Ever wondered why some people get affected by stomach bugs more than others? It might be exposure to the germs that cause us to get ill, or it could be down to the ability of the body to fight off infection.
Our stomach acid is one of the first lines of defence against pathogenic microbes that we take into the body with our food. There are four simple tips below you can start today to get better stomach acid.
There is a huge number of people on Proton Pump Inhibitors which block stomach acid, and this has an impact on other systems in the body. If we can’t get the right kind of nutrients out of our food there is a knock on impact on other body processes.
- Digests proteins – Stomach acid activates an enzyme which starts the digestion of proteins called pepsin. If it doesn’t get digested properly it can leave you feeling heavy and full, as well as fermenting in the intestines.
- Helps digestion – the acid activates secretin which turns on other digestive enzymes. Enzymes are like small chisels that break apart food into smaller molecules.
- Activates digestive hormones like cholecystokinin which helps with fat digestion by stimulating bile
- Kills bacteria on our food – Our gut microbes and our immune system have to work extra hard to keep us safe if there are more pathogenic microbes entering into the body.
How do you know if you have low stomach acid?
You may get symptoms of low stomach acid like heartburn, nausea, feeling like your food sits in your stomach for a long time. Also, IBS type symptoms like constipation, diarrhoea, and bloating are linked to low stomach acid. If you frequently see undigested food in stools or have bad breath it’s worth considering how strong your digestive power is. Digestive enzymes and the stomach acid work together to break down our food.
Tips to improve your stomach acid
- Eat slowly, chewing your food properly at every meal. Take your time over every mouthful
- Drink Apple Cider Vinegar in a small amount of warm water before meals to boost your stomach acid
- Take digestive enzymes to help breakdown protein, fats and carbohydrates
- Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits to get all the necessary nutrients
Let me know if you want any help with your digestion – I see nutrition clients for 1:1 nutrition coaching and I’m a qualified Nutritional Therapist.
I'm Anna Mapson, a registered Nutritional Therapist (DipCNM, BANT, CNHC) and creator of the 7 Day Gut Reset online package for gut health improvements. I bring you snippets of useful nutrition and health research as I find them.
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