Build the acid - lose the fat ; feel alive again.
Ever feel full after eating small portions of foods you use to binge?
Do you suffer from bloating/gas/abdominal discomfort after consuming food?
Do you struggle to rid yourself of constipation or diarrhea?
Maybe you have some stubborn acne you'd like to squeeze out of your life, or perhaps there's an imbalance of energy output/input you have throughout the day?
Have you tried everything, and nothing seems to improve your athletic performance and recovery time?
** If so this will be an helpful article for you!
SO, what is it?
Hypochlorhydria, or underactive stomach, is becoming more common in North America us as individuals due to the foods we eat and the combination we eat them in. Our stomach is a large part of our defense against bacteria, toxins, parasites, and other pathogens that we ingest. Ensuring a healthy stomach and digestion will help you to live a happy and energetic lifestyle!
Those who have a high-stress lifestyle, eat on-the-go frequently, those who are known to "swallow their food" or just eat very quickly, the ones who consume several coffees in a single day or other caffeine containing substances, and those who consume high animal protein in a single sitting, all are prone to an underactive stomach. In addition, long-term use of antacids will create an imbalance of blood pH in the stomach and overtime will cause an exhaustion of partiel cells, reducing HCl, hydrochloric acid, production and result in hypochlorhydria. Without sufficient HCl in our stomachs, we cannot successfully breakdown the foods we eat, thus leading to undigested proteins in our digestive tract that become absorbed, triggering immune responses that are similar to food allergies and create inflammation in the body including acne build up. Serious illness' that can arise from insufficient HCl and faulty digestion are dysglycemia, dysbiosis, obesity, malnutritious, liver dysfunction, over burdened pancreas, toxic surplus in intestines leading to IBS, Candidiasis, and more... Treat your stomach right and the rest of your body will essentially re-balance itself or at least start to, re-enabling our self-healing abilities.
SO, what can we do?
1. Lifestyle Recommendations : All is not lost if you live a high-stress lifestyle, especially if that stress is induced by your career. Things you can do to help prevent hypochlorhydria ;
- Exercise regularly and frequently
- Avoid exposure to nicotine
- Practice stress management techniques (Yoga, Meditation, Nature walks, Hiking)
- Eat only when relaxed, avoid eating when stressed, chew sufficiently and eat slower. (Enzymes are released in our saliva when we're chewing to help breakdown food - Digestion begins within the mouth!)
- Avoid watching TV or playing video games while eating, or other distracting/stimulating activities when eating. The Digestive process is inefficient when our bodies are in sympathetic nervous system mode, and instead our blood is rushed away from the digestive system, where it is needed.
2. Diet Recommendations :
- Avoid stimulants ; caffeine, coffee, black tea, sugars, refined/processed foods, carbonated beverages, and artificial sugars/flavoring.
- Reduce heavy consumption of animal meat and dairy foods
- Try a Digestive Tonic ; 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon, pinch of cayenne pepper, turmeric and ginger mixed into boiled water - This tonic focus' on aiding stomach function and stimulating bile production as well as has an anti-inflammatory component to reduce any stress/inflammation that was afflicted.
- Avoid drinking water with meals, drink filtered water in-between meals
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals
- Incorporate bitters into raw food meals/snacks (Chamomile, chicory, peppermint, angelica, yarrow and goldenseal), will help to stimulate gastic juices and bile secretion.
- Eat a wholefoods diet ; Organic, non-GMO foods will contain live enzymes that help to digest and breakdown foods and are a higher quality nutrient profile than commercial foods.
3. Supplement Recommendations :
- Betaine HCl (take with food ; until a warm sensation or abdominal discomfort, do not exceed 7 capsules. The abdominal warmth signifies that the acid is too much. If warmth is felt, decrease the intake by 1 capsule and maintain this dosage for that size meal and tailor it to other sized meals. As stomach function improves, the warmth will reappear at the doses, indicating a reduction in serving size).
- L-Glutamine to help heal stomach lining (best taken on empty stomach before bed)
- Zinc ; production of HCl depends on Zinc and Sodium
- Iron ; production of enzymes in energy production and metabolism
- Magnesium ; relaxes tissues and organs that are over burdened
- Essential Fatty Acids ; healthy oils to help lubricate digestive pathways, joints, and so on. Omega 3s anti-inflammatory
4. Benefits to an 'Optimized Digestion' :
- Improved digestion and elimination of foods, resulting in increased absorption of foods and their nutrients
- Smoother elimination process, reduced/removed bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation, and a more promising environment for microflora to flourish
- Stress-free digestion, reduced inflammation, improved energy and performance
- Deeper more restful sleep
- Improved immune function
Links to some other useful digestive system supplements :