Wellness Wednesday by Nurse Fiona- The importance of stomach acid

 In Health & Wellbeing, Lifestyle, Nutrition

The importance of stomach acid

Hydrochloric acid or HCL is the fluid found inside the stomach. Having sufficient levels of this acid in your stomach is absolutely essential for digestion of food and absorption of nutrients essential to our health. Low stomach acid can lead to bloating, indigestion, reflux, candida overgrowth and nutrient deficiencies. Having low stomach acid can also put you at a higher risk of food poisoning.

Role of Hydrochloric acid

  • Aids digestion of foods: Having Hcl in your stomach allows you to break down foods that you eat, especially protein. Hcl also signals our pancreas to secrete digestive enzymes and our liver to produce bile so we can derive essential vitamins and minerals from the food we eat.
  • Protection against pathogens: The acidic environment of our stomach ensures that microbes and pathogenic bacteria are destroyed before entering our intestines.
  • Supports skin health: Research has shown that low stomach acid can lead to the secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules in our gastric lining that may contribute to conditions such as acne, eczema and rosacea.
  • Absorption of Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for energy production, detoxification and red blood cell formation. B12 is only absorbed in an acidic environment.

Ways to increase stomach acid production naturally

  • Take 1-2 tsbp of Apple Cider vinegar before eating large meals
  • Taking Hcl Betaine supplements before meals
  • Avoid drinking large amount of water before or during meals as this can neutralize your stomach acid
  • Eat mindfully without TV or phones and chew your food
  • Eat at least 3 hours before bed time to ensure enough time for digestion
  • Stress reduces Hcl levels. Reduce stress levels by introducing daily meditation, yoga, acupuncture or massages
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