Bellingham Athletic Club

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Issues with Acid or Digestion

Do you keep a packet of Pepto-Bismol in your bag or Tums by the bed? Do you experience bloating or excess fullness after eating? Heartburn or acid reflux? If you said yes to any of these, then 1) you’re not alone, and 2) there are a number of ways to feel better without chemicals or other harsh medications!

You may be surprised to learn that heartburn and other acid problems are actually a result of LOW stomach acid and not excess! Stomach acid is necessary not only to break down food in the stomach but to allow food to move from the stomach to the rest of the digestive system. When you have low acid, food stays in the stomach for too long and eventually begins to rot. It’s gross, but it’s true! Low stomach acid production can result from a number of issues, but stress, eating too quickly or while distracted, and poor diet are a few common examples.

Here are a few natural remedies that may help reduce or soothe indigestion and heartburn:

Raw, fermented apple cider vinegar (ACV) with the mother: Add a teaspoon or two to a glass of water and drink before a meal. The acidity of the vinegar stimulates natural acid production in your stomach. I recommend ACV to my clients who experience indigestion as well.

Fresh lemon juice: Add a squeeze of lemon to your water (hot or cold) between meals. Similarly to vinegar, the acidity in the lemon helps with acid production and digestion.

Raw, fermented sauerkraut or vegetables: Add as much sauerkraut or other raw, fermented vegetables to your meals as you like. The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast from the fermentation are great for your gut and can help ease digestion.

Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness as you prepare or wait for your meal as well as while you eat. Mindfulness is the practice of being in the present moment. When you are present with your meal and eliminate distractions and stress, you actually stimulate the digestion process — acid production included! Take a deep breath before you enjoy that first bite. Notice the smell, colors, textures, flavors, and any sounds. Try putting your utensils or food down between bites.

Of course there are many other ways to remedy issues with acid or digestion; however, these are some great tricks to help get you feeling better.

Shelby O’Hagan, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP)
Rebel Yum Nutrition