Stomach acid plays a very important role in our digestive system. It helps digest proteins, kills bacteria and microbes in our guts to make sure that our digestive system stays disinfected and our immunity system is not compromised. However, for a number of reasons, the stomach acid levels get lowered in many people. This can lead to a number of problems, illnesses, infections and digestive troubles. Hence, it is quite crucial that the stomach acid levels are improved.
10 Home Remedies for Low Stomach Acid
The ideal pH range of the stomach acid is 1.5 to 3.5 and the ideal volume range of stomach acid is 20mL to 100mL. When it gets lower than this, it means that you are lacking in the production of enough or required amount of stomach acid. However, the good news is, you can naturally increase the production or amount of stomach acid with some easy home remedies. Here they are –
Manuka Honey and Yemen Sidr Honey as a Home Remedy for Low Stomach Acid:
In the digestive tract, everyone has the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. When the stomach acid production is low, the bacteria overgrow and suppress the production of stomach acid further. Manuka honey contains naturally occurring peroxide which can suppress the overgrowth of H. pylori bacteria and thereby, eliminate the chances of stomach acid production being suppressed. The Manuka honey is a product that is exclusive to Australia and New Zealand, where bees pollinate the Manuka tree and make honey from the Manuka nectar.
The alternative to Manuka honey as a home remedy for low stomach acid is the Yemen Sidr honey. It is equally potent and useful in healing the lining of the stomach and in reviving the stomach acid production. In case you can’t find any of these two, you can use raw honey. Though it is less potent and contains less anti-bacterial components, it can still be useful. However, make sure that you collect the raw honey from a local bee-keeper and not use the supermarket bought honey.
Bitter Herbs and Vegetables:
Globe artichoke, gentian, dandelion root, hop etc. are some bitter herbs and vegetables that are very effective and useful in stimulating the production of gastric acids. Another effective food ingredient that helps in the production of digestive juices is ginger. It is always a good idea to buy these herbs from a qualified naturopath or herbalist. This will ensure that you get the ingredients in their purest form and no other ingredients such as dairy extracts or sugar are added to them. You can add them to your regular food diet or make concoctions out of these ingredients and drink in an empty stomach, about 20 minutes before a meal as an effective home remedy for low stomach acid. Always have something bitter to start your meal with.
Zinc as a Remedy for Low Stomach Acid:
Zinc is a very important mineral that helps in the production of HCL in the stomach. Having foods that are rich in zinc content, is an effective home remedy to increase stomach acid levels. Here, it must be said that most of the zinc rich food ingredients are animal proteins. However, when you have low stomach acid levels, it becomes difficult to digest proteins, especially animal proteins and you experience digestion difficulties. So, it is better to start with non-meat food sources that are rich in zinc and pumpkin seeds are the best in that respect.
Some dairy products such as cheese and yogurt, some wholegrain food ingredients such as whole wheat bread, wholegrain cereals and brown rice etc. contain a high content of zinc making them an effective home remedy for low stomach acid. Also beans, peanuts and potatoes are great zinc sources. You can always start with these and once you start to feel that your digestive powers are increasing, you can switch to meats like lamb, chicken, turkey or beef as well as seafood like clams, crabmeat, lobster and salmon.
Wholefood Multivitamin Supplements:
Also, in order to make sure that the zinc that you intake, is absorbed completely into the body, you must have a good supply or intake of Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E etc. along with some other minerals. Therefore, you can have some zinc supplements and this will help in supplying your body with the needed amount of zinc as well as the other vitamins and minerals that are need for its complete absorption. The supplements like thiamine, niacin, active Vitamin B6 or pyridoxal-5-phosphate are much needed for increasing the stomach acid levels.
Apple Cider Vinegar as a Home Remedy for Low Stomach Acid:
Apple cider vinegar is very useful in maintaining your pH balance. When you take one or two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar before or with your meal, you help your stomach to acidify and thereby increase the acid production in the stomach naturally.
Fermented vegetables and pickles contain microbes and acids making it a useful home remedy to increase the stomach acid levels. Whenever you are having a meal, try to have some pickled vegetables or fermented veggies along with your meal to help in the digestive process. This is especially important when you are having meat.
Start your Meal with the Meat for Low Stomach Acid:
It is common to start your meal with some salads, vegetables and lighter food and then finish it up with the meat in the plate. However, when you have low stomach acid levels, you need to start your meal with the meat. This is because, the stomach will start to secrete the acid as soon as food enters the system. So, when you supply the stomach with the meat at first, the meat gets the maximum chance to be digested and then the rest of the food, which is lighter than the meat, will get digested slowly over time and you will not experience the bloating feeling.
Salt as a Home Remedy for Low Stomach Acid:
Increase your salt content by consuming unrefined sea salt as this contains a great deal of chloride content, the building block of HCL.
This is not a vitamin actually, but a very powerful and potent enzyme that is found in cabbage. This helps in reducing the inflammation of the wall of the stomach that it encounters as a consequence of chronic low stomach acid levels for years. Vitamin U not only heals the inflammation, but also increases the production of stomach acids.
Do Not Take Antacids as a Remedy for Low Stomach Acid:
Low stomach acids will cause indigestion, acid reflux and gas and bloating feeling. But, no matter how severe these may seem, you should stop taking antacids regularly. Antacids reduce the body’s capacity to secrete digestive enzymes and acids by supplying it from outside. You should seek a doctor’s advice to know how you can aid yourself, without taking antacids.
Some Useful Tips to Increase Low Stomach Acid
Along with the home remedies, there are some lifestyle changes as well that are needed in order to aid in your digestive system and to increase the production of stomach acid production. These are –
- Always chew your food properly. The more you chew, the better are the chance of secreting digestive enzymes and acids in your stomach and digestion of the food becomes easier.
- Avoid drinking water with your meals. This will wash off the digestive juices and prohibit the digestion of food. You can have homemade bone broth with your meals, in order to substitute the liquid. The gelatine in the bone broth helps in or stimulates the production of digestive juices.
- Maintain a proper dinner time. Eat at least 3 to 4 hours before going to bed as this will give the body enough time to digest the food that has been eaten. When you eat right before bedtime, the body struggles to digest the food. If you give it enough time, it does the job comfortably.
- In case you do not have time to have dinner beforehand, you need to arrange your bed in such a manner that the torso is raised. You can rest some pillow at your back and this will allow the food to go down, without having the body to work hard for that.
- Do not snack in between the meals. You must give your digestive system that time to secrete the digestive juices, enzymes and acids.
- Do not drink water for at least 30 minutes after having a meal.
- Reduce stress levels by any mean possible. You can do yoga, meditation or exercise or divert your stress through activities that you love to do. Also, do not eat when you are stressed. The body uses all the energy in reducing the stress or to deal with it and the digestion is disturbed. Try to eat food when you are relaxed.
- If you follow these lifestyle changes and the simple home remedies, it is quite likely that you will be comforted and your digestive problems will be solved soon. Also, the body will start to produce more stomach acids.