Optimal Digestion: The Importance of Adequate Stomach Acid

Healthy Digestion

Optimal Digestion: The Importance of Adequate Stomach Acid

Spring has sprung early here in Texas and the Blue Bonnets are already in bloom.

Seriously though, spring is a great time to take stock of your wellbeing, refresh where needed and bloom!  We can’t do that without our unsung hero “Adequate Stomach Acid”

What we consume is important and there is a lot of debate about what is best for each one of us.  I think it depends on the person and what works for one does not work for another.  That is where personalized support from an expert is helpful.  It can be confusing however, what is equally important, is what we digest and absorb.

Optimal digestion starts in the brain, triggering the body to release enzymes and HCL into  the stomach. We need to be in Rest and Digest (Parasympathetic Mode) for this to happen optimally.

Eating in a state of stress, and on the go, rather than in a relaxed state shuts down the release of enzymes and HCL, which then causes a cascade of GI problems and nutrient deficiencies. 

Stress and low stomach acid is one of the top issues I see in clinic. Even with those who are taking a bunch of supplements (except digestive enzymes and HCL ) and eating healthy and are still having struggles with energy conversion, less than glowy skin, labs that indicate nutrients deficiencies like Vita D as an example and digestive issues.

Optimal Digestion: The Importance of  Adequate Stomach Acid

In the intricate dance of digestion, one often overlooked player takes center stage: stomach acid. This unsung hero plays a crucial role in breaking down food, ensuring the nutrients we consume are efficiently absorbed by our bodies. Adequate stomach acid levels are the cornerstone of optimal digestion, yet many are unaware of its significance.

Stomach acid, primarily composed of hydrochloric acid (HCl), serves as nature’s digestive powerhouse. It kickstarts the breakdown of proteins into amino acids, facilitates the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals like B12, calcium, and iron, and acts as a frontline defense against harmful pathogens present in our food.

However, modern lifestyles, stress, poor dietary choices, H’ Pylori infections and age can all contribute to decreased stomach acid production, leading to digestive discomfort and nutrient deficiencies. Symptoms like bloating, gas, burping, acid reflux, nausea, IBS, Constipation and nutrient malabsorption may indicate insufficient stomach acid.

Optimal Digestion: The Importance of  Adequate Stomach Acid

Some simple habit shifts that you can do to improve digestion.

  • It means sitting for a minute and allowing your mind and body to connect before you eat.
  • It means chewing your food and being present with the smell and taste of each bite.
  • Not rushing out the door, grabbing a protein bar as a last resort “lunch”. Or waiting until you are shaky to eat something.
  • Not driving or eating in the car, balancing your ( Insert meal here) on the steering wheel in between red lights.
  • Not scrolling social media or absorbing the latest roundup of news stories so you can catch two birds with one stone.
  • I know, it sounds a little revolutionary these days—sitting down to eat? Without any devices? Who has the time? Who has the attention span?

We have to make time in the moment because when we don’t consistently eat in a relaxed state, we encourage poor digestion, and nutrient deficiencies in our bodies.

We have talked about mindful eating habits, here are some other natural suggestions:

  • Consuming fermented foods 3-4 times a week.
  • Targeted Supplement support like Zypan,Digest Forte (a favorite) Enzycore, Enzymix Pro, GI Ultra Max. Click to order.
  • Don’t eat too much at once and overload the system
  • Eat foods that are found in nature that the body can easily breakdown into necessary nutrients
  • Take a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar before each meal.
  • Stop taking PPI or Tums and fix the root cause of the problem which is too little acid to digest food. That can lead to slow gastric emptying and fermentation of the food you just consumed.
  • If you have decided to add extra protein to your diet then you need to break it down, otherwise it will feel like a brick in your stomach and cause downstream issues.

Optimal Digestion: The Importance of  Adequate Stomach Acid

Understanding the importance of stomach acid sheds light on the foundation of overall wellness. By prioritizing the support of this vital component, we pave the way for improved digestion, nutrient absorption, and ultimately, a healthier, more vibrant life.

Let’s give credit where it’s due and honor the unsung hero within us: adequate stomach acid.

Have a healthy week and as always I am here to support your wellbeing journey. BOOK HERE.

Dr Pia