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Why You Should Kick Start Your Stomach Acid?

By Natalie Brady, Holistic Nutritionist

Your stomach acid, Hydrochloric Acid (HCL), is a very powerful digestive agent, and much more important than you realise.

Some important functions of HCL include:

  • Protein digestion, this being in your stomach. Your stomach produces pepsin to break down protein into essential amino acids which is needed for optimal health.
  • Preventing disease by killing pathogenic bacteria and yeast which could be present in food.
  • Stimulating your pancreas and small intestines to produce digestive enzymes and bile necessary to further breakdown carbohydrates, proteins and fats you ingest.

As we age, stomach acid tends to decrease. A poor diet alongside unhealthy lifestyle choices can also lead to decreased stomach acid resulting in digestive and immune problem. Low stomach acid can cause people to become protein malnourished as well as being malnourished in certain minerals.

Symptoms of low stomach acid include:

  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation, bloating, flatulence and belching
  • Undigested food in stools
  • Acne
  • Rectal itching
  • Chronic candida
  • Multiple food allergies
  • Mineral deficiency
  • Iron deficiency
  • Digestive and immune problems
  • Weak, cracked fingernails

4 key ways to increase your stomach acid are:

1. Upon waking squeeze ½ lemon into warm water. Add a splash of raw apple cider vinegar if you’re up for an extra kick!

2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar into warm water 15-30 minutes before each main meal.

3. Eat a small amount of fermented food with every meal – kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, miso.

4. Reduce sugar and processed foods from your diet.