Are you too acidic?

How your body’s ph imbalance is affecting your health

The All diets. The meat and carb-heavy foods you’ve grown accustomed to may be putting you at risk for chronic disease. And the reason for that may come down to these two words: pH imbalance.

To understand the importance of your body’s pH balance, let’s start with the basics. The pH (potential of hydrogen) scale measures just how acidic or how alkaline a solution is. It’s based on a scale of 0 to 14, where the lower the pH the more acidic, and the higher the pH the more alkaline. And when a solution is completely neutral, like water, it has a pH of 7.

In order to survive, your blood must maintain a very delicate pH balance range of 7.35 to 7.45. Any time the blood shifts out of this range, it becomes unable to deliver adequate oxygen and protect the body from disease. It’s sort of a systemic danger zone. Luckily, your body is equipped with several control mechanisms that help regulate your pH and protect you from falling into this danger zone.

But like any good piece of machinery, your body can become less efficient if you keep filling it with the wrong type of fuel. Wait, fuel? Yes, fuel, or in your body’s case, food. Every single type of food has its own pH. Some foods, such as avocado and quinoa, are alkalizing. While other foods, like most meats and dairy, are acidifying. The stomach is very acidic, with a pH of 3.5 or below, so it has no trouble breaking down alkaline foods. The normal modern diet, however, is largely comprised of acid-forming foods, which means that the majority of us are placing a heavy acidic burden on our bodies and straining our blood’s regulation system. Eventually, the body just can’t keep up so it turns to other ways of protecting itself. Unfortunately, these alternate methods can trigger an entirely new set of problems that can lead to weight gain and the onset of chronic disease like kidney failure and diabetes. As if your body didn’t have enough challenges neutralising a heavily acidic diet, you should also know that lifestyle can play a role in pH imbalance. Stress, alcohol, caffeine and medication have also shown to create greater acidity levels with our bodies. And in today’s society, each of these factors seems to have taken up permanent residence.

Fortunately, by filling up on alkaline foods, you can actually help detoxify your body and counter the acidic impact of both diet and lifestyle. Of course, the ultimate goal is balance. It’s unrealistic to get rid of acid-forming foods altogether. Ideally, you should aim for 75% of your diet to be composed of alkaline foods and 25% of your diet to be acidic.

One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to build your meals around vegetables and fruits — most are alkaline in nature. There are some fruits, like lemons, that have an acidic pH outside the body, but when eaten are metabolized into an alkaline solution. You should also do your best to avoid refined carbohydrates (pasta, crackers, breads), dairy products (milk, cheese) and animal proteins (meat, chicken).

A properly alkalized body may not only restore your health, it may restore your entire sense of well-being. Taking the time to take care of your body is one of the most compassionate things you can do for yourself. In today’s world, we often forsake our health for convenience, and in turn, we suffer. But the wonderful thing is that all of that can change in an instant. It is just up to you to give that change the green light.

“Every single type of food has its own pH. Some foods, such as avocado and quinoa, are alkalizing. While other foods, like most meats and dairy, are acidifying ”

Alkaline Benefits

Spinach contains nearly twice as much iron as other greens, which allows red blood cells to carry more oxygen and strengthens all cells, but particularly those of respiratory system and brain. High fibre content aids intestinal cleansing and regeneration, which are great for regulating digestion. High amounts of chlorophyll and carotene help reduce cancer risk and macular degeneration. In one study, high spinach consumption was linked with a lower incidence of cervical cancer. It also contains carotenoids, lutein, Vitamins A, B complex, C, K, folic acid, iodine, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium and manganese, and many amino acids. Spinach is highly alkalinizing and is the mildest tasting of the dark leafy greens that is easy for beginners.

Kale is rich in phytochemicals that protect us from cancer and provides highly absorbable calcium, due to the high ratio of calcium to phosphorous content. A cup of kale juice surpasses the calcium content of a glass of milk. It can lower the risk of colon, breast and lung cancer as well as fight osteoporosis, muscular degeneration, support the cardiovascular and immune systems, and assist in energy production. It also contains high amounts of chlorophyll, provitamin A, in the form of carotenoids and beta-carotene, Vitamin C, E, B6, K, folic acid, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and sodium. Kale has a much milder taste when juiced than eaten whole, and is a great alkaliniser!

Cucumber is actually a cooling food in the body and is typically 20-degrees cooler than the outside air on a warm day! It is a great natural diuretic, helps regulate body temperature, aids in cell hydration, waste removal and dissolves kidney stones. Its high silica content is amazing for skin and helps with conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, hair loss, weak nails, etc. It also reduces high uric acid in the body that causes inflammation in the joints, muscles and tendons. It helps regulate blood pressure and can even help lower a fever! It is high in Vitamin A (mostly in the peel), B-complex, C and folic acid, amino acids (methionine and tryptophan), potassium, sulfur, and chlorine (natural). Cucumber adds lots of water and nutrient content to juices with its very mild and slightly creamy taste. Super easy to prep to juices, but make sure they are organic and not wax-coated.

Celery is beneficial for respiratory conditions, such as bronchitis and asthma, but also contains coumarin that helps lower blood pressure up to 14% in hypertension patients. It is also a natural laxative and diuretic. Kidneys are supported by celery juice and it can even increase libido! It also acts as an appetite suppressant, while having a calming effect that can even help insomnia. It contains valuable organic sodium, unlike table salt. It is rich in potassium, so it makes a great post-workout juice as it replaces electrolytes. It contains anti-cancer properties, essential amino acids, tryptophan, vitamin A, B-complex, C, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, iodine and copper. Juice the leaves of this light tasting, slightly salty tasting juice, which makes a nice addition to almost any juice combination, especially green juices.

Carrot is a relative of parsley and celery, and contains loads of carotenes and minerals which contribute to life extension properties as powerful anti-oxidants. Carrot juice is great for eyes and the immune system as it helps out the production and performance of white blood cells. It can help lower cholesterol and certain skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, all while keeping the respiratory system resistant to infections. It reduces the risk of stroke and helps relieve painful joints from rheumatism and arthritis. A great source of Provitamin A, also contains glutathione, B-vitamins, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and CoQ10. It is sweet in flavor, with an earthy touch. It combines especially well with apple, pineapple, ginger, and cinnamon.

Apple primarily provides pectin, which contributes to healthy digestion, helps break down toxins, lowers cholesterol, and enhances bowel function. Apple also offers some sweetness in the juice. Granny Smith gree n apples have the lowest sugar content. Also offers many phytochemicals and enzymes, quercetin, Vitamin A (in the peel), Vitamin C, significant potassium, top source of soft fiber, making it one of the best natural intestinal cleansers. In one study, people who consumed an apple-rich diet had a 46% reduction in their risk of lung cancer. Colon cancer reduction risk has also been demonstrated.

Super Alkaline Juice

cucumberkalejuice3

Ingredients

  • ½ large cucumber
  • 4 stalks celery
  • ½ large lemon

Method

As far as alkaline juice cleanse recipes go, this one definitely has a lemony juice taste to it. The cucumber, as well as being very alkaline, helps to level out the flavor though and makes this an easy juice to enjoy. When juicing the lemons, use the entire lemon (peel and all)!

Tropical alkaline breeze

carrot-juice

Ingredients

  • 100ml coconut water
  • 8 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery

Method

This alkaline juice cleanse recipe makes a moderately sweet juice that is just awesome! When using the young coconut you do not juice any of the actual flesh. You simply open the coconut and then pour the coconut water into your juice mix.

Daniel Petre