Stomach acid is needed to digest food and allow the body to absorb nutrients. You need a certain level daily, or you can end up with digestive problems and constipation.
However, there are times that your stomach acid causes other problems. You can have too much, causing stomach ulcers and heartburn. Some people must deal with the acid leaving the stomach the wrong way, causing discomfort on the esophagus.
So, you need to find a way to reduce stomach acid. You want to cut the problem of heartburn and stomach ulcers as much as possible. While there are medications to help, you can also help to reduce stomach acid naturally. These tips will help to deal with the symptoms of heartburn at the same time.
Here’s a look at all you need to know about reducing stomach acid.
Start by Limiting Your Meals
When you eat and drink, your body automatically starts producing more stomach acid to deal with what you’re putting into it. It knows that it will need to start digesting at some point, even if you’re just drinking water. Your body doesn’t know exactly what you’re having and will work based on the chewing and swallowing process.
Yes, even if you chew gum regularly, you will start to produce more stomach acid. This can be beneficial if you’re struggling to digest something, but if you have high stomach acid levels or heartburn, you’ll want to keep the chewing to a minimum.
To help to keep the stomach acid production to a minimum, consider reducing the amount that you’re eating and drinking during the day. Keep your meals small, so your stomach doesn’t need to create as much acid to digest it all. Your body also won’t take as long to digest everything that you eat, meaning the acid levels can reduce to normal sooner rather than later.
Smaller meals throughout the day can also be good for weight loss. You constantly keep yourself feeling fuller, since you don’t leave as long between your small meals. At the same time, you keep the calorie intake down, because you’re eating less during and between meals. You’ll hardly feel like you’re on a diet and your heartburn won’t cause a problem that gets you down.
When you are eating, make sure you sit down and give yourself time to chew the food completely. One of the problems that many people have is eating too quickly. You swallow large bites, and that means your stomach must work harder to break everything down. More acid is needed to help with this process. If you made sure each bite was as small as possible when swallowing, the stomach can work less and doesn’t need the acid levels to tackle the food. It passes through the intestines relatively easily.
And we all tend to eat on the go every now and then. We have this need to rush around—because technology makes it easier to do things on the go. Our bosses want everything done yesterday, and that means we constantly feel behind and in a state of playing catch-up. When would we have time to eat if we didn’t eat on the go?
Well, it’s time to make sure you do get the chance to sit down. Use your lunch break effectively by getting outside. Just sit on a park bench to eat your lunch to get you out of the office. Your boss isn’t breathing down your neck to get you to finish up sooner and get back on with work. You can even turn your phone off while you eat to get away from the world.
Think About the Food You Eat
There are certain types of foods that will require more stomach acid than others. This is especially the case with fats and proteins.
While your body needs them, it doesn’t need as much as you would think. To start with, protein is an excellent way to keep you feeling fuller. It breaks down slowly and is used up by the body over the course of a few hours. If you eat too much, your stomach must work harder to break it down, and that means creating more stomach acid.
When eating any type of protein, take a break half way through your meal. Determine if you really need to eat the rest, by listening to your stomach and not what your brain is telling you based on sight. If you’re still hungry, eat a little more and take another break.
The breaks don’t just give your stomach a chance to tell your brain that you’re full. These breaks will give your stomach a chance to break down the food that you’ve eaten. As it breaks down some of it, the stomach creates room for the next amount that you will eat. This allows the stomach acid levels to remain the same.
Fatty food tends to add to the acid in the stomach. When you’ve had heartburn, you’ve likely found that it is made worse by anything fatty, and that includes healthy fats!
If you really want to balance out the stomach acid, you need to find foods that are alkaline based. The great news is that lemon water and cheese are excellent options for acidic levels in the body. They are alkaline based and will work on balancing the levels on the way down to your stomach. They also tend to be cooler, which helps to soothe some of the burns that you experience.
Opt for Some Apple Cider Vinegar Before a Meal
This tends to sound counterproductive. After all, I’ve just said that you need something alkaline to balance the acid, right? Isn’t vinegar acidic?
Well, most vinegar is. Apple cider vinegar isn’t! This is the only alkaline-based vinegar, which means that it will settle the acid levels in your stomach.
Put a teaspoon or two in some water and drink it before you eat a meal. This will help in two ways.
The first is that you’re putting an alkaline formula in you to body. It’s completely naturally and will just help to keep the stomach acid levels to a minimum.
The second benefit is from drinking water before eating a meal. This will help to make you feel fuller since you put something on your stomach. You end up needing less to eat, so your body doesn’t have to break down as much food in one sitting. At the same time, you eat fewer calories because you don’t feel as hungry.
Drinking a glass of water before a meal is a common weight loss trick. Well, now you can add a bit of natural apple cider vinegar to control the stomach acid levels at the same time.
Opt for Green Juices or Smoothies Before a Meal
If you don’t fancy a glass of vinegar before a meal, why not a green juice or smoothie? This is another way to get an alkaline liquid into your body to balance out the stomach acid. You can use any type of green vegetable that you want, but the dark leafy greens tend to be the best.
At the same time, you get all the antioxidants and other nutrients from the leafy greens. Drinking the greens rather than eating them is one of the best ways to get the nutrients. They absorb quicker since there’s no need to digest them as much. Even the juices are good for you since dark leafy greens don’t have that many natural sugars!
Green juices will also help to curb inflammation in the body. Those nutrients have anti-inflammatory powers. You’ll find that your digestive system isn’t as swollen, making it easier to digest everything that you eat. Your stomach doesn’t need to hold food back while your intestines can cope, so the stomach acid doesn’t stick around for as long.
You want to avoid green juices right after a meal. Your body is already starting to digest food, and you will disrupt the process. Drinking it just before is best. This way you also get the same benefit for your weight loss as you would be drinking apple cider vinegar and water.
It is possible to replace some of your meals with green juices. Opt for a green smoothie as your breakfast, packed with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Use milk or yogurt (you can opt for non-dairy alternatives if necessary) to help fill you up, get plenty of calcium, and boost your protein. Try to add some seeds or nuts to the smoothies for extra protein and healthy fats.
Drink a Glass of Milk
If you feel like acid reflux or heartburn is a problem, you will want to tackle the symptoms. While these don’t necessary help to balance out the acid, they can help to line the esophagus and limit the discomfort that you experience. Some of them will help to keep the acid levels down slightly.
Milk is the best option. It’s easy to drink, cold, and will help to line esophagus and stomach quickly. You’ll also get plenty of calcium in your diet by using it.
There’s no fizz to milk, which also helps to keep the heartburn symptoms to a minimum. You can benefit from almond and soya milk if you want, but you’ll need to keep some to a minimum. Unfortunately, soya has been known to cause heartburn in limited cases.
When you don’t want milk, why not opt for some yogurt? You can enjoy it with some non-acidic fruit to help balance out the levels in the stomach or have it on its own. Opt for plain yogurt, as the fruity options will have extra sugars.
If you opt for any type of milk or yogurt, make sure it is low fat. Watch for the sugar levels in these, but you should be fine with most skim milk, almond milk, or Greek yogurt.
Fill Up on Oatmeal
If you’re struggling to eat food because of your acid reflux, it’s time to look at oatmeal. There are many ways that you can enjoy this, so it doesn’t get boring.
The biggest benefit of oatmeal is that it doesn’t cause any acid reflux at all. It doesn’t need as much stomach acid to digest because it’s already soft and gooey. You also get plenty of fiber to help support the digestive system throughout the day.
Oatmeal is something you can enjoy at any time of the day. You can opt for porridge on a morning or make up some oats with fruit and yogurt for a quick lunch. Make sure you still eat it slowly and listen to your body to stop eating if you’re satisfied.
Pull Out the Ginger Tea
Ginger has been used in herbal remedies for centuries. It’s still commonly used to treat ailments and illnesses. This is simply because it really works. You can even keep colds and the flu at bay if you start using it from the very beginning.
While most people will tell you to stay away from heat when suffering from stomach acid problems, ginger tea is allowed. The ginger in the liquid helps to counteract the acid problems and reduces the inflammation in the body. Your whole body will thank you as you feel more relaxed and like yourself again.
If you’re struggling with the heat of the liquid, you can opt for lukewarm tea instead. This is something to try with some lemon and honey to help line the esophagus and balance out the acidic levels.
You Don’t Need Medication to Reduce Stomach Acid
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need medication to reduce stomach acid. This is great for those who want to stay away from pharmaceutical products or can’t take them for whatever reason. The methods above are all suitable for those will low immune systems and pregnant women.
It’s time to pull out the ginger and oatmeal and start changing the way you eat your meals. You’ll soon find that stomach acid is no longer a problem.