Have you ever burped your spaghetti two days after you had it? It is an alkaline food and takes a lot of stomach acid to break it down. If you are burping it after two days, it means it is just sitting there in your stomach to ferment. Food doesn’t leave your stomach until it’s ph level reaches at 2 or 3 on the ph scale. The resting ph of your stomach is usually four.
When you eat any alkaline food like bread, pasta, or spaghetti having ph around 8 or 9, your stomach has to produce enough acid so that ph level of your stomach is 2 or 3 to break down this food. If it takes longer than two hours, food starts to ferment because the normal gastric temperature of your stomach lies between 98.6 and 99.2 F.
Just imagine if you leave your food for 3-4 hours in that high temperature, what is gonna happen to that food, it will go stale. Same thing happens with food inside your stomach if it takes that long to break down. If your stomach is not producing enough acid to break down food within 2 hours, it goes very very bad to get to the pH of 2 or 3 so that it can break down and leave your stomach.
When this bad or toxic food breaks down and reaches the rest of your digestive tract, it irritates the whole digestive tract and if any of this toxic food gets absorbed in your system, it irritates the rest of your body.
Let us see what actually happens, when putrefied food leaves your stomach, it goes to the small intestine then your pancreas has to overwork to over produce digestive enzymes to further break down this toxic food which leaves your pancreas exhausted. Pancreas also steals enzymes from other enzyme systems of your body ultimately lowering your body’s metabolic rate.
Causes of Low Stomach Acid:
- A diet rich in processed foods/mineral deficiency (certain minerals are needed for the production of HCL)
- Some medications
- Helicobacter Pylori infection – this infection neutralizes and decreases the secretion of HCL to aid it’s survival
- Low protein/high carbohydrate diet
- Aging – the production of HCL slows down as you age
- Underactive thyroid
- Zinc deficiency – this can be a catch 22 situation. You need zinc to make stomach acid, but you need stomach acid to absorb zinc
- History of eating disorders.
How to Fix it?
Greens and citric foods are very acidic and have the acidic ph. Eating these foods will correct the ph in the stomach but things like bread, pasta, animal protein, have high ph levels so if you are eating these foods, make sure you are including greens and citrus foods too to bring the ph level down. This also helps the stomach to produce more acid.
Click here to read more from Gitanjali!