Acids were likely mentioned in high school science, and unless you took your education that route, is likely only discussed in regards to your water, the rain, or your body. In all of these scenarios, acidic is bad, except for when we’re discussing our stomach.
Acid effectively breaks down the proteins and other materials that come in to our stomach through our mouth so that the smaller molecules can be provided to our cells. And since our cells are made daily from the food we ate 30 days ago, nutrition going into our stomachs through our mouths is a necessary element of wellness!
So, before I get off on that tangent, the proper amount of acidity is critical. Too much and we suffer from heartburn and too little we suffer from congested gall bladder and liver, and guess what, still heartburn! So unless you love heartburn, here are a few key notes relevant to maintaining correct stomach acidity:
📛Excessive processed food can contribute to low acidity because these unnatural structures are not easily digested. It’s like trying to eat a lego.
📛How we eat is of utmost importance. That knot we get in our stomach when we are stressed is more than just a feeling, it’s an actual physical pinch and will negatively impact digestion. Ayurveda teaches that we eat calm and that we are attentive to each and every bite. So Netflix binging with popcorn or munching on Doritos while holding your fists rallying for your favorite sports team should not be the rule. Calm environment with gratitude paid to the cells our body will be creating in 30 days using the food we are providing it now. – Now before I go off on the next, let me interject. My life is noisy and with the rare exception, meal times together can be energizing with cats, dogs, kids, and the occasional knock at the door, but we try to keep the calm as much as possible by sitting down for every meal we eat together. Because when we’re energized, our body goes into fight-or-flight and all of our energy goes to our limbs for quick reaction, leaving our food in our digestive tract, sitting and souring. So, for optimal digestion, try to remain calm.
📛The rule of thumb is to stop eating at the first burp. Many don’t even realize we burp while we’re eating, and this is generally because we are inhaling our food rather than allowing the digestive juices in our mouths to begin the digestive process. So, put your fork down between bites or just consciously chew completely before swallowing, and allow one bite to leave your mouth before adding in another. — I have seen this small change significantly impact my clients digestion, so for us DIY-lovers, try this first!!!
📛I may hurt your feelings with this one, but ice is note your friend when it comes to digestion. In Ayurveda, your stomach is known as your digestive fire (or Agni) and with any fire, cold water will put it out very quickly!! As such, drink room temperature or warm water. If you are still not one the wagon with drinking clean water, you may find that you better enjoy warm teas. As an oily person, I tend to enjoy a drop of mint or lemon in warm water. However you take your water, hydration is critical and perhaps the most overlooked of all contributing factors to not being well. So hydrate yourself slowly throughout the day, but for optimal digestion, hydrate yourself with a large glass of warm or room-temperature water 30 minutes before each meal. This lubricates your digestive tract in turn allowing it to perform better, and if low acidity has been an issue, will signal your stomach to turn up the “heat”!