Salads and Acid Reflux

by Dana Gourley on July 31, 2018

in Health/Nutrition, Marketing, Science / Research

I am sure this is familiar to many individuals who suffer from digestive issues. I figured going on vacation, I will try to eat light since my digestion becomes a problem when we eat at various restaurants. So many times on vacation, I am sitting up in bed, experiencing unpleasant feelings of somewhat rhythmic stomach gurgling followed by burning acid eruptions in my throat. Rob and I eat salads (with and without dressings) daily at home, and rarely experience such uncomfortable digestive problems. I have to admit I feel the best when eating Rob’s home-fresh cooking … certainly including dietary plant-based antioxidants, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals for a balanced daily diet.

On one of our recent out-of-town trips, and again sitting up in bed, I went on-line in desperation to find an explanation of why a plant-based diet, that supposedly helps with acid reflux, was backfiring! I had an AHA! moment … eating salad can be a culprit and that is very confusing to those, including me, who try to eat healthy. Lately, I have been ordering from the entree side of menus (meat, broiled fish, cooked veggies and potatoes; no bread) and skipping the dinner salad. The outcome is much more preferable and I am sleeping through the night. I have not experimented yet with eating a salad after the meal, but that may be a good alternative too. Another recommendation is make sure to take your vitamin supplements while on vacation too.

Most plants we eat are not fully digestible. Our bodies lack intrinsic enzymes to breakdown the vascular system found in edible plants. The vascular system that transports nutrients and water for terrestrial plants are composed of a plastic-like substance called lignin*. Consequently, gut bacteria do not have access to all of the plant nutrients for assimilation, resulting in a somewhat acidic indigestible mass in the stomach. The evolution of the land plants has created indigestible fibrous parts that even cows with 4-chamber stomachs can not fully digest the grass they eat. That is one of the reasons that aged cow manure becomes a great fertilizer for plants.


I like to say dinosaurs if they lived today, could not eat and digest today’s salads. I guess Dana on vacation cannot either!

The plant-eating dinosaurs ate pond plants and algae (non-vascular plants). The plant nutrients likely were more bioavailable to sustain their large size. The “original water” on the planet during the dinosaur time, was charged with more frequent lightning storms. More electrons in the water likely uplifted the nutrient flow inside the plants for faster growth. The resulting standing water from the more frequent thunderstorms created a liquid environment for the pond plants and algae to grow in abundance. Conversely, terrestrial plants had to evolve vascular systems to survive drier, lower-nutrient environments (and less frequent thunderstorms to energize the rain water).

From a bioavailability standpoint, it makes sense to add to your diet, plant nutrients that sustained the dinosaurs millions of years ago. We found out about one of our favorite “algae-related” products while hiking the back trails of Kauai, Hawaii over a decade ago. We met a doctor and his wife when we were cooling under a beautiful, pristine waterfall. He recommended Bioastin.  The astaxanthin in BioAstin is derived from microalgae called Haematococcus pluvialis. It is grown on land in Kona, Hawaii, in controlled, fresh water ponds (shown below). The company, Nutrex-Hawaii, claims the antioxidant capacity of BioAstin is significantly stronger than that of either CoQ10, Vitamin C, Vitamin E or beta carotene.

* Plants grown in the Polarized Water have less lignin and more bioavailable proteins and carbohydrates compared with the same species of plants grown in tap water.

Other Plant-based News

A. CBD Food and Beverage Update

In July of 2018, the State of California disallowed food and beverages with CBD ingredient extracted from either the bud or leaf of industrially-grown hemp until consumer safety studies are completed by either the State or the Federal Government.

B. Plant-based “Dairy” Product Update

Almond milk and other plant-based products that reference milk, cheese or yogurt may have to have to change both their brand names and ingredient labels if the FDA decides to enforce existing federal law. Both the National Milk Producers Federation and the Plant-Based Food Association seemed to embrace this recent FDA announcement with the latter organization expressing the need for a standard identity for plant-based, non-dairy products.


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