Alkalizing has become a very popular subject recently, and for good reason too! The emphasis on the importance of the bodies pH might seem like a new fashion, but the science and art of pH balancing have had a long tradition and unlike some other trendy theories, it has successfully withstood the test of time.
If you think back to chemistry or science class, you might recall comparing an acid versus a base, or the importance of pH balance. Ph is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. The pH scale runs 0-14 a lower number means a high level of acidity is present, and high number indicates a higher level of acidity is present. A solution is considered neutral, neither acid nor alkaline, when it has a pH of 7.
So why does pH matter?
There is a correlation between the acidic environment and cancer cell growth. It is also known that an acidic body is more susceptible to different diseases, including arthritis, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. What’s more is if your pH is out of balance digestive problems can occur and your body wont be able to soak up the goodness from food., which can lead to fatigue.
A growing number of research suggests that having lower, or acidic, pH levels is associated with greater risk for conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Higher, or alkaline ph levels accordingly are linked to improvements in memory and condition, reduced pain and lower risk of hypertension and stroke. Also, there has been a link between ph levels and bone health. Many studies have shown that low-acid diets can help improve bone density.
What is the cause of pH imbalance?
Have you ever looked at the chemical that you put into your body? The labels that read aspartame, phosphorus (in soda), and caffeine. They and others create an acidic state in the body. On a daily basis we are bombarding out bodies with poisons. The clothing we wear, the towels we dry our bodies with, the chemicals we clean our floors, houses, and dishes with they are all laden with poisons.
The main culprit, however, is our diets. We stuff ourselves with fast food, refined sugars, animal products, and processed foods. Also, lifestyle choices, for example sedentary life style. Interestingly enough, over-exercising especially too much cardio, can lead to a drop in your ph levels, as it contributes to stress.
At first our bodies try and overcompensate for the unbalanced ph and bring the ph back to optimum levels. This however cannot go on forever and sooner or later the acidic environment starts to attract all sorts of ailments.
Testing you pH levels
You can test saliva or urine using purchased strips from online or even your local drug store.
Before brushing your teeth, fill your mouth with saliva and swallow; repeat and then spit directly on the pH test strip. This three-step process will ensure a clean saliva sample. To be normal it should be between 6.5 and 7.0
Collect a small sample of your first morning urine in a clean glass container; dip the ph strip in the container. It should be between 7.2 and 7.4.
How to correct you pH
Take Magnesium: Most doctors agree that almost all Americans are chronically short on this important mineral. Magnesium is an especially important nutrient for women as it helps the body assimilate calcium, thus preventing osteoporosis. Magnesium is one of the main agents in the body’s buffering system and helps raise the PH of the body quickly and naturally. It also can provide instant energy. A liquid supplement, often sold with calcium added is a great addition to a diet high in magnesium heavy foods such as avocados, almonds, cashews, and spinach.
Cut the Sugar: Besides being one of the most acidic substances we eat, sugar is bad for weight maintenance and immunity. By replacing white sugar with more alkaline sweeteners, stevia, agave nectar, and maple syrup, it is possible to see instant balancing in the body, not just with pH levels but also with blood sugar. I recommend stevia above all as it actually helps lower blood sugar levels.
Rev up the Enzymes: Being too acidic can wreak havoc on the digestive enzymes in the small intestine, weakening our bodies’ ability to break down food and utilize their nutrients. This can lead to improper metabolism, weight gain, and diabetes. By adding enzymes back into the diet, two good ones are Bromelein (from pinneaple) and Papain (from Papaya), you are creating a better environment for highly alkaline fruits and vegetables to work their nutritional magic.
Drink Water with Lemon: Lemon is the most alkaline fruit out there (although it is acidic, when it reacts with digestive enzymes it turns alkaline) and water is absolutely fundamental for cutting down the acidic side effects of coffee, soft drinks, and tea and flushing the kidneys. By starting your day with a glass of water with lemon juice and drinking water throughout the day, you provide a much more alkaline environment in your body.
Replace Meat with Vegetables: While some meat is good for balancing the body, it contains zinc and potassium, two substances that help keep minerals in the body, it is also acidic and many of us eat way too much of it. Keep meat in its place: as an accompaniment to alkaline fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. While not all veggies are alkaline, most of them are, copying a great list of alkaline/acid foods and taping it to the refrigerator or using it when planning a grocery trip can really help.
It is also important to keep in mind that a foods natural ph level does not necessarily indicae the effect it will have on the body.
Do not forget to assess your stress levels. Sleep well, exercise and regular relaxation can do wonders for your mind, body, and spirit.