Tag Archives: stomach acid

Digestive Food Sense

Now that you have done a full body cleanse let look at ways you can maintain a healthy program to ensure that your digestive health flourishes.

Food Sense:

Food combining is a hard one to get used to doing, because we eat when we feel hungry. How many of you think about what foods to eat and when?  Its not easy to change habits of a lifetime but if you wish to be free of digestive issues, the time to start is now.

Different foods have varying times to be digested in the small intestines.  (If this is the first time you are reading my blog, then acquaint yourself on how your digestive system works.)  Men and women differ in the amount of time required for digestion but average times are as follows:

  • Fruits –  15- 20 minutes
  • Salads –  30 – 40 minutes
  • Carbohydrates  – 60 minutes
  • Beans/Lentils – 1.5 hours
  • Nuts and seeds – 2 – 3 hours
  • Dairy (hard cheese) 4 – 5 hours; (whole milk cottage cheese) 2 hours
  • Animal protein:
    • beef  – 3 – 4 hours
    • chicken – 1.5 – 2 hours
    • fish – 45 – 60 minutes

If you have never tried food combining, then give it a try, it works.  When you simplify the foods that you eat in one sitting your digestive system will not be overtaxed.

The best guide I have found that is easy to follow is from Detoxinista. The group of foods in Step 1 are in their own individual boxes, don’t cross-combine, instead select from step 2 then wait before selecting from step 3.

food combining chart showing you how to properly combine foods

The first time I practiced these steps, I ate my protein first, waited a few hours then ate carbohydrates. I was surprised that I did not spend my time afterwards burping and being bloated like a balloon ready for take off.

By waiting for a period of time before switching food categories, I also found I did not need to eat as much unhealthy snacks.  When I became hungry it was my next mini meal that I consumed instead of snacks.  If you eat all your food in one sitting then guess what – you snack on things that do not help your digestive system.

Here are some other tips to incorporate into your daily routine to maintain a healthy digestive system:

  • Do not eat fruits with meals, eat fruits on an empty stomach
  • Do not eat protein and carbohydrates or starches together
  • Chew your food thoroughly (30 – 40 times to start secreting digestive enzymes)
  • Eat bitter greens such as dandelion leaves, artichoke as a salad before a meal (for bile production)
  • Add some acid to your meal such as fermented foods – 1/4 to 1/2 cup of unpasteurized sauerkraut
  • Use fermented milk such as unsweetened keifir
  • Take flax oil and omega 3 fats with meals to help break down foods, and these oils are also good for the gallbladder.

If there is one thing to remember is that protein requires HCL (hydrochloric acid) to be digested and carbohydrates reduces the production of HCL.  Instead eat carbohydrates with vegetables.

Further reading:

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Ways to Improve Stomach Acid

You may say, my stomach has acid! Yes, you and I are a walking chemical factory.  We all have it but for some people their stomach acids (which comprises of hydrochloric acid (HCL), potassium acid and sodium chloride) do not have the proper levels of acidity or have the proper levels of HCL.

A typical human will secrete between 1.2 – 1.5 litres of stomach acid per day.  The stomach acid should have a pH level between 1 – 2.  We need stomach acid to:

  • kill harmful bacteria
  • digest protein
  • absorb vitamin B12 (for brain, nervous system and blood formation)
  • reduce food into small particles for the intestine to absorb nutrients
  • initiate the rhythmic contractions of the intestine that crush and move food through the GI tract

Because of high stress, processed foods, antibiotic or prescription use, many people tend to have a deficient supply of stomach acid; this can result in many health implications.

Here is a simple test you can perform at home to test your stomach acid. I purchased organic baking soda that does not contain aluminium to do this test.  If you have stomach ulcers do not take this test. You will need to find the source of the problem and heal the ulcer.

StomachAcid_BakingSodaTest

If your stomach acid is at the proper level, you should belch between 2 – 3 minutes.  If it takes you longer than 5 minutes and you have not belched or burped, then your stomach acid is insufficient. If you have early and repeated belching this may be due to excessive stomach acid.

You can also do a stomach acid test to measure the amount of acid in the stomach.  It also measures the level of acidity in the stomach.

Your stomach acid must be acidic and levels sufficient enough to breakdown proteins for absorption and perform many other functions in the body.  How can you determine your needed HCL amount and maintain the proper levels of stomach acid?  Here is a very informative article  “Determine Your HCL Amount” which has a strategy how to increase your level of stomach acid using betaine HCL with pepsin.

A normal response to taking betaine HCL after a meal is a feeling of warmth in the stomach. If you feel nothing then you may have improper levels of stomach acid.

Note: If you are taking any sort of NSAID medication such as ibuprofen, tylenol or aspirin then do not take betaine HCL.

Here are some other ways from to improve your stomach acid pH levels to aid digestion.

StomachAcid_ImproveStomachAcid

If you would like to know more about the mechanics of this marvelous body organ watch this one minute video from www.britannica.com (scroll to the bottom of page).

When I did the baking soda test, it took me 2 minutes to burp.  I concluded that my stomach acid was average.  Can my stomach acid levels or acidity be improved?  Can I improve my bile productions? Are there other things I should also know about aiding digestion? Yes.  My motto is: Knowledge knows no boundaries.

My next blog will provide you with some useful information how to maintain your digestive health.

If you like what you have read, I would like to hear from you.  Also, please share with your friends.

 

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