Health Tip #38

health-tip-38

Contrary to popular belief, most of us with digestive issues, including heart burn and GERD, are suffering from too little stomach acid, rather than too much.  Many factors can contribute to having too little stomach acid including: eating too quickly and under stress, a diet too high in processed carbs and sugars which upsets the gut’s microbial balance and eating foods that we are sensitive to, such as gluten, which can cause an inflammatory response.  Some medications also reduce our natural stomach acid.

Besides removing the factors that cause reduced stomach acid,  one thing that we can do to improve digestion is to add in a hydrochloric acid (HCl) and digestive enzyme supplement.  We can test how much HCl supplement we need by adding one HCl capsule each meal time.  By increasing the number of capsules by one, each meal time, we can take note of any reactions we feel.  When a slight burning sensation is felt in the upper gastric area, we know our supplementation is having an effect and it’s time to cut back.  At this point, we reduce the dosage to that which we were taking prior to the burning sensation.

The HCl acid supplement we choose should also include digestive enzymes, particularly pepsin.  If the stomach acid is low, it will not be producing enough protein digesting enzymes either.

A caveat to this advice comes from  Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac as he warns:

Note: HCL should never be taken (and this test should not be performed) by anyone who is also using any kind of anti-inflammatory medication such as corticosteroids (e.g. predisone), aspirin, Indocin, ibuprofen (e.g. Motrin, Advil, etc.) or other NSAIDS. These drugs can damage the GI lining that supplementary HCL might aggravate, increasing the risk of gastric bleeding or ulcer.

Health Tip #15

health-tip-15

I don’t necessarily mean you have to go raw vegan like I was a couple of years ago.  Just add a few more raw foods into your diet. Some experts say that at least half of your diet should be eaten raw.   Some favorite raw foods  you will already be quite familiar with include fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh salads, fresh salsa, guacamole, raw nuts and seeds,  fresh juices, smoothies, kale chips and energy bites.  By increasing  the amount of raw foods in your diet you are increasing the amount of nutrients you get from these foods as many nutrients are destroyed by cooking.  Not only nutrients are destroyed by cooking but also vital enzymes that are needed for certain reactions in your body.  And finally by eating fresh raw foods you are getting the benefit of their bio-photons or energy units of light which are emitted by all living things. One theory holds that these bio-photons can be assimilated into our cells and the more bio-photons a cell has, the healthier the cell.

If you have a sweet tooth and you want to give raw foods a try, check out the gorgeous recipes by Victoria BC based chef, Heather Pace on her website Sweetly Raw.