Sunday, March 3, 2013

Heartburn? Don't blame your stomach acid.

Stomach acid. NECESSARY. Without it we could not digest food.                  
This past weekend I attended a raw food cooking class. In "cooking" raw foods  you are not really cooking them, but allowing them to "cook" in a salt bath, perhaps raw vinegar, or                                                     something similar, depending on the type of food and recipe. If I understood the concept correctly, raw food cooking  basically means you are breaking down the enzymes in the food to make it easier to digest. Before this class I really just thought raw food enthusiasts were all about eating their vegis raw, and I often wondered how in the world our bodies could break down the nutrients. I had learned from Dr. Russel Blaylock's newsletters a while back, and affirmed by Fuhrman and Mercola - that vegetables have cellular walls that can be difficult to digest, and some actually need to be steamed or lightly cooked to obtain maximum benefit.
If you are eating your carrots completely raw - hard and crunchy -   did you know you have to chew until the carrots are "juiced" by your teeth in  order for your body to truly gain benefit from the nutrients? This is why Blaylock states it is critical to chew "count of 20" for each bite. I am sure you have heard that number before, and there is a reason for it.          
One woman at the class was particularly concerned about the acidity of certain fruits and  vegetables and affects on her teeth enamel - to which I say (but not out loud), drink your orange juice with a straw if you are very concerned about that. I wonder if she is just as concerned about chewing meat and how it remains acidic based when ingested? Our raw food chef really did not know what to say to her concern - probably not one he hears often. Several of us in the group suggested she go on line to find a pH chart for fruits and  vegetables, which is readily available.                                        
I've been asked why the Bragg's Organic Raw Apple Cider vinegar is allowed in our 30 day elimination diet.  Great question, and I had to look into it a bit more to learn of its benefits. It is unpastuerized, and  therefore contains the "mother". It has not been exposed to heat, which alters raw foods as well know. When ingested it requires very little production of stomach acid to break it down. The same is true of your citrus fruits. These foods, acidic  outside of the body, become alkaline inside the body.  The are low acid generating foods.                         
Although Bragg's it sits in the bottle in an acidic state, when it lands in your stomach
it becomes alkline based.
and my heartburn essentially went away. I used to have   
I still eat cheese - although in limited amounts. I am also careful to CHEW the cheese. 
(okay, I have lasagna once a year at most...I think I will live with that.)                  
are 11 essential enzymes needed for breaking down certain types of foods and
your body cannot produce them. They are derived from certain plants, Bragg's ACV
can help your stomach grow them - good gut flora is so important.
Gluten and dairy, on the other hand, are very hard to digest and require a massive production of stomach acid to try and break these foods down. If you experience heartburn, like I used to two years ago - look at your foods. I used to have some pretty miserable nights - waking up to an awful taste in the back of      
my throat! I do not miss those days. I gave up drinking milk with meals, and cut back on gluten considerably. I do not miss drinking milk - although  growing up on a dairy farm, I thought it would cause me great remorse. Pastuerized milk is so very unehealthy - not at all like the milk we used to drink as kids, fresh from the cooler in the milkhouse! It has been exposed to heat- killing the beneficial enzymes, it is no longer a live, or raw, food - but dead food void of energy.
If you read the link to Dr. Joe Mercola's article that I had put on facebook on the worst 
foods to eat heated - cheese was one. The article explained what happens to dairy protein when heated - not a pretty sight to picture! I have decided that cheese is meant to enjoy cold or at room temperature - no more grilled cheese sandwiches, or homemade mac and cheese, broccoli cheddar soup, and oh my - lasagna!!
I was popping plenty of Zantac in the "old days", only to learn that antacids  are very hard on the stomach and contribute to microscopic holes in your gut lining...which can develop into leaky gut syndrome if used long term.          
Now, antacid medication is the typically THE "remedy" for heartburn, but it does 
not address the problem, which is why your stomach is surging in acid production in the first place. Simply put - it is struggling to digest certain foods. It can be different foods groups for each person. A person is also      
likely lacking in a full house of probiotics and prebiotics and enzymes.
I want to emphasize the importance of stomach acid. Pills reduce it, which means the foods your stomach is desperately trying to break down cannot do its job if your acid is reduced. This can either
create a build up of foods in your colon (which creates another set of problems), or can induce a
greater effort on the part of your body to create even more acid, which is why, I would guess, some
prescription antacids don't work for people.  We don't want to kill of our natural stomach acid. Perhaps what we do need to do instead is make some life changes, would you agree?
I encourage you to fiigure out which foods are causing the problem and either reduce or eliminate them. There are NO physical side effects, in contrast to side effects of medications.

To your health,
Rita S.

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