine. It also relieves bloating and constipation.
Packed with a punch, ginger contains the protein-digesting enzyme zingibain which has nausea-fighting properties. Ginger aids in getting the stomach to contract, altogether moving food faster through the digestive system.
Sweet and full of sweeter benefits, honey contains a wide range of digestive enzymes, including:
- Diastase (helps digest starch)
- Amylase (breaks down starch into sugars)
- Invertase (breaks down sucrose)
- Protease (breaks down protein into amino acids)
Also, be sure to try these fermented foods:
Hailing from eastern Europe, this yoghurt-like fermented drink contains lipase, protease, and lactase enzymes. It is rich in probiotics that improve overall gut health and may provide relief for lactose intolerance sufferers.
Germany has provided us with this beneficial shredded, fermented white cabbage. This salty and sour concoction is a top healthy source of natural digestive enzymes that contain lactic acid bacteria, which can alleviate most problematic digestive issues.
Coming from North and South Korea, this sour-spicy-umami fermented Korean side dish contains protease, lipase, and amylase (all formed during the fermentation process!). Together, they enhance the fermented vegetables' nutritional content.
Traced back to ancient China and Japan, this fermented soybean-based tangy and salty condiment is used in sauces, dressings, and soups. It contains several digestive enzymes, like lipases, proteases, amylases, and lactases. Used correctly, it can ease digestion and relieve irritable bowel disease symptoms.
Combine all three approaches to regulate your stomach acid for a sure routine for gut health success.