One of the most common health myths people have is that heartburn occurs when you have too much stomach acid, when in fact it’s when you have too little. When it’s too low, the carbohydrates begin to ferment, the fats turn rancid, and the proteins putrefy. The result is off-gassing leading to burping and acid backsplash associated with acid reflux. We develop our low stomach acid from poor diet, low water intake, and excessive intake of antacids. The major consequence is poor digestion. This means even if we eat the most nutrient-dense dish with ALL the vitamins and we don’t produce enough stomach acid, we are unable to break down the food’s nutrients. The food simply passes through without getting absorbed.
There is a natural 2-step way to find out if you are producing enough stomach acid and then to subsequently improve your digestion.
Step # 1: Swallow 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar and wait. If you start to experience burning in your chest and throat (similar to taking a vodka shot), it’s a sign you have too much stomach acid! If nothing happens, it’s a sign that you actually could have low stomach acid levels. However, if you’re right in the middle and only feel a slight irritation, then you’re good to go.
Step # 2: If you discovered you have low stomach acid, all you have to do is continue consuming apple cider vinegar until you pass the stomach acid test. Start with just 1 tablespoon a day. If you continue to feel the burning sensations, you can increase the amount slowly. Additionally, try to be more careful about chewing your food completely. Another good practice is to take the time to smell your food before you start eating. This gets your digestive system ready to go!