8 Natural Ways to Increase low Stomach Acid
Updated: Dec 14, 2022
Low stomach acid is where digestive dysfunction truly begins.
Even if you’re not producing enough digestive enzymes or have some other aspect of digestive trouble, you should look at whether or not you need to increase your stomach acid. This is because enzymes rely on stomach acid to turn them on or be activated. Without stomach acid, enzymes remain dormant and inactive no matter what.
Stomach acid (HCL)’s job is to break down proteins into the essential amino acids that keep your brain’s neurotransmitters (and thus your mood) balanced. HCL stimulates your pancreas and small intestines to produce the digestive enzymes and bile necessary to further breakdown the carbohydrates, proteins and fats you eat. Finally, HCL’s last job is to prevent disease by killing pathogenic bacteria, parasites, and yeast normally present in food. The low stomach acid epidemic in the West is part of the reason why pathogens like parasites and candida are very common. Basically many of us have lost our stomach’s first defense against them.
Possible Symptoms of low stomach acid are : bloating, candida Albicans overgrowth, chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, nausea after eating or taking supplements, burping/flatulence after meals, food allergies, hair loss in women, heartburn, weak/cracked fingernails, acne, iron deficiency, mineral deficiencies, undigested food in stool, diarrhea or constipation. You may have one or several of these symptoms, and they may rotate during different periods of your life.
However, there are a few steps you can follow to help increase stomach acid levels on your own.
1.Chew your food
A simple but overlooked tip tip is to thoroughly chew your food. take smaller bites to stimulate digestive enzymes. Digestion begins in your mouth. Racing through your meals or NOT eating MINDFUL or being upset and stressed can affect how your body digests your food and can stop the production of HCL.
2. Limit processed foods
A balanced diet rich in whole fruits and vegetables can also increase your stomach acid levels. Processed foods and sugars can cause inflammation in your stomach, decrease acid activity, and trigger acid reflux symptoms.
Consider limiting alcohol intake for added benefits.
3. Drink apple cider vinegar before or with meals
Apple cider vinegar is one of the natural remedies you can try to begin balancing the pH in your stomach. ACV is a great remedy as the low pH matches what the stomach would be if you had adequate HCL levels. This acidic environment gives your body a chance to break down your protein, absorb your minerals, and build up the nutrient stores you need to naturally make HCL in the first place.
4.Drink celery juice in the morning or lemon ginger shots before meals.
Drink 8-16 oz. fresh celery juice on an empty stomach (important) as soon as you wake up. Celery contains unique sodium compositions, and these mineral salts are bonded with many bioactive trace minerals and nutrients.
Ginger: widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties,
essential for reducing inflammation from low stomach acid. Also recognized as an alternative treatment for acid reflux and other gastrointestinal disorders.
5. Consume Manuka honey
Manuka honey is a specific type of honey out of New Zealand, and this honey has antimicrobial properties. People can develop SIBO symptoms — that’s small intestinal bacterial overgrowth — when they have low stomach acid due to the growth of pathogens.
Low stomach acid over time leads to no defense against these bugs which causes the problem to get worse and the cycle continues. Manuka honey can help naturally treat conditions like SIBO. Just take a teaspoon a day or a teaspoon twice a day.
You can use it to sweeten lemonade (or the apple cider vinegar/ginger lemon drink I just mentioned! It can actually help in healing stomach ulcer symptoms, and it’s also great for low stomach acid.
6. Add fermented vegetables to your meals
Eat unpasteurized, unheated sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables like kimchi. Fermented vegetables help to raise stomach acid if it’s too low, (and can even lower stomach acid if it is too high in the case of ulcers!) Eating 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sauerkraut with meals is very helpful to the digestive system.
7. Sip warm water throughout the day instead of cold drinks
Never drink ice water with meals as it inhibits production of stomach acid and slows down digestion. If you would like a drink with your meal, try adding warm ginger tea, which increases the production of HCL. You can also drink dandelion root tea to increase production of HCL.
8.Use a high quality HCL supplement that also contains digestive enzymes
Another way to boost HCL is to take a hydrochloric acid supplement with your meals.
The goal is to restore the body’s ability to produce its own HCL, but until this occurs, taking an HCL supplement will help you get so many more nutrients out of your food (and as I said, can replace other supplements that you’re taking because you’re nutrient deficient in the first place).
Treating low stomach acid depends on the underlying cause. You may have been prescribed with antacid medication but it is beneficial to know low stomach acid is a common trigger for poor digestive activity and many of your symptoms. Simply because in the absence of enough hydrochloric acid, food and nutrients can’t be broken down, they sit in the stomach and cause bacteria to build up.
What to do next…
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Optional Links to more posts:
How to balance your blood sugar levels