The most powerful way to improve your digestive fire is to support the three primary organs involved in digesting food. Your digestive fire is dependent on the strength and volume of stomach acid, digestive enzymes, and bile acids in the GI tract.
Someone with a weakened digestive fire has insufficient stomach acid, bile, or enzymes that cause many digestive problems.
If you’ve tried every diet, are eating clean, and still experiencing digestive symptoms, you are not alone.
While diet plays a part in having good digestive health, it is equally important to have a robust digestive fire. Your digestive fire is needed to breakdown your food so that nutrients are absorbed.
Every food can be difficult for the body to digest and absorb if there is a lack of digestive system function in one of the three primary organs involved in digestion.
What causes poor digestion?
The cause of low digestive fire is inadequate secretion or production of digestive juices such as stomach acid for protein digestion, bile for fat digestion, and enzymes for carbohydrate, protein, and fat digestion.
If you are not producing enough digestive juices, someone may experience symptoms of low digestive fire such as:
- upper abdominal bloating
How to improve digestive fire by supporting the primary organs involved in digestion
The three main organs in need of support to increase digestive fire are the stomach, pancreas, and gallbladder. It is critically important that these three organs are functioning optimally and producing the necessary digestive juices.
Your digestive fire is dependant on stomach acid, bile, and enzymes to breakdown your food. Symptoms of poor digestion are a result of a weakened digestive fire.
Finding out which foods are problematic for you can help you identify which digestive organ has weak digestive fire. The following low digestive fire symptoms will help you find out which digestive organ needs support.
For example, meat is difficult for the body to digest if stomach acid is insufficient. You may get a sense of excess fullness or feel weighed down after eating meat.
If you experience a bloated stomach after eating beans, legumes, vegetables, and grains, this often indicates that the pancreas isn’t producing sufficient enzymes. Bloating is also a common symptom of SIBO due to low bile flow.
Eating high fat or keto doesn’t work for you, as you feel nauseated or get an upset stomach or diarrhea after high fat/greasy foods. These are classic symptoms of poor fat digestion, indicating that your liver may not be producing sufficient bile or the bile may be thick and congested within the gallbladder.
Your body needs sufficient stomach acid to break down protein into amino acids.
The liver needs to produce bile which is stored in the gallbladder and released in the presence of fats to emulsify fats.
Your pancreas needs to produce sufficient digestive enzymes to further breakdown the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
The production of stomach acid, bile, and digestive enzymes is known as your digestive fire, and you need to have the optimal digestive fire for a healthy digestive system.
Your digestive fire and function also provide the body with the appropriate terrain. When the terrain is intact, it makes it harder for pathogenic organisms to take up residence.
Essential functions of digestive juices
A primary purpose of stomach acid is to kill harmful organisms found within your food. If your stomach acid is sufficient with an acidic pH, these pathogenic organisms are destroyed.
Adequate bile is essential for preventing SIBO due to the antimicrobial properties of bile. The antimicrobial properties are often not known or taken into consideration but improving liver and gallbladder function is crucial for improving digestion and preventing SIBO.
Enzymes from the pancreas ensure the breakdown of all the food so that no undigested food is left over to feed any pathogenic or opportunistic organisms such as candida. If you notice undigested food in the stool, this indicates a need for chewing your food with additional digestive enzyme support.
Probiotic bacteria in the gut play a massive role in producing enzymes that help to break down food. Eating fiber for gut health is essential to feed probiotic bacteria in the colon. In exchange, the bacteria produce various digestive enzymes to help with digestion.
By supporting the primary organs involved in digestion, you can massively improve gut health without needing to make dietary changes (if your diet is already good!)
Supplements to increase digestive fire
Supplementing with Betaine HCL tablets with protein-containing meals is helpful for someone who has a loss of taste for meat, feels excess fullness, or feels like food is just sitting in the stomach.
Work with a qualified practitioner when using HCL as there can be contraindications or a need for healing before utilizing HCL. Everyone will need varying amounts of additional stomach acid support. A practitioner can help you to find your tolerance level for HCL.
Supplementing with digestive enzymes is helpful for someone experiencing bloating, gas, fatigue, or difficulty digesting beans, legumes, grains, and vegetables. Enzymes such as the ones found in Seeking Health’s Pro-Digestion Intensive help with the breakdown of all foods from fats, protein, carbohydrates, grains, legumes, vegetables, lactose, gluten, and casein.
To optimize bile production and flow to help with the digestion of fats the liver needs the amino acids taurine and glycine to make bile. Gallbladder nutrients contain these essential amino acids and additional nutrients to support both bile production and flow.
Phosphatidylcholine in Seeking Healths Optimal PC helps with the transport and flow of bile out of the gallbladder.
Supporting the body with additional HCL, digestive enzymes, and gallbladder nutrients is a powerful way to improve your digestive fire for optimal gut health.
Natural ways to improve your digestive fire
Support low stomach acid by having lemon or apple cider vinegar right before protein-containing meals.
This gallbladder cleansing beet juice promotes bile flow for optimal fat digestion.
Having this low fodmap breakfast scramble is fantastic for supporting a sluggish gallbladder.
Sitting down and chewing your food is the best way to increase your digestive fire by preparing your body for the process of digestion.