Have you noticed that when you eat certain foods that your heartburn gets really bad? Do you struggle with things like sugar, meat and heavy foods? I definitely do! I struggle to digest heavy, fatty and rich foods. I often get heartburn if I eat them or land up with nausea hours later!
I decided to delve in a little deeper. See, heartburn can be confusing. We assume, based on a number of silly TV commercials, that heartburn is caused by us having too much acid in our stomach. It is actually the opposite problem! The reason we produce acid is to try and digest all these foods. We don’t have enough stomach acid, so the body produces more to compensate for the lack of stomach acid. The best way I can explain it is that we are trying to do the washing up with drips of water. There is none, so we turn the tap on, and we have too much water. By taking all those antacids, we are actually dulling the stomach’s natural desire to have more acid to help it digest the food.
So, there are a number of ways we can deal with this:
1. Cut out foods which aggravate heartburn. This is the obvious one but in reality, we can’t always do this, so here are some more options:
2. Take something that is acidic to help digest the food. This would be apple cider vinegar in a little water. Drink it all day and definitely before each meal.
3. Help the digestive guys out! Eat foods that contain live enzymes, so they can do all the work and your stomach acid enzymes are not needed as much. These include all the green foods you can find! The best source of these is seaweed plants. Throw them in a salad or sprinkle it on the food before you eat it; it is incredibly nourishing but also helps break down those heavier meals.
4. Take L-Glucosamine. I learnt this from a naturopath friend of mine who recommended I take L-Glucosamine 15 minutes before each meal to help with digestion. I found it hugely beneficial.
5. Chew your food and eat slowly and with intention. We often rush through eating or eat while doing other things. Focus on your meal and savor it. It stimulates your digestive enzymes and it helps with digestion. Remember: your stomach doesn’t have any teeth!
Personally, I notice that my stomach is not digesting things by checking what comes out; when foods come out the way they went in, there is a problem with digestion somewhere. The most famous check is the one where you eat a sweetcorn and see how long it takes for the bits to show up, when they come out. It should only take 12 hrs max but for many of us, it can take up to 3 days. Not good.
I know my digestion has slumped heaps the last few weeks, probably all this moving and changing of life and all that!
I have ordered myself some L-Glucosamine and will be splashing out on apple cider vinegar more!
Heartburn and that dull ache between your ribs is just a sign that your poor stomach is struggling to digest the foods you eat.
Do you have heartburn? Do you have pain in between your ribs? Maybe it is time to fix up your tummy?