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If You Want To Improve Your Overall Health, Take Care Of Your Stomach Acid First

If You Want To Improve Your Overall Health, Take Care Of Your Stomach Acid First

We all have times in our lives when we get unexplained symptoms that come on either gradually or suddenly and many of us choose to ignore them in the hope they’ll just get better, or self-medicate to make them go away. While this can get rid of many short-term ailments, it puts us in the danger of failing to find out the real cause of our health problems.

Getting to the bottom of our health problems is the key to long-term well-being and quality of life. While we may just dismiss symptoms, self-diagnose and tide ourselves over with medicinal cures, there is one common underlying cause to many health problems which is often overlooked and that is having low stomach acid or alkalosis.

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Many symptoms can stem from having alkalosis. Treating this source can potentially clear up many health issues someone may have but are not sure the reasons why they have them.

The Common Misconceptions about Stomach Acid

Stomach acid gets a bad reputation because we are often led to think too much acid in the body is bad. While this is true in many ways, the acid in our stomachs is vital for maintaining healthy digestive systems, breaking down our foods and passing the nutrients into our bodies as well as killing unwanted bacteria and yeast found naturally in the foods we eat. Therefore, it’s crucial for the acid levels to be just right in order to allow ourselves to be at optimal health and this is usually a pH range of approximately 1.5 to 3.0.

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Low Stomach Acid Leads to Indigestion and Heart Burn

Low stomach acid is a phenomenon of the developed world with nearly 90% of Americans producing too little stomach acid for optimal digestion. When alkalosis starts occurring, the hydrogen needed for stomach acid (or hydrochloric acid) starts to become depleted which, in turn, lowers the stomach acid further. Problems such as indigestion or heartburn can be a result of too little stomach acid rather than the common misconception that it’s caused by too much. Alkaline solutions are then used such as popular antacid or heartburn medicine that only adds to the high alkaline levels in the stomach and are a surefire way to continually cause problems for our bodies in maintaining the right pH levels.

Stomach Acid Affects How Well You Can Get Nutrients from Foods

Many people with a nutrient deficiency will understandably assume that they eat insufficient amounts of a certain food group or consume the wrong foods but the true reason could well be they are unable to digest foods properly and get the needed nutrients because of low stomach acid. HCL’s function is to break down the proteins and the essential amino acids and nutrients that the body needs so it makes sense that when the stomach is low on acid it means less nutrient efficiency.

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If You Don’t Maintain Your Stomach Acid At A Healthy Level, These Health Issues May Appear…

There are many health issues that come from the stomach’s inability to process food properly and can cause a domino effect for other areas of the body. These can translate to digestive problems, mental health problems such as depression and feelings of lethargy to other issues such as acne, hair loss in women, osteoporosis, diarrhea, constipation, chronic fatigue, bloating and dry skin.

The Causes of Low Stomach Acid

Apart from over-consumption of antacid or acid blockers as mentioned before, one of the main causes of low stomach acid is high amounts of sugar in the diet. High sugar intake depletes minerals and promotes bad bacteria growth that blocks absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

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Eating a poor diet full of processed foods also puts a strain on your stomach acid production, lack of proper vitamins and minerals, stress, drinking too much liquid with meals and candida (high levels of yeast in the digestive tract) can cause low stomach acid in your body.

How Do I Maintain A Good Stomach Acid Level?

Making sure you stick to a good eating routine and following a consistently healthy diet will help support your body in its stomach acid production. Here are some suggestions that you can incorporate into your daily routine that will promote a healthy pH level in the stomach. It’s important to consult a doctor before you drastically change a diet but try following some of these to see if it makes a difference to your health issues.

  • Eliminate refined sugars: these put a strain on the production of acid.
  • Eat unprocessed, organic foods: this allows the body to work with natural foods it can deal with.
  • Avoid drinking too much liquid at meals: this can dilute the stomach acid and make it hard for your food to digest properly.
  • Take a multivitamin: this will go towards helping stomach acid production.
  • Make sure you chew food properly: this helps the digestive enzymes in the mouth to combine with the food and make it digestible-friendly.
  • Avoid overeating and eat smaller meals: this stops the stomach becoming too inundated and putting stress on the stomach acid to do its job.
  • Eat unpasteurised probiotic foods: this promotes good gut bacteria.
  • Add apple cider vinegar to your diet: ACV has a naturally low pH level and will help with acid levels, just don’t go overboard with it!
  • Increase zinc intake: zinc is critical for the production of stomach acid and, to give your body a better chance, consuming more vitamin C, E, B6, and minerals such as magnesium can increase zinc absorption.
  • Avoid snacking in between meals: this allows adequate time for your food to be digested without added stress of more food.

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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