Dietary recommendations include following healthy dietary guidelines that help maintain the proper concentration of stomach acid, or hydrochloric acid (HCl).
Dietary recommendations for stomach acid imbalance include:
- Add raw, crushed garlic to your diet to benefit from the antimicrobial properties of allicin, since low stomach acid is associated with an increase in “bad” bacteria and fungi such as Candida.
- Add nutrient-dense and unprocessed foods such as sprouted nuts and seeds to your diet.
- Increase your fiber intake by adding ground flax seed to your diet to encourage healthy bowel movements.
- Add virgin coconut oil to your diet to benefit from its antimicrobial properties and saturated fat. Read more about good fats.
- Increase your omega-3 essential fatty acids by selecting ground flax seed, wild-caught salmon, minimal-mercury albacore tuna, fish oil, avocados, and sprouted walnuts.
- If you’re not allergic to dairy, eat plain, unsweetened, organic unpasteurized yogurt with live, active cultures (aka, probiotics).
- Drink a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of purified water a day.
Foods to AVOID include:
- All simple or refined carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, crackers, etc.) – Read more about good carbs and bad carbs.
- All alcohol – It increases stomach acid production and can cause acid reflux. Alcohol relaxes the natural valve that keeps stomach acid out of the esophagus.
- Nightshade vegetables – A small percentage of people experience a bad reaction to nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, and peppers (chili, green, red). These may cause gastrointestinal upset such as heartburn and indigestion, or increased inflammation for arthritis sufferers. Avoid these foods if you have a bad reaction to them.
- Wheat and gluten (a wheat protein) – These wreak havoc on the digestive system for those who have gluten and wheat intolerances, also known as celiac disease.
- Peanuts – They are actually legumes that may contain harmful mytotoxins (mold) that can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people.
- Bottom crawlers, such as oysters, clams, and lobster that may contain toxic levels of mercury.
- Deep-sea fish such as tuna, mackerel, and swordfish that may contain toxic levels of mercury. Choose minimal-mercury albacore tuna instead.
- Farm-raised fish that contain PCBs and not enough omega-3 essential fatty acids, due to their land-based diets. Choose wild-caught salmon instead.
- Excessive caffeine intake – While moderate amounts of caffeine may be beneficial, excessive consumption can disrupt the body’s systems, causing insomnia and digestive irregularity (constipation or diarrhea).
- All refined sugars and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, Splenda®, etc. – Sugar feeds Candida overgrowth. Choose a natural sweetener like Xylosweet instead.
- Sodium nitrite found in processed foods such as hot dogs, lunch meats, and bacon
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) found in many foods as a flavor enhancer
- Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) found in many processed foods, deep-fried foods, fast food, and junk food – Read more about good fats and bad fats.
- Carbonated soft drinks that alter blood pH levels
Other tips for maintaining proper amounts of stomach acid:
- Eat small meals throughout the day, instead of three large, heavy meals.
- Don’t overeat – An interesting fact: A high-fat diet used to be blamed for stomach acid problems. Studies have revealed, however, that stomach acid problems are due to excess calorie consumption from a high-carb diet, not fat. Read more about good fats.
- Maintain an upright position 45 minutes after eating, to allow for easier digestion.
- Do not drink ice-cold water before, during, or after meals. Cold water slows down HCl production.
- If you have “silver” dental fillings, get an evaluation from a mercury-free dentist who specializes in the safe removal of mercury amalgam fillings. Mercury in the body damages the gastrointestinal system and can be a cause of stomach acid imbalance. Find a mercury-free dentist in your area now.
Walking is a perfect exercise for moving the bowels and maintaining a healthy digestive system. A daily 30-minute brisk walk, preferably outside in sunlight, is a good start of any exercise plan.
Additional Stomach Acid Imbalance Information
- Stomach Acid Imbalance Overview
- Common symptoms of stomach acid imbalance
- Common causes of stomach acid imbalance
- Natural and alternative treatments for stomach acid imbalance
- Conventional or prescription medications used in the treatment of stomach acid imbalance
- Additional Reading for stomach acid imbalance